Theresa Burress has found the perfect combination of jobs, she believes. Since 2014, she’s been humanities librarian at the New College of Florida (NCF). And since 2011, she has spearheaded (with Howard Rutherford, University of South Florida) Florida’s St. Petersburg Science Festival.
Most academic librarians stepping into a position can model their work on that of their predecessors. But not Thomas Padilla. On his appointment in April as the first humanities data curator at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Library (and the first in the entire University of California system), Padilla has had to draw on a number of different disciplines to shape his role of working with data throughout its life cycle, creating a support plan for digital humanities researchers, and providing research data consultation.
LJ Mover & Shaker, Ashley Maynor has put her MFA in film and media arts from Temple University to good use as an Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The Story of the Stuff, her interactive web documentary on the artifacts, gifts, and remembrances sent to the town of Sandy Hook, CT, after the school shooting, brought those two passions together. “This project in particular is very wrapped up in libraries,” says Maynor. “It’s about the type of research that a digital humanities librarian does.
Jacob Heil is well versed in both the history of the book and the future of digital scholarship. After earning a PhD in English, with a focus on early modern drama and book history, Heil worked on Texas A&M’s Early Modern OCR Project (eMOP), developing optical character recognition training sets to help computers transform images of works printed from 1475 through the early 1800s into archivable, minable texts.
Mappamundi is the online web portal for the Global Middle Ages Project (GMAP) based out of the University of Texas at Austin (UT). It links to a series of Digital Humanities projects by scholars from around the world about people, places, and objects from the period of roughly 500-1500 CE. Although many people think of this period solely as the European “Dark Ages,” the project directors are interested in portraying a much more global picture. Many of the projects focus on areas outside of Europe and are interested in cultural exchange between peoples.
Jennifer Vinopal is the Librarian for Digital Scholarship Initiatives at New York University, where she helps scholars bring their work online for preservation, curation, and more and more frequently, collaboration. She talked with Library Journal about how the face of digital scholarship is changing, what role librarians play in that change, and how the partnerships between researchers and librarians are growing closer in the new research landscape.