Digital Humanities Start-up Awards Announced

The National Endowment for the Humanities just announced the winners of its latest round of Digital Humanities Start-up Grants. For readers who aren’t familiar with the program, these modest ($25,000 or $50,000) grants provide seed money or proof-of-concept funding for experimental digital projects in the humanities:

NEH’s Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants will encourage scholars with bright new ideas and provide the funds to get their projects off the ground. Some projects will be practical, others completely blue sky. Some will fail while others will succeed wildly and develop into important projects. But all will incorporate new ways of studying the humanities.

Here’s the full list of 13 awards. Even from the short descriptions it’s easy to see that fantastic ideas continue to percolate in the digital humanities. Congratulations to all!

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ALASKA

Fairbanks
University of Alaska, Fairbanks ($50,000)
Project Director: Siri Tuttle
We the People Project Title: Minto Songs
Project Description: The collection, digitization, organization, and archival storage, as well as dissemination among the Minto Athabascan community, of recorded performances of Alaskan Athabascan songs.

ARIZONA

Tucson
University of Arizona ($25,000)
Project Director: Douglas Gann
Project Title: Virtual Vault
Project Description: Electronic access to the world’s largest collection of whole pottery vessels from the American Southwest through digital renderings of Arizona State University’s Pottery Vault and relevant prehistoric archaeological sites as well as interviews with anthropologists, conservators, and Native American potters.

ILLINOIS

Lake Forest
Lake Forest College ($25,000)
Project Director: Davis Schneiderman
We the People Project Title: Virtual Burnham Initiative Project Description: The development of the Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI), a multimedia project that would examine the history and legacy of Daniel H. Burnham’s and Edward H. Bennett’s Plan of Chicago (1909).

MARYLAND

College Park
University of Maryland, College Park ($11,708)
Project Director: Matthew Kirschenbaum
Project Title: Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use
Project Description: A series of planning meetings and site visits aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving born-digital documents produced by contemporary authors.

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston
University of Massachusetts, Boston ($24,748)
Project Director: Joanne Riley
We the People Project Title: Online Social Networking for the Humanities: the Massachusetts Studies Network Prototype
Project Description: The development and evaluation of a social networking platform for the members of the statewide Massachusetts Studies Project.

Norton
Wheaton College ($41,950)
Project Director: Mark LeBlanc
Project Title: Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond
Project Description: Development of a prototypical suite of computational tools and statistical analyses to explore the corpus of Old English literature using the genomic approach of tracing information-rich patterns of letters as well as that of literary analysis and interpretation.

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi State University ($50,000)
Project Director: Paul Jacobs
Project Title: Distributed Archives Transaction System
Project Description: Development of open source web tools for accessing online digitized collections in the humanities via a system that communicates with multiple database types while protecting the integrity of the original data sets.

NEW YORK

Brooklyn
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar ($23,750)
Project Director: Daniel Visel
Project Title: Sophie Search Gateway
Project Description: The development of an interoperable portal within the Web authoring program, “Sophie,” for locating and incorporating multi-media sources from the Internet Archive.

Hempstead
Hofstra University ($23,591)
Project Director: John Bryant
We the People Project Title: Melville, Revision, and Collaborative Editing: Toward a Critical Archive
Project Description: The development of the TextLab scholarly editing tool to allow for analysis of texts that exist in multiple versions or editions, beginning with the Melville Electronic Library.

New York City
New York University ($49,65)
Project Director: Brian Hoffman
Project Title: MediaCommons: Social Networking Tools for Digital Scholarly Communication
Project Description: Development of a set of networking software tools to support a “peer-to-peer” review structure for MediaCommons, a scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities.

RHODE ISLAND

Providence
Brown University ($49,992)
Project Director: Julia Flanders
Project Title: Encoding Names for Contextual Exploration in Digital Thematic Research Collections
Project Description: The advancement of humanities text encoding and research by refining and expanding the automated representation of personal names and their contexts.

TEXAS

Austin
University of Texas, Austin ($49,251)
Project Director: Samuel Baker
Project Title: The eCommentary Machine Project
Project Description: Development of a web-based collaborative commentary and annotation tool.

VIRGINIA

Charlottesville
University of Virginia ($49,827)
Project Director: Scot French
We the People Project Title: Jefferson’s Travels: A Digital Journey Using the HistoryBrowser
Project Description: Development of an interactive web-based tool to integrate primary documents, dynamic maps, and related information in the study of history, with the prototype to be focused on Thomas Jefferson’s trip to England in 1786.

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