Seminar: William Kretzschmar

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Carolina Rediviva Tidskriftsläsesalens inre del (TLS)
  • Lecturer: William Kretzschmar
  • Contact person: Matts Lindström
  • Seminarium

Library Collaboration with Digital Humanities Projects

A major issue for digital humanities (DH) is continuing institutional support for the long-term sustainability of researchers’ projects and their products. This lecture will address the theme of sustainability in an institutional setting for a large DH project and propose collaboration with the university library as the only realistic option for long-term sustainability. Our experience at the University of Georgia is typical of the situation for other projects, large and small, that digital humanities researchers now face at their institutions. We have created a new space for sustainable DH projects, the Digital Humanities Laboratory, or DigiLab. The University Library serves as physical host and has also provided a DH Coordinator and GIS Librarian. The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts has assisted with Faculty Research Clusters, which have provided funding for graduate assistants for activities at DigiLab such as the eHistory cluster and the Complex Systems in the Humanities cluster. Finally, the Graduate School and the Linguistic Atlas Project have cooperated on additional funding, both for infrastructure and for instructional support. We have experimented with crowdsourcing as a source of support for humanities projects, and so far have not been satisfied with it. We believe that cooperation at our institution between the library and DH projects provides the infrastructure for sustainability, and offers opportunities for training students and researchers in DH techniques. If independent projects are to be sustained beyond their initial development, they will require the sort of new partnership that we discuss. 

Bill Kretzschmar is Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities at the University of Georgia. He also has an appointment at the University of Oulu (Finland). He edited the American Linguistic Atlas Project for 34 years, the oldest national research project to survey how people speak differently across the country, which led to his preparation of American pronunciations for the online Oxford English Dictionary. He has been active in corpus linguistics, including work on tobacco industry documents. He has been influential in development of digital methods for analysis and presentation of language variation, including application of complexity science.