MITH hosted the first annual Digital Humanities Winter Institute (DHWI), from Monday, January 7, 2013, to Friday, January 11, 2013, at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. We were delighted to be expanding the model pioneered by the highly-successful Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria to the United States.
DHWI provided an opportunity for scholars to learn new skills relevant to different kinds of digital scholarship while mingling with like-minded colleagues in coursework, social events, and lectures during an intensive, week-long event located amid the many attractions of the Washington, D.C. region.
Courses were open to all skill levels and catered to many different interests. For the 2013 Institute we assembled an amazing group of instructors who taught everything from introductory courses on project development and programming, to intermediate level courses on image analysis, teaching with multimedia, and data curation. DHWI also featured more technically-advanced courses on text analysis and linked open data. Our goal was that the curricula we assembled would appeal to graduate students, faculty, librarians, and museum professionals as well as participants from government and non-governmental organizations.
An exciting program of extracurricular events accompanied the formal DHWI courses to capitalize on the Institute’s proximity to the many cultural heritage organizations in the region. This stream of activities, which we called “DHWI Public Digital Humanities,” included an API workshop, a hack-a-thon, and opportunities to contribute videos and other materials to the 4Humanities campaign to document the importance of the humanities for contemporary society.
Both the outward-looking DHWI Public Digital Humanities program and the week of high-caliber, in-depth digital humanities coursework were kicked off by the Institute Lecture. This year’s speaker was Seb Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media at the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.