Digital Humanities Special Interest Group: Annual Meeting Notes

For those who were able to join us in Salt Lake City, feel free to comment below with any important points that were missed.

The Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 27th at 12:30pm.


The new DH SIG coordinator, Ellen Tisdale of the University of Manitoba, was introduced to attendees.

The Digital Humanities Bibliography by John Taormina of Duke is now available on the Dukewired site as a PDF.

  • Around the room, updates on what’s new with DH at our institutions
  • Collections as Data – Cohort 2 – Additional calls for projects will come out in the fall. These are well funded by the Mellon foundation and may be applied to broader DH types of projects.
  • A member mentioned the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching: HILT opportunity
  • University of Utah has 5 pilot projects this year with collections as data


  • Are any members interested in contributing to the SIG Blog? Those of you that have DH related degrees or programs at your institution, please make sure they’re represented on the blog.
  • Suggested blog area: A Collection of Art-Specific DH projects to list on our blog
    • It was noted that this project is underway, and that we can coordinate with other groups within ARLIS/NA that are taking the lead on this.
  • It may be time to review our SIG Mission statement, written in 2012. Please take a look at our statement on the blog and forward any thoughts on potential updates to Ellen.

Communication preferences

  • Maintain our separate dh-sig list or just use ARLIS-L?
  • We have a blog, a Twitter account, and an inactive Slack channel
  • Members expressed the importance of both a Twitter account and a sig-specific listserv.

Ideas for session proposals for the 2020 conference

  • Members expressed an interest in an open access GIS tools workshops and workshops/sessions devoted to other open access DH related tools.
  • GIS 101 could be a useful session – geared towards those with no previous experience with GIS. Ellen would be ready to coordinate this session.
  • GIS plays into the Getty Provenance index and reconciling geo names. Getty vocabularies just built a tool that will work with open refine and can reconcile to the thesaurus of geographic names.  Members also discussed the importance of the incorporation of native place names in such projects.  Should there be levels of access to certain DH data, such as culturally sensitive locations?  Communities should have input into what is done with cultural data.
  • Other workshop content ideas are Power BI and Tableau for data visualization and statistical mapping – and perhaps textual analysis tools. Perhaps there are art historians working with text analysis.
  • Also suggested was the use of exhibition data in DH projects as well as DH pedagogy and critical DH pedagogy, including ways to help faculty include DH in existing courses.


Summarized by Courtenay McLeland
March 27th, 2019

A long time ago, in a meeting room in Seattle…

Space Needle Restaurant
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “The Space Needle Restaurant” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 30, 2016.

It has been nearly three weeks since our joint DH SIG meeting in Seattle with our VRA colleagues. There were around 70 in attendance! Our conversation was full of ideas for supporting each other in our DH efforts, ways to communicate, and perhaps most significantly, to collaborate.

  • Guidance on preservation of DH research data and projects was identified as an area needing attention.
  • A SIG-fascilitated practicum was suggested where a group could work together on data sets using a variety of tools.
  • The NYC Digital Humanities group was suggested as a possible model for our SIG(s).
  • A DH Slack channel got many thumbs-up as a way to stay in touch.
  • Creating a knowledge base of SIG members with particular skills was also popular.
  • A list of MOOCs that offer relevant DH skills (Udacity was mentioned for programming languages) would be helpful.
  • Resources on project management would be useful. (A plug for SEI this summer which will include project management as part of the curriculum.)
  • A list of DH projects that SIG members are currently engaged in or have recently completed both to showcase our efforts and to serve as a resource.

Lastly, there was enthusiasm for ARLIS/NA DH SIG and the VRA DH SIG working together, either officially or unofficially. Duplicating efforts and splitting resources is inefficient and the meeting showed great camaraderie and interest in collaboration.

Using the communication channels we have established at this time- our blog, listserv (dh-sig [at] and @arlisdhsig– let’s keep the conversations going. If you want any of these ideas prioritized or want to take the lead on something, say so! Progress on these issues will be posted here. Thanks to all of you who attended, and to those of you who didn’t but have expressed interest in our SIG. We’ve got a really healthy membership and we’re positioned to do some great work in the next year!