Building DH Capacity Workshop

Building DH Capacity Workshop

Presentation: Slides and notes available here.

Using the Claremont Colleges Library as a case study, this workshop offers ideas and suggestions about how to build capacity within the library and the broader campus community to support and advance digital humanities projects and digital scholarship, more broadly. Through workshops, a summer institute, and introductory short courses for faculty, grad students, and librarians, the Claremont Colleges Library has become an integral part of the DH community and digital skilling process at the colleges. The library offers services that align with its traditional mission, and librarians position themselves as digital scholars in their own right and potential collaborators on faculty projects.

To meet the needs of interested but inexperienced faculty members, Digital Scholarship Coordinator, Dr. Ashley Sanders, offers a six-week course to introduce Digital Humanities concepts and methodologies. Each week, participants examine a different trend or methodology, including data visualization, spatial and temporal visualizations, network analysis, and topic modeling. To build capacity to support DH projects at the Claremont Colleges, she also facilitates a series of professional development workshops on a range of digital scholarship topics specifically for librarians, including a five-week course on DH, DH project consultations, digital identity and security, author rights, copyright and fair use, and more. The course and workshop series will be presented, along with commentary about what has worked well so far and lessons learned.


In this 3.5-hour long workshop, participants will follow design thinking principles and use a technique called “gamestorming” to develop:

  • A definition of their own ideal DH community of practice
  • An initial list of current knowledge, skills, and interest levels at their campus
  • A list of potential areas of interest to focus on (i.e., data analysis & visualization, topic modeling, GIS, multimedia publication with Omeka or Scalar, etc.)
  • An initial inventory of the infrastructure they will need in place to support their DH community
  • Ideas about how to fill gaps in that infrastructure
  • A list of campus champions or potential champions and other support structures

In short, participants will walk away with an initial plan of action to begin building capacity for DH work, complete with resources, contacts for further information, tips, tricks, and best practices.

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