NEH Start-Up Grant White Papers (Part III)

January 21, 2010

This is Part III of a series of posts highlighting recent white papers from completed Start Up Grants (Parts I and II also available).

Numerous ODH programs (and some programs in other NEH divisions and offices) require the grantee to submit a "white paper" at the conclusion of the grant.  In ODH, we publish these white papers in our Funded Project Query Form.  In the white paper, the grantee provides a summary of the grant activities, what they learned, recommended best practices, and even what they might have done differently.  By making these white papers freely available, members of the public -- including other prospective applicants -- can learn from what has already been done and build upon it.

Below are summaries of three recent white papers added to our library.  Click on the title to access the download page if you'd like to read the full white paper.

Archive 2.0: Imagining the Michigan State University Israelite Samaritan Scroll Collection
Michigan State University

Project Director:  William Hart-Davidson
Abstract: This project worked with Michigan State University units and the A.B. Samaritan Institute in Holon, Israel to create, using the latest in Web 2.0 technologies, an accessible, useable and living archive for the Israelite Samaritan community in Holon and Nabulus as well as biblical scholars. To facilitate this work we will digitize over the next several years three 15th century Israelite Samaritan Pentateuch scrolls, and provide a unique suite of tools to help facilitate collaboration: social networking, tagging, social bookmarking, zoomify view, and multilingual support. The aim is to bring together two distinct groups of users - textual scholars and members of the Israelite Samaritan community - both of whom have a significant stake in the cultural and scholarly value of the Samaritan Archive, via an online environment in which they can view and interpret the Samaritan texts, interact with members of their respective communities, and interact with one another.

Ashes2Art: Virtual Reconstructions of Ancient Monuments
Coastal Carolina University

Project Directors:  Arne Flaten & Alyson Gill
Abstract: Ashes2Art combines cutting-edge digital technologies, art history, archaeology, graphic and web design, animation and digital photography to recreate monuments of the ancient past. The project provides an extraordinary opportunity for faculty and students from various universities to combine skills from disparate disciplines in a web-based project available worldwide using open-source software. Faculty and students conduct focused research on specific monuments, visit the locations (when possible), shoot digital panoramas, write essays that summarize various opinions, document those sources with an extended bibliography and construct immersive 3D models based on published archaeological reports.That research is then published online utilizing technologies including Adobe Photoshop, Google Earth, SketchUp, Panoweaver, Tourweaver, Studio Max 3D, Cinema 4D, RealViz 5.0 Stitcher, Dreamweaver, Adobe Director and Macromedia Flash animation.

Digital Tools (AXE)

University of Maryland

Project Director:  Doug Reside 
Abstract: The Ajax XML Encoder (AXE), developed at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), will revolutionize the production of electronic editions and digital archives.  AXE is a web-based tool for "tagging" text, video, audio, and image files with XML metadata, a process that is now a necessary but onerous first step in the production of digital material.  With an intutitive, web-based interface, AXE will make this process more efficient and accurate.  It will also facilitate collaboration in the digital humanities by permitting multiple scholars to work on the same document or archive at the same time from various locations, and will track all work so that variant versions can be collated and all versions can be archived. The open source AXE will provide a free and better alternative for tagging all kinds of digital content in a web-based and multi-medial digital environment