Big Money for Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities AwardsOn July 20, 2010, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft or DFG) announced they have awarded $1.67 million to five international digital humanities projects.

The NEH/DFG Enriching Digital Collections Grants support collaborations between U.S. and German scholars to develop digitization projects that will benefit research in the humanities. Each project was sponsored jointly by an American and a German institution, whose activities will be funded by NEH and DFG respectively. The NEH provided $897,000 in grants while the DFG contributed approximately $772,000.

Brett Bobley, director of NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities, said, “Our partnership with the DFG has inspired scholars, librarians, and archivists in both Germany and the United States to work together on these groundbreaking projects that combine new technology with leading-edge scholarship.”

“The NEH/DFG cooperation has proved to be a fruitful framework for encouraging ambitious cooperative projects in the digital humanities,” said Christoph Kuemmel, program officer within DFGs Scientific Library Services and Information Services division. “These grants will make it possible to develop encoding standards, digitize large collections of text and materials, and integrate valuable existing databases from both sides of the ocean. It has been very satisfying to see digital collections being improved and enriched in such an innovative way.”

The following five digital humanities projects received grant funding:

  • German Sales 1930–45: Art Works, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy. An international collaboration between The Getty Research Institute, the Heidelberg University Library and the Art Library, National Museums in Berlin to create an open, searchable database of German art auction catalogues from 1930–45.
  • Sanskrit Lexical Sources: Digital Synthesis and Revision. An international partnership between the Sanskrit Library (Maharishi University of Management) and the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (CDSL) project (Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, Cologne University) to establish a digital Sanskrit lexical reference work.
  • The Hellespont Project: Integrating Arachne and Perseus. An international collaboration between Tufts University and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) to join together the digital holdings of Tufts Perseus Digital Library and the DAI’s Arachne into the largest collection of Greco-Roman materials online.
  • The Yemen Manuscript Digitization Initiative. An international collaboration between Princeton University and the Freie University, Berlin to preserve three private libraries and create an online resource for their dissemination; the project team will digitize 236 Arabic manuscripts in the fields of Islamic theology and law.
  • Digital Music Notation Data Model and Prototype Delivery System. An international collaboration between the University of Virginia and the University of Paderborn to develop the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) demonstration project in order to establish an open source, non-proprietary academic encoding standard for music notation.

For more about the DFG/NEH Digital Humanities Program and to apply for the next round of grants (deadline November 16, 2010) visit the Office of Digital Humanities web site.

Adapted from an NEH press release.

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