Advancing digital humanities and digital scholarship at liberal arts colleges : a consortium approach to balancing innovation and preservation Foley, Shay; Leamon, Jonathan; Luhrs, Eric; Simons, Janet
Our institutions are grappling with the myriad of possibilities presented by knowledge access, use, and development in the digital realm. Digital scholarship involves approach (research methods), dissemination (contextualization, publication), and management (discovery, persistence, preservation). Supporting all of these facets can be challenging for a small Liberal Arts College, but doing so provides rich opportunities for significant undergraduate involvement within the research process, which has long been a hallmark of liberal education. These efforts require powerful and flexible tools to connect and manipulate information. How do we meet digital research and teaching needs, continue our missions to support access and preservation, and also promote the research and development efforts required to explore new possibilities? Five small liberal arts colleges (Grinnell, Hamilton, Lafayette, Vassar, & Williams) began considering these questions as a consortium in 2013. With an eye toward other successful consortial models (ex. CLAMP), we are collaborating to develop a model for the creation and management of sustainable digital collections and scholarly publications, as well as the development of generative digital research applications, built within the open source architecture of Islandora and Fedora Commons. We will discuss the similarities and differences in our institutional goals and resources, why one institution is exploring Hydra, efficiencies gained through this partnership, our work towards deep technical collaboration, what we expect to achieve through the use of outside consultants, and how we hope this model will enable broader participation from our sector. As an extension of our digital initiatives and IT/Library collaborative efforts we are committed to exploring new workflows and open source technologies across institutions. Further, we are continuing to develop innovative ways to make them work within sustainable library preservation models. Our approach builds upon our shared liberal arts perspectives and the combined expertise of Library and IT professionals to support faculty and student scholarship and learning.
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