The NEH Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) is offering Start-Up Grants again this year. These small grants (maximum award of $60,000) are designed to help plan and initiate projects that either use digital technology to advance the humanities in new ways, or that study the impact of digital technology on culture. It is often thought that the digital humanities is primarily focused on literary scholarship, but a quick look at ODH Start-Up Grants shows how many historical projects have benefited from this funding stream. The AHA hopes to see even more.
Many of the recently funded projects deal with creating or disseminating knowledge of the past in some form. Start-Up Grants often support workshops to initiate the planning of larger subsequent collaborations. Historians, geographers, and information scientists will come together at the World-Historical Gazetteer Workshop at the University of Pittsburgh later this year to explore the possibility of creating a gazetteer that will provide comprehensive databases of places across the globe since 1500. Another workshop—Visualizing the History of the Black Press in the United States—at Johns Hopkins University will take an interdisciplinary approach to developing digital visualization tools for the historical exploration of black newspapers in America. Utilizing sophisticated digital authorship attribution techniques, a project called Is that You Mr Lincoln?, based at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and Duquesne University, is working to identify anonymous writings from Lincoln’s early career. These three historically focused projects are just a few examples that show the range and historical potential of work funded by ODH Start-Up Grants.
The deadline for applications this year is September 11. Historians interested in applying would be advised to contact the ODH via e-mail to discuss their projects.