Announcing New ODH Awards (December 2018)

December 12, 2018

The Office of Digital Humanities is pleased to announce 13 awards through our Digital Humanities Advancement Grants program. These awards are part of a larger slate of 235 grants just announced by the NEH. Congratulations to all the awardees as they begin these exciting new projects!

The next deadline for this grant program is January 15, 2019.  If you have questions about the program, email the Office of Digital Humanities at @email.


This program is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Projects supported through this partnership are indicated by an asterisk (*) in the list below.

Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum (Chicago, IL)
Advancing Access to Transcribed Text in Citizen Humanities
Project Director: Samantha Blickhan
Co-Project Director: Laura Trouille
Outright: $178,961

To support: Extending’s online platform to allow individual crowdsourcing project teams to review, compare, and edit transcriptions, and to work directly with raw text data generated from community transcription projects.

Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
Measuring Polyphony: An Online Music Editor for Late Medieval Polyphony
Project Director: Karen Desmond
Outright: $46,799

To support: The development of a prototype of an online music editor to help scholars and students analyze medieval music manuscripts. The project would also convene a workshop for medieval studies scholars, musicologists, and technical specialists to evaluate the prototype.

Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Understanding Visual Culture through Silent Film Collections
Project Director: Mark J. Williams
Co-Project Director: John P. Bell
Outright: $222,438

To support: The creation of a large-scale compendium and research platform for silent films that are currently housed in separate collections and a suite of tools to be used by scholars studying the transition of visual culture from stage to screen.

The Graduate Center, CUNY (New York, NY)
An Open Educational Resource for Who Built America
Project Director: Donna Thompson Ray
Outright: $324,996

To support: The development of an open educational resource (OER) for college-level and advanced high school students based on content from the popular textbook Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History. The OER will also integrate interactive materials from an existing website, History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web.

Montpelier Foundation (Orange, VA)
Montpelier Digital Collections Project
Project Director: Mary Furlong Minkoff
Co-Project Director: Elizabeth Ladner
Outright: $39,968

To support: The planning of an online collections platform that will aggregate four distinct collections held by James Madison’s Montpelier, the historic house and surrounding area administered by The Montpelier Foundation. The project team will convene a three-day workshop of leading digital cultural heritage professionals, scholars in American history and culture, and descendants of Montpelier’s enslaved families.

Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA)
Algorithmic Thinking, Analysis and Visualization in Music (ATAVizM)
Project Director: Aaron Michael Carter-Enyi
Outright: $99,947

To support: The creation of an improved, open source method for visualizing patterns and themes in music and the development of course modules for undergraduate students at HBCUs.

Northeastern University (Boston, MA)*
Improving Optical Character Recognition and Tracking Reader Annotations in Printed Books by Collating and Transcribing Multiple Exemplars
Project Director: David Smith
Outright: $82,019

To support: Further research in enhanced optical character recognition techniques for historical print books and automatic discoverability of handwritten marginalia drawing upon the collections of the Internet Archive.

University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Creating National Access to Digital Dance Resources
Project Director: Rebecca Salzer
Outright: $49,142

To support: A three-day workshop for dance scholars, archivists, librarians, and media specialists on approaches to researching and teaching with digitized collections of dance resources.

University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
Virtual Studiolo
Project Director: Deanna M. Shemek
Co-Project Director: Anne MacNeil (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Outright: $99,897

To support: The design and production of a 3D environment re-creating Isabella d’Este of Mantua’s (1474-1539) art and music “studiolo” for use with virtual reality headsets, laptops, and visualization walls.

University of Georgia (Athens, GA)*
Freedom's Movement: Mapping African American Space in War and Reconstruction
Project Director: Scott Nesbit
Co-Project Directors: John Clegg (New York University) and Alisea Williams McLeod (Rust College)
Outright: $39,021

To support: The planning for future integration of three independent digital projects focused on African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction through convening a meeting of scholars, genealogists, and technical experts to create a blueprint for next stages of collaboration.

University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
Historic Profiles of American Incarceration
Project Director: Steven Soper
Co-Project Directors: Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool) and Heather Ann Thompson (University of Michigan)
Outright: $39,219

To support: A project to research and assess the state of archival records of American incarceration before 1970, leading to a two-day workshop for historians and data experts to plan for the creation of a digital archive to facilitate new scholarship across numerous humanities disciplines.

University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
Reading the Invisible Library: Rescuing the Hidden Texts of Herculaneum
Project Director: William B Seales
Outright: $325,000
Matching: $50,000

To support: The continued development of computerized techniques to recover writings from the Herculaneum library, the entire collections of which were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 BCE.

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Building a Digital Portal for Exploring Bernard and Picart’s Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the World
Project Director: J.B. Shank
Co-Project Director: Benjamin Wiggins
Outright: $95,220

To support: The development of an online, open-access portal bringing together the multiple editions of The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World, an important Enlightenment volume about world religions and customs.