Two Historians Receive ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) recently selected its 2015 class of Digital Innovation Fellows from a pool of competitive applicants pursuing advances in digital scholarship. Kim Gallon, assistant professor of history at Purdue University, and Daniel Smail, professor of history at Harvard University, are among the seven recipients.

The ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships help awardees develop new technologies and break barriers in the increasingly complex world of digital humanities. According to John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS, the 2015 fellows “will pioneer new techniques in textual analysis and sound studies, trace the far-flung lives of texts as they cross linguistic and national boundaries, and bring long underrepresented voices into the digital scholarly domain.”

Through “The Black Press Born-Digital Project,” Professor Gallon addresses current access limitations to American black historical newspapers. Using cutting-edge software, Gallon’s project will create four “born-digital” books on features from 19th- and 20th-century black newspapers, showing how journalism reaches the core of the African American experience.

Professor Smail’s winning project, “The Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe,” focuses on developing a digital inventory of thousands of artifacts found in museums and archaeological sites. By matching these artifacts with certain textual records that survive from the period, Smail hopes to provide an invaluable virtual resource to online museum collections.

The American Historical Association commends Professors Gallon and Smail on their achievement.

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