Announcing 18 Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant Awards (March 2016)

March 23, 2016

The Office of Digital Humanities is happy to announce 18 awards from our Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant program from our September 2015 deadline. These awards are part of a larger slate of 248 grants just announced by the NEH.

Congratulations to all the awardees as they get started on their projects!


University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
The Colored Conventions Project

Project Director: Pier Foreman
Outright: $75,000

To support: Enhancement of a website to document over 120 conventions organized by African-American communities from the 1830s-1880s, including development of a reference database and fifteen interpretive exhibits.


Stone Soup Productions, Inc. (Washington, DC)
The Search for Harmony: Building a Game Development Tool for WordPress

Project Director: Andrea Kalin
Outright: $37,430

To support: The development of an educational games module for the WordPress content management system. The prototype game would be associated with an upcoming documentary film on African Americans and classical music.


DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
Reading Chicago Reading: Modeling Texts and Readers in a Public Library System

Project Director: John Shanahan
Project Director: Megan Bernal
Project Director: Robin Burke
Project Director: Antonio Ceraso
Outright: $74,271  

To support: A pilot study on how analyzing patron responses to a citywide reading program can help scholars and librarians better understand which book genres and styles prove most meaningful to the community.


Indiana University, Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)
Historical Demography and Population Behavior among Muslims in Russian Central Eurasia, 1828-1918: The Case of Kazan City

Project Director: Edward Lazzerini
Outright: $71,108

To support: Development of a public database that would enable research into the Muslim community of the Russian Empire from 1828-1918 by converting information found within parish registers from the city of Kazan.


Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
3D Modeling for Textile Collections

Project Director: Diana Saiki
Project Director: Valerie Birk
Outright: $39,713


To support: The development of a prototype web application of three- dimensional models of historic clothing for use by researchers, teachers, and the general public. The test collection would consist of World War II-era American clothing from the Beeman Historic Costume Collection.


University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc (Lawrence, KS)
Black Book Interactive Project

Project Director: Maryemma Graham
Outright: $40,000

To support: Preliminary steps toward developing a metadata schema that accounts for race in order to increase scholarly access to archival materials.


University of Maine, Orono (Orono, ME)
Visualizing Spatial Experience in the Holocaust Project

Project Director: Anne Knowles
Outright: $73,168

To support: Employing computational linguistics and natural language processing techniques to study how Holocaust survivors use spatial terms to describe their experiences. Testimonies from the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation Center collection would provide the sources for the preliminary study.


Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
TEI and Humanities Pedagogy: Building TAPAS Classroom

Project Director: Julia Flanders
Outright: $74,778

To support: The development of a platform for teaching the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), which would allow for shared instruction materials, collaborative teaching, student evaluation, all built within the NEH-funded TAPAS infrastructure.


Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, MA)
Scientific Workflows, Image Analysis, and Visual Stylometry in the Digital Analysis of Art Project

Project Director: Catherine Buell
Project Director: William Seeley (Bates College)
Project Director: Ricky Sethi
Outright: $40,000  

To support: The development of an alpha-level prototype for a tool that would help statistically identify artistic style, and a workshop to discuss the tool's use and implications in the study of art history.


Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH) 
Classical Intertextuality and Computation

Project Director: Pramit Chaudhuri
Outright: $74,921

To support: A research project on how techniques originally developed for computational biology, such as sequence alignment, can illuminate influences and stylistic attributes among classical Latin and Greek texts.


CUNY Research Foundation, Graduate School and University Center (New York, NY)
Beyond Citation: Critical Thinking About Digital Research Project

Project Director: Stephen Brier
Outright: $63,485

To support: Further development of Beyond Citation, a web-based guide to research databases in the humanities. During this phase, the project would result in thematic guides to databases in fields such as art history, history, and literature, as well as a prototype tool for use by research libraries.


New York Public Library (New York, NY)
NY Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theater Division - 3D Visualization of Theatrical Lighting Designs

Project Director: Doug Reside
Project Director: Gregory Lord (Hamilton College)
Outright: $35,000

To support: Initial planning and a feasibility study to determine how virtual simulation software could be re-purposed to create representations of historical theater designs based on archival sources.


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
3D Printing as Humanistic Inquiry Project

Project Director: James Malazita
Project Director: Dean Nieusma
Outright: $39,498

To support: A set of experiments with 3D printing and a three-day workshop in which scholars explore the philosophical and practical implications of fabrication and "making" in a humanities context.


Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, OH)
TourSites for WordPress: Digital Tour Experiences for Multi-site Museum Networks

Project Director: Ty Pierce
Outright: $74,943

To support: The development of a platform that supports the sharing of humanities content through mobile tours in both exterior and interior spaces, building on Curatescape and Wordpress platforms.


University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
Time Online Project

Project Director: Daniel Rosenberg
Outright: $75,000

To support: The development of digital prototypes of historical graphic artifacts, such as timelines and time charts, from 1600 to 1900. The project also would investigate methods of maintaining and publishing these prototypes.


William Marsh Rice University (Houston, TX)
Genealogy of Texts and Ideas: Looking Back and Forth through Early English Books Online

Project Director: Benjamin Brochstein
Project Director: Suzanne Kemmer
Project Director: Erez Lieberman-Aiden
Project Director: Chad Shaw
Project Director: Melissa Bailar


Outright: $40,000 

To support: A two-day workshop and follow-up activities for early modern literature scholars, linguists, and computer scientists to consider how the Bookworm textual analysis tool could be used with the Early English Books Online-Text Creation Partnership corpus.


University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
Project Andvari

Project Director: Worthy Martin
Project Director: Lilla Kopar (Catholic University of America)
Project Director: Daniel Pitti
Project Director: Nancy Wicker (University of Mississippi)
Outright: $74,577

To support: Pilot implementation of Project Andvari, an online portal to aggregate digital collections of northern European, early medieval art and artifacts from a range of cultural institutions.


Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA)
Ancient Graffiti Project: Tools for Analyzing Personal Communication Project

Project Director: Rebecca Benefiel
Project Director: Sara Sprenkle
Outright: $74,592

To support: Prototype development of a web-based resource documenting handwritten inscriptions found within the ruins of the early Roman Empire, with a focus on the town of Herculaneum as a pilot case.