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Funded Projects in Digital Humanities

Center for Jewish History (New York, NY 10011-6301)

Laura Leone

HG-50027-11

Wissenschaft des Judentums: An International Digital Collection

The digitization of approximately 1,000 volumes to add to the Wissenschaft des Judentums library, which was dispersed and partially destroyed during World War II.

The purpose of this project is to create a complete digital collection of the historic resources of the Wissenschaft des Judentums by enriching the unique Wissenschaft collection of the Frankfurt University Library with digital facsimiles of missing titles housed at the Center, and augmenting the Center’s growing digital collections. The Frankfurt University Library estimates that it is missing about 25% of the 11,000 titles that once constituted its world renowned collection of Wissenschaft des Judentums. The Center has identified approximately 1,000 (40%) of these missing books within the holdings of its partner organizations.

Project fields: Jewish Studies
Program: NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Program
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $103,657
Grant period: 9/1/2011 – 8/31/2014

Yale University (New Haven, CT 06510)
Laura Wexler

HD-51421-11

Photogrammar Project

Development of a website that would offer new ways of organizing, searching, and visualizing the archive of 160,000 photographs produced by the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) from 1935 to 1943.

The Photogrammar Project is a Yale University Public Humanities Project designed to offer an interactive web-based open source visualization platform for the one-hundred and sixty thousand photographs created by the federal government from 1935 to 1943 under the Farm Securities Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI). The images offer an archive of American life that is a resource for students, academics, and the public at large. The interactive map will map the one-hundred and sixty thousand photographs over historical county and census data. Additionally, users will be given the tools to be able to construct statistical graphics and visualization from the data. For example, a user will be able to quickly plot the percentage of military images collected by month and location or see a gallery of share cropping images created in Georgia. The Photogrammar Project , all accompanying code and detailed documentation will be available to the public at large.

Project fields: American Studies
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $49,982
Grant period: 9/1/2011 – 9/30/2014

George Mason University (Fairfax, VA 22030-4444)
Sharon Leon

HD-50927-10
[View white paper]

Crowdsourcing Documentary Transcription: an Open Source Tool

The development of an open source tool that would allow scholars to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects, using the Papers of the War Department as a test case.

The Center for History and New Media, George Mason University seeks to build an open source tool to enable researchers to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects, thus harnessing the power of the community of users to improve the discoverability and usefulness of the archive. Digital archives and documentary projects need a viable solution that lowers both the cost and the investment of staff time involved with transcribing of large numbers of historical documents. There will be significant benefits for both the editorial staff and for interested users, whether they are scholarly researchers, students and teachers, or members of the general public. This grant seeks to address these long-term resource challenges facing many digital documentary editing projects. We will use the Papers of the War Department digital archive as a test case.

[Grant products]

Project fields: Media Studies
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $49,215
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 6/30/2011

University of Richmond (Richmond, VA 23173-0001)
Edward L. Ayers (project director)
Scott Nesbit (co-project director)

HD-51083-10
[View white paper]

Landscapes of the American Past: Visualizing Emancipation

The development of a digital atlas seeking to demonstrate how the spread of emancipation of enslaved people occurred during the US Civil War.

The Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond proposes Landscapes of the American Past,an online atlas of American history, as a tool for organizing and interpreting a part of the outpouring of digital materials over the past twenty years and as a tool for thinking spatially about the past. In the start-up period, we will produce "Landscapes of Emancipation," the first detailed map of emancipation yet published, and answer questions about when, where, and how emancipation emerged from the Civil War. In doing so, we will also address a question of increasing interest in the digital humanities: how can we produce maps that rely on and support open resources while at the same time creating effective and elegant visualizations that convey scholarly arguments? We will publish our findings online as a mapping application, in peer-reviewed essays, as freely accessible data and metadata, and in a white paper addressing the methodology of visualizing historical arguments.

Project fields: U.S. History
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $48,155
Grant period: 9/1/2010 – 2/29/2012

University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA 92093-0013)
Emily Roxworthy

HD-51169-10
[View white paper]

DRAMA IN THE DELTA: Digitally Reenacting Civil Rights Performances at Arkansas' Wartime Camps for Japanese Americans

A scholarly, historic simulation meant for public audiences exploring the racial dynamics of a wartime internment camp in the Arkansas Delta.

DRAMA IN THE DELTA consists of an interactive 3D model of key historic sites from the World War II Arkansas Delta, cast with diverse user-avatars that digitally simulate the systems of racial segregation that governed home-front life when black-white Jim Crow laws intersected with the policies of two local internment camps for Americans of Japanese descent. Rohwer and Jerome each imprisoned a peak wartime population of 8,500; unknown to most scholars, these were the only War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps in the American South and the only to house Hawaiians of Japanese descent. The wartime internment in general has not entered most Americans' consciousness. By reenacting cross-cultural activities from the year 1944, our historically accurate video role-playing game (video-RPG) will present an interactive, immersive medium to engage public interest in the dramatic encounters that took place when Japanese-American segregation occurred in the context of black-white segregation.

Project fields: U.S. History
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $50,000
Grant period: 9/1/2010 – 8/31/2011

University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077)
Alan Scott Christy

HD-50594-09
[View white paper]

Eternal Flames: Living Memories of the Pacific War

Development and testing of a prototype multilingual website platform for the gathering and study of memories of the Pacific theater of World War II incorporating perspectives of survivors from the United States and Asia.

Funds requested for an innovative website that provides a living archive of Pacific War memories in multiple languages. Our prototype provides a social media and multi-lingual database structure enabling communication between researchers, war survivors, and the general public in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. This site facilitates research on the circulation of war memories throughout the Pacific region and across linguistic boundaries. Online participants will transcribe, translate, tag, and add context to user-contributed archive posts. The architecture makes transparent the negotiations and contested categories of memory-in-translation. In this online environment, users can confront the cultural embeddedness of language, and researchers can trace the transformations of memory as it travels across cultural boundaries. As an open source tool, our online platform can be applied in various contexts to address the language barrier issue that is so central to the humanities.

Project fields: East Asian History
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $50,000
Grant period: 4/1/2009 – 9/30/2010

University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA 92093-0013)
Emily Roxworthy

HD-50626-09

Drama in the Delta: Digitally Reenacting Civil Rights Performances at Arkansas' Wartime Camps for Japanese Americans

The development of a role-playing game focused on Japanese-American internment in Arkansas during World War II.

DRAMA IN THE DELTA will produce an interactive 3D model of key historic sites from the WWII Arkansas Delta in order to digitally simulate the systems of racial segregation that governed home-front life when black-white Jim Crow laws intersected with the policies of two local internment camps for Americans of Japanese descent. Rohwer and Jerome each imprisoned a peak wartime population of 8,500; these were the only War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps in the American South and the only to house Hawaiians of Japanese descent. The wartime internment in general has not entered most Americans' consciousness. The popularity of interactive role-playing games (RPGs) presents an effective pedagogical medium to capture public interest: by creating a historically accurate RPG reenacting 1944 Arkansas, DRAMA IN THE DELTA will engage the problem-solving behaviors of "gamers," and use this active learning environment to teach about civil liberties--struggles that were eventually triumphant.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities

Total amount awarded: $24,983
Grant period: 4/1/2009 – 8/31/2010

Hope College (Holland, MI 49423-3607)
Christian Spielvogel

HD-50194-07

Living in the Valley of the Shadow: The Creation of a Web-Based, Role-Playing Simulation on the Civil War

Development of a web-based simulation based on the online Valley of the Shadow archive.

I propose to develop open source software and content for a web-based role-playing simulation on the Civil War based on the award-winning digital archive "The Valley of the Shadow." The simulation will require that students, interacting anonymously online as characters in one of two groups or communities (Union or Confederacy), use an integrated set of collaborative software tools to chronologically engage and debate the war's most important issues, events, and ideas as featured in the Valley archive. "Living in the Valley of the Shadow" promises to be the first web-based simulation developed around the contents of a digital archive, and will promote deep inquiry into the Civil War and its primary documents precisely because it capitalizes on and transforms the interactive dimensions of open source collaborative software.

Project fields: U.S. History
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities


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