April 19, 2010
By Elisabeth Grant
Just a month ago the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced it was using $16 million to fund 286 humanities projects (we noted this in the April 1 edition of What We’re Reading). The grants were offered in 15 categories. One of the categories is Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants, meant to “encourage innovations in the digital humanities by supporting the planning stages of projects.”
The NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) has listed the 18 awards being given within the Digital Humanities Star-Up Grants category. The variety of projects being funded is fascinating, including development of mobile phone applications, a number of archives and databases (of images, research notes, flap books, genealogical data, to name a few), and more.
Here are 5 of the 18 funded projects (with short descriptions from the ODH site), follow the links below for more information on each, or go to the ODH site for a full list of the 18 projects.
- Historic Overlays on Smart Phones
City of Philadelphia, Department of Records— Philadelphia, PA
To support: The development of prototype mobile phone applications that would allow users to see historic photographs of Philadelphia in the actual city locations by pointing the phone camera at the building, a technique known as "augmented reality."
- Crowdsourcing Documentary Transcription: an Open Source Tool
George Mason University—Fairfax, VA
To support: The development of an open source tool that would allow scholars to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects.
- Gesture, Rhetoric, and Digital Storytelling
Georgia Tech Research Corporation—Atlanta, GA
To support: The refinement of a system for describing how different cultures use gesture as part of storytelling traditions along with the development of a prototype mobile application to capture that non‑verbal communication as part of a digital narrative.
- African‑American Families Database: Community Formation in Albemarle County, Virginia, 1850‑1880
Sweet Briar College—Sweet Briar, VA
To support: A pilot study for a collaborative online African‑American Families Database recording and displaying genealogical and geographical data tracking generations of 19th‑century descendants of individuals on two antebellum slave lists.
- Sustaining Digital History
University of Nebraska, Board of Regents— Lincoln, NE
To support: A series of planning meetings with the editors of several print journals in history to explore various models of digital scholarship and publishing.
Again, visit the ODH site for a full list of the 18 projects.