Digital Library Federation (DLF) (2015)

Beyond grunt work : putting students at the center of digital scholarship Irwin, Rebekah; Walden, Sarah; Zarafonetis, Mike


Amherst, Haverford, and Middlebury Colleges are all small, undergraduate-focused institutions wrestling with what Digital Scholarship and Digital Humanities means for us and our communities. One method we have used to focus our explorations is to create and support undergraduate employment and internships in Digital Scholarship. At Middlebury College, the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative (DLA) is a Mellon-funded, campus-wide opportunity for faculty to explore digital scholarship methods. Special Collections, an area of digital expertise within the DLA, received funding for a Digital Film Preservation Student Assistant. This position, occupied by the one of the founding members of the Student Darkroom Club, plays a key role in the digitization, indexing, cataloging, research, and outreach efforts associated with an ongoing project to digitize the Middlebury College’s archival films. During the academic year, Haverford College Libraries co-sponsor the Digital Scholarship Fellows program. Fellows engage in a series of workshops where they develop skills in the use of technology to ask scholarly questions and collaboratively plan, develop, and build a digital scholarship project over the course of the year. In the summer months, Haverford Libraries offers several internships to create digital scholarship projects involving both library collections materials and faculty research. The Amherst College Library’s Digital Programs Department sponsors and coordinates a Digital Scholarship Internship program for a cohort of three to four students over the length of the summer. The program introduces students to a range of methodologies and techniques, as well as research, archival and digital collections, team-based learning, and project management skills. By the end of the summer, they develop and build a digital scholarship project based around an archival collection. Our panelists will discuss the structures of their programs, similarities and differences between them, and offer advice for other institutions which may wish to begin similar initiatives.

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