Jason Rhody (Program Director: Digital Culture, Social Science Research Council, SSRC)

“Posting Signs and Filling Potholes on the Information Superhighway: Toward a Research-Ready Scholarly Infrastructure”

Opening keynote: Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 11:45 am
Montpelier Room (LM 619), 6th Floor, James Madison Memorial Building, Library of Congress

Humanities and social science research infrastructure has developed in both focused and haphazard ways, balancing principles of innovation and disciplinary specificity with scalability and generalization. Drawing on a number of examples, this talk offers a brief history of the recent growth of humanities research infrastructure, reflecting on core attributes of its development reflected in founding documents, and the institutions and collaborations that foster—and the pressures that sometimes hinder—its growth. With a focus on the historical influence of National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and building on recent efforts of the Social Science Research Council, including the work of the Digital Culture program, Social Data Initiative, and the recent SSRC task force, this talk asks: under what conditions, and with what principles and values, might the next iteration of humanities and social science research infrastructure be built?

Jason RhodyJason Rhody directs the Digital Culture program, Social Data Initiative, and co-directs the Media & Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).  Previously, he served as senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where he helped create the Office of Digital Humanities (ODH). In that role, he developed and managed multiple grant programs that enabled scholars, librarians, and archivists to harness emerging technologies to advance research, encourage scholarly inquiry of digital culture, and foster collaboration across international and disciplinary boundaries.  He created and directed joint grant programs with Jisc in the UK and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in Germany. He received his PhD in English from the University of Maryland where, prior to joining NEH in 2003, he managed and advised digital humanities projects at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and taught courses in literature and digital media.

Laurie Allen and Stewart Varner (Collections as Data)

Collections as Data: Digital Collections for Emerging Research Methods

Closing keynote: Thursday, October 4, 2018, 09:35 am
Montpelier Room (LM 619), 6th Floor, James Madison Memorial Building, Library of Congress

As computational research methods such as text analysis, data visualization, and digital image processing become more common, cultural heritage institutions are challenged to design systems and services that facilitate this kind of work. “Collections as Data” is an effort to bring together information professionals who are working on these challenges to develop useful resources for the the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) community. This presentation will provide an overview of two overlapping initiatives: one begun in 2015 and funded by the (Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that is nearing its final stages, and another beginning this fall funded by the Mellon Foundation. The presentation will include an introduction to the Santa Barbara Statement on collections as data and to a series of practical tools for institutions interested in providing access to their collections for computational work. The speakers will also describe the Mellon-funded initiative focused on developing model workflows, services, and professional roles for GLAM institutions who are working on Collections as Data.

Laurie Allen

Laurie Allen is Co-Principal Investigator of the Collections as Data initiative and Assistant Director for Digital Scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries within the Teaching, Research & Learning Directorate. The Digital Scholarship group is responsible for coordinating data curation & management activities, supporting digital humanities and digital methodologies, and undertaking digital publishing initiatives. Before joining the Penn Libraries in February 2016, Laurie worked as Coordinator for Digital Scholarship at the Haverford College Libraries.

Stewart VarnerStewart Varner is Co-Investigator of the Collections as Data Initiative and  Managing Director of the Price Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Penn he served as the Digital Scholarship Librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Emory. He earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Emory and his Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas.