Announcing New ODH Awards (January 2024)

January 9, 2024
Tornado in an American Forest by Thomas Cole (1831), National Gallery of Art
Photo caption

An 1831 painting of a forest battered by a tornado by Thomas Cole.

The Office of Digital Humanities is pleased to announce 15 awards through the Digital Humanities Advancement Grants program.

These projects are part of a larger slate of 260 awards announced by NEHThe awardees are exploring and forging new paths in digital humanities—including an open-source Braille digital translation platform to enable the creation of digital editions and primary sources for blind and low-vision humanities students and researchers, the development of data models and a prototype site for a federated platform for historical weather and climate records, the creation of an open-source platform for network analysis of art and artists, and experimenting with digital preservation techniques using the Flickr Commons platform as a case study.

Congratulations to all the award recipients on these exciting projects!

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

This program is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Projects supported through this partnership are noted in the list below. Learn more about the DHAG program.

Level One Awards

Level one awards offer up to $75,000 to support small research projects or early stages of larger projects.

Primary Institution: Institute for Advanced Study

Project Director(s): Aaron Hershkowitz and Nicholas Howe (Smith College)

Project Title: Developing OCR for Squeezes: Unlocking the Text of Greek Inscriptions Using the Krateros Database

Project Description: An exploratory effort to apply computer vision to a collection of 30,000 digitized epigraphic squeezes (paper negatives of inscriptions) to develop a new method for optical character recognition of Greek inscriptions.

Primary Institution: Adler Planetarium

Project Director(s): Samantha Blickhan

Project Title: Scoping Scalable Sustainable DH Infrastructure for Online Crowdsourcing

Project Description: An evaluative study of the underlying code, functionality, and user interface of Zooniverse, a free crowdsourcing platform for transcribing humanities documents.

Primary Institution: Georgia State University

Project Director(s): Elizabeth West and Joshua Jackson

Project Title: Data Mining and Mapping Antebellum Georgia

Project Description: A digital mapping project focused on determining the feasibility of using digitized genealogical records and archival state maps to identify and geolocate enslaved African Americans. 

Primary Institution: Flickr Charitable Foundation

Funded by IMLS

Project Director(s): George Oates

Project Title: Development of a Data Lifeboat

Project Description: Experimental development of digital preservation techniques, using the Flickr Commons photo-sharing platform as a case study, to create replicable models for social media archiving that would save digital networked assets for future humanities research.

Primary Institution: University of Illinois

Project Director(s): Ana Lucic

Project Title: Automated Peritext Detection in Fiction and Non-Fiction Works

Project Description: The development of a method to computationally identify the paratextual elements within the digitized book collections in the HathiTrust Research Library.

Level Two Awards

Level Two awards offer up to $150,000 to support projects that have completed an initial planning phase and are poised to scale up.

Primary Institution: Tulane University

Project Director(s): Alexis Culotta and Aron Culotta

Project Title: Exploring Artistic Production with the Artistic Network Toolbox

Project Description: The creation of an open-source platform for network analysis of art and artists.

Primary Institution: Stanford University

Project Director(s): Mark Algee-Hewitt and Eric James Harvey

Project Title: Digital Accessibility for Blind Scholars of Antiquity

Project Description: The integration of six ancient languages into an open-source Braille digital translation platform to enable the creation of digital editions and primary sources for blind and low-vision humanities students and researchers. 

Primary Institution: University of Maryland

Project Director(s): Osama Eshera, Fateme Savadi (McGill University), and Sajjad Nikfahm-Khubravan (McGill University)

Project Title: Idrīsī: An Open Library of Historical Geography of the Premodern Islamic World

Project Description: Creation of new datasets containing geographic locations and place names extracted from transcriptions of premodern Islamic texts that will be shared with existing open-source gazetteers and machine-learning transcription software that support humanities research. 

Primary Institution: University of Wisconsin

Project Director(s): Anne Bonds and Derek Handley

Project Title: Developing a Digital Platform for the Mapping Racism and Resistance in Milwaukee County Project

Project Description: The development of a platform to map and visualize racial covenants in early twentieth-century Milwaukee.

Primary Institution: National Yiddish Book Center, Inc.

Project Director(s): Amber Clooney, Mark Liberman (University of Pennsylvania), Seth Kulick (University of Pennsylvania)

Project Title: OCR Correction by Improving Robustness to Orthographic Variation in Yiddish, A Low Resource Language

Project Description: A partnership between the National Yiddish Book Center and the Language Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania to refine a method to improve error correction in optical character recognition for Yiddish.  

Primary Institution: University of Nebraska

Project Director(s): Kevin McMullen, Jason Stacy (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville), Zachary Turpin (University of Idaho), Stephanie Blalock (University of Iowa), Stefan Schöberlein (Texas A & M University, Central Texas)

Project Title: Between the Columns: A Toolkit for Periodical Authorship, Attribution, and Display

Project Description: Refinement, expansion, and documentation of digital methods and tools to assist researchers in identifying authorship in unattributed content printed in newspapers and other periodicals.

Primary Institution: Northeastern University

Funded by IMLS

Project Director(s): David Smith, Patrick Yott, Meg Heckman, Giulia Taurino

Project Title: Machine Learning for Large-Scale Journalism Collections

Project Description: The development of a computationally assisted cataloging workflow for curators and archives to provide enhanced access to large-scale newspaper photograph collections. The Boston Globe’s historic photo morgue, under the stewardship of the Northeastern University Libraries, will serve as the test case for this effort.

Primary Institution: University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Project Director(s): Deborah Ann Holmes-Wang, Yao-Yi Chiang

Project Title: Machines Reading Maps Outside the Neat Line

Project Description: Further development of an existing digital toolkit, mapKurator, to enhance the ability to automatically identify, recover, and transcribe text from maps.

Primary Institution: University of Virginia

Project Director(s): Jennifer Stertzer, James McClure (Princeton University), Bayard Miller (American Philosophical Society)

Project Title: North American Climate History Project

Project Description: The expansion of the North American Climate History project with the addition of new partner organizations and continued development of the data model and prototype site for a federated platform for historical weather and climate records.

Level Three Awards

Level Three awards offer up to $350,000 in outright funds, and an additional $50,000 in matching funds. They support the expansion of mature projects with an established user base and strong dissemination plans.

Primary Institution: Saint Louis University

Project Director(s): Atria Larson

Project Title: TPEN 3.0: A Linked Open Transcription and Annotation Service for the Next Generation

Project Description: The enhancement of the Transcription for Paleographical and Editorial Notation platform for transcribing texts from handwritten documents by updating the technical backend, adding new features to allow for greater use with non-Western humanities collections, and conducting outreach activities to scholarly audiences.