Kidnapped by Cowboys: Taking the Next Steps from “DARIAH Beyond Europe Workshop 1”

DARIAH Beyond Europe workshop 1 “cowboys” (Quinn Dombrowski, Anthony Caldwell, Zoe Borovsky, Alix Keener) with Joke Daems

For the past three days, the DARIAH Beyond Europe (DBE) workshop has brought together researchers, librarians, staff, and other interested members of the digital humanities community on the US west coast, to exchange knowledge and ideas with our European colleagues from DARIAH. This workshop has provided a fruitful forum for discussing digital humanities infrastructure, in forms ranging from databases, tools, and standards, to working groups, conferences, and unlimited quantities of coffee.

The workshop has heightened our awareness of DARIAH’s current endeavors and goals, but we recognize how easy it will be to return to our institutions and daily responsibilities, and fail to follow through with our good intentions to put DARIAH’s resources to use.

To hold ourselves accountable, share our experiences with engaging with DARIAH, and help build a community of DARIAH users outside of Europe, a small group of us were inspired to request a shared blog on Hypotheses (itself a DARIAH resource). While some coordination and planning will be needed in the medium term, we felt — in the spirit of the American “cowboy” — that the best way to make this happen was simply to do it before the workshop concluded, to capture the enthusiasm of those of us gathered here.

Over lunch, we “kidnapped” Joke Daems, one of the workshop organizers from the University of Ghent, who offered us the existing DBE site on Hypotheses as a platform for our ongoing discussion and collaboration. Despite the late hour in Europe, Sally Chambers endorsed our proposal shortly thereafter. With an alacrity uncharacteristic of infrastructure, Joke granted us access to the DBE site.

We’ll be writing more here over the coming weeks and months as we explore what it might look like to integrate DARIAH resources into our work at non-European institutions. We’ll be trying to attend working groups. We’ll be adding courses to the course registry. We’ll try out tools like TextGrid. Through it all, we’ll be sharing our experiences and developing a guide to help others outside of Europe engage with DARIAH.

We’ll be coordinating activities and blog posts via a Google Group, Please join us!