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Digital Humanities: Defining Digital Humanities

Recommended readings on issues and trends in the Digital Humanities for Haiti Humanities Lab participants

Definition of Digital Humanities

“A digital humanities center is an entity where new media and technologies are used for humanities-based research, teaching, and intellectual engagement and experimentation. The goals of the center are to further humanities scholarship, create new forms of knowledge, and explore technology’s impact on humanities based disciplines. To accomplish these goals, a digital humanities center undertakes some or all of the following activities:

  • builds digital collections as scholarly or teaching resources; creates tools for 
    >authoring (i.e., creating multimedia products and applications with minimal technical knowledge or training)
    >building digital collections
    analyzing humanities collections, data, or research processes
    >managing the research process;
  • uses digital collections and analytical tools to generate new intellectual products;
  • offers digital humanities training (in the form of workshops, courses, academic degree programs, postgraduate and faculty training, fellowships, and internships);
  • offers lectures, programs, conferences, or seminars on digital humanities topics for general or academic audiences;
  • has its own academic appointments and staffing (i.e., staff does not rely solely on faculty located in another academic department);
  • provides collegial support for, and collaboration with, members of other academic departments within the DHC’s home institution (e.g., offers free or fee-based consultation services; enters into collaborative projects with other campus departments);
  • provides collegial support for, and collaboration with, members of other academic departments, organizations, or projects outside the DHC’s home institution (e.g., offers free or fee-based consultation to outside groups; enters into collaborative projects with external groups);
  • conducts research in humanities and humanities computing (digital scholarship);
  • creates a zone of experimentation and innovation for humanists;
  • serves as an information portal for a particular humanities discipline;
  • serves as a repository for humanities-based digital collections (e.g., Web sites, electronic text projects, QuickTime movie clips);
  • provides technology solutions to humanities departments (e.g., serves an information”

Diane M. Zorich  “A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States.” November 2008. Pages 4-5.

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