The School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin and the Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received an NEH Institutes in Advanced Technologies in the Digital Humanities grant to host two rounds of an NEH Institute on High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship (HiPSTAS). Humanists interested in sound scholarship, stewards of sound collections, and computer scientists and technologists versed in computational analytics and visualizations of sound will develop more productive tools for advancing scholarship in spoken text audio if they learn together about current practices, if together they create new scholarship, and if they consider the needs, resources, and possibilities of developing a digital infrastructure for the study of sound together.
HiPSTAS participants included 20 humanities junior and senior faculty and advanced graduate students as well as librarians and archivists from across the U.S. interested in developing and using new technologies to access and analyze spoken word recordings within audio collections. The collections made available for participants included poetry from PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania, folklore from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin, speeches from the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Presidential Museum in Austin, and storytelling from the Native American Projects (NAP) at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Sound archivists from UT at Austin, computer scientists and technology developers from Illinois Informatics Institutes, and representatives from each of the participating collections came together for the HiPSTAS Institute to discuss the collections, the work that researchers already do with audio cultural artifacts, and the work HiPSTAS participants can do with advanced computational analysis of sounds.