ACRL establishes new Digital Scholarship Section

The Association of College and Research Libraries has established a new Digital Scholarship Section, effective September 1, 2017. The petition from the following interest groups was successful: Digital Curation Interest Group, Digital Humanities Interest Group, and the Numeric and Geospatial Data Services in Academic Libraries Interest Group.

Quoting Krista White, co-convenor of the DHIG: “The move from individual Interest Groups to a Section represents the importance, scope, and breadth of digital scholarship to the information and library profession. Through the formation of a Section, individuals from a wide range of interests will be brought together to share their curiosity and expertise in an effort to understand, define, and create the future direction for digital scholarship as it relates to the organization, preservation, curation, analysis, visualization, and communication of digital works.”

Here is the original acceptance letter sent by Mary Ellen K. Davis, Executive Director of ACRL:

Thank you for submitting your request for the establishment of the Digital Scholarship Section (DSS) for Board consideration. I am delighted to inform you that the ACRL Board of Directors via virtual vote during February 17–23, 2017, approved the establishment of the Digital Scholarship Section to begin September 1, 2017 with the name, charge, leadership, and structure listed below. The Board also simultaneously approved to dissolve the Digital Curation Interest Group, Digital Humanities Interest Group, and Numeric and Geospatial Data Services in Academic Libraries Interest Group.  The Board was delighted to receive your proposal and commented on how thoughtful and well developed it was. They were also pleased to have this new section as a new way to address the current interests of ACRL members.

  • Name: Digital Scholarship Section (DSS)
  • Charge: To provide a forum for ACRL members engaged in exploring, adapting, and implementing emerging digital scholarship services. This includes the topics of digital  curation in support of the lifecycle management of research; digital humanities to cultivate a community of practice involved in digital humanities research and development; and connecting researchers with numeric and geospatial data that is compiled by others. This section will sponsor discussions or programs that share the ways in which libraries are working toward these topics using scalable, efficient, and sustainable methods. This section will inform and educate librarians on digital scholarship trends and new technologies and collaborate with other organizations within the library profession and academe on issues concerning digital scholarship.
  • Leadership: The Executive Committee will be chaired initially by the incoming convener of the Digital Curation Interest Group (Brianna Marshall). The chair will select no less than two members of the inaugural Executive Committee from the incoming or current leadership of both the DHIG and the NGDSIG. The Recorder of the DCIG will serve as Secretary on the Executive Committee.
  • Committees: Executive Committee, Research Data Management (RDM) Committee, Data Q, Data Information Literacy Committee, Digital Curation Committee, Digital Collections Committee, Digital Preservation Committee, Digital Humanities Committee, Digital Librarianship Committee, Numeric and Geospatial Data Services Committee (NGDS), Publications and Outreach Committee, Conference Program Planning Committee, Website Coordinating Committee, Nominating Committee, Education Committee 

ACRL Program Officer Megan Griffin will serve as the section’s staff liaison. Megan will work to update the ACRL Directory of Leadership and ACRL materials to reflect the new section. Megan will also help orient Brianna and the other leadership in their roles.  ACRL Vice-President Cheryl Middleton will be assigning a Board liaison to your section and we will let you know when the appointment is made (typically in April or May).

The Board and staff look forward to working with you and hearing of the accomplishments of the newly approved Digital Scholarships Section.

Mary Ellen K. Davis

Executive Director
Association of College and Research Libraries

The original submission request:

Open data: promise, but not enough progress from G20 countries – Transparency International

Transparency International is an organization devoted to stopping the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals perpetrated by government, individuals, and businesses:

“Open data is a pretty simple concept: governments should publish information about what they do – data that can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose.

“This is particularly important in the fight against corruption. In 2015 the Group of 20 (G20) governments agreed on a set of G20 Anti-Corruption Open Data Principles. These principles aim to make crucial data public specifically because they can help stop corruption. Publishing this data would allow civil society to monitor things like the use of public resources and taxes, the awarding of public contracts, and the sources of political party finance. It would make it easier to hold governments to account and deter criminal activities like bribery and nepotism.”

Transparency International has 6 Principles of Open Data:

(from their website)

For more information on the challenges of getting open data, check out their most recent post:

GIS Data, Social Justice and the Bill “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017″

My original intent of this blog was to write about the professional issues–training, project development, data and project management, thoughtful critical analysis on the digital humanities, etc. as they pertain to academic librarianship. I feel compelled to expand that scope to include political issues. Below is an announcement that appeared on the Humanist list January 31st that I believe is worth sharing.

Dear Geographers,

We are writing to bring your attention to the US HR 482 and SB 103, which are an attack on the collection, storage, and distribution of geospatial information, antiracism work, and affordable housing (see below). The text of the bill <>, “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017,” will nullify HUD’s 2015 “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” report to “have no force or effect,” and does so by eliminating the data to support social change.

In other words, the bill stands at odds with the pursuit of knowledge about human geography, including census data. The bill would prohibit a significant amount of the work we do on race, racism, and fair housing in the US, as well as GIS research more broadly, all of which thwart work towards social justice. A key section reads as follows:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be used to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing.

We encourage feedback, wisdom, and action among our respective lists, AAG specialty groups, other collectives and collegial relationships, and the AAG leadership. We ask you to share word about this bill with colleagues in other disciplines and on social media, using the hashtags #datarefuge and #datarescue when doing so to connect this issue to larger issues of public data and public data collection erasure, obfuscation, and elimination. We also encourage US citizens to reach out to your congressional representatives or to organize from afar in solidarity to stop this bill. Full links to the Senate and House bills are below.

Thanks to Euan Hague for bringing this to the CRIT-GEOG list’s attention, and for Reed Underwood’s response.

Onward together,
Jack Gieseking, Trinity College
Emily Mitchell-Eaton, USCS
Hector Agredano, CUNY Graduate Center
Elizabeth R. Johnson, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Naomi Adiv, Portland State University
Ryan Burns, University of Calgary

Jen Jack Gieseking
Assistant Professor of Public Humanities
American Studies Program, Trinity College
300 Summit Street, Hartford, CT  06106

The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory: new Digital Humanities section

Beginning in the 2016 volume, The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory has a new section on the digital humanities. Written by Anthony Mandal:

"The digital humanities continue to grow within the academy, moving from earlier concentrations on tools development towards more sustained conceptual encounters with our increasingly digital culture. A number of recent publications have introduced the key terms of reference for digital humanistic practice to those unacquainted or uninitiated with current developments in the field. Nevertheless, the longstanding paucity of engagement with theory in the digital humanities has been critiqued as constructing a field that is fundamentally instrumental and un-self-reflexive. This chapter considers seven publications from 2015 that go some way to addressing this lacuna in their demonstration of digital humanities scholarship as not only open to, but capable of, persuasive and nuanced explorations of theory. This manifests itself in various ways: presenting the digital humanities as an inter- or transdisciplinary practice that reconfigures and replenishes the broader traditions of studia humanitatis; in the form of a new ‘digital rhetoric’ that brings production and usage ever closer; or as part of an emergent ecology of ‘knowledge machines’ that draw on the ‘mathematization’ of information. The chapter also considers works that analyse the role of digital media in wider culture, particularly through the affordances and constraints of the social media platforms of Web 2.0."

CONFERENCE: Digital Infrastructure for Named Entities Data

Digital Infrastructure for Named Entities Data
Leipzig, Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Digital Humanities, January
11-13, 2017

The Leipzig Humboldt Chair for Digital Humanities and Pelagios Commons,
within the Global Philology Project and with the support of the BMBF, are
offering a conference to make the point about existing infrastructures and
needs in the field of Named Entities Data.

We use “Named Entities” in a larger sense than usual, not just in terms of
simple “proper names”, but as real expressions of cultural/cognitive
patterns in the representation of geospatial and social information as they
appear in premodern sources. The discussion will include spatial
descriptions as community knowledge, graphic representations of the world,
prosopographies, social networks, movements of people across time and
space, classification and relations of toponyms and personal names. We will
focus on several language domains, including Ancient Greek and Latin,
Arabic, Chinese, Syriac and Hebrew.

Our aim is to make the point about what has been done in this field and to
discuss common issues and opportunities of developing an infrastructure
that is shared across historical languages.


Venue: Bibliotheca Albertina Conference Hall, Beethovenstrasse 6, 04107

January 11

Research area 1: “Representing Named Entities”

9:30-10:00: Welcome and opening remarks: Chiara Palladino (Universität
Leipzig and Bari)

10:00-10:30: Mark Depauw (University of Leuven), Trismegistos and the
complexities of Named Entities of the Ancient World

10:30-11:00: Sergio Brillante (Università di Bari and Reims), Reading a
Greek Periplous: between lexicon, toponymy and space representation

11:00-11:15: coffee break

11:15-11:45: Ryan Horne (University of North Carolina), People, Places,
and Time: Representing Entities In the Big Ancient Mediterranean Project

11:45-12:15: Yanne Broux (University of Leuven), TM Networks: visualizing
relations in Trismegistos

12:15-12:45: Chet Van Duzer (University of Mississippi), Why do we have
no classical mappaemundi? Some thoughts by way of mosaics

12:45-14:15: Lunch

14:15-14:45: Kurt Franz (Universität Tübingen), Obsessed with Names?
Hodology and Topology, Vision and Factualism in Arabic Geographies

14:45-15:15: Alexandr Podossinov (Russian Academy of Sciences – Institute
of World History), Sprachliche Repräsentation des geographischen Raums in
der Antike

15:15-15:45: Guenther Goerz and Martin Thiering (Universität
Nürnberg-Erlangen), Spatial Cognition in Historical Geographic Texts and
Maps: Methodologies and Theories

15:45-16:00: coffee break

16:00-16:30: Veronica Bucciantini (Università di Firenze), FGrHist V:
Editorial and Conceptual problems of a geographical Project

16:30-17:00: Thomas Carlson (Vanderbilt University), Named Concepts
Between Reality and Imagination:’s Approaches to Historical
Places and Persons

January 12

Research area 2 : “Classifying and linking Named Entities”

9:30-10:00: Opening remarks: Maxim Romanov (Universität Leipzig)

10:00-10:30: Maurizio Lana (Università del Piemonte Orientale), The narrow
and the wide gate: why we must enter both. or: why to blend automatic
parsing and annotation with ontology-based annotation

10:30-11:00: Vincent Razanajao (Université de Liège), Egyptian places and
place names in a digital world: a framework for modelling and analysing an
ancient space

11:00-11:15: coffee break

11:15-11:45: Francesco Mambrini and Wolfgang Schmidle (iDAI Berlin), Persons
and Places in the iDAI.publications

11:45-12:15: Stuart Dunn (King’s College London), Inscriptions engraved on
the soil: Digital approaches to place in Cyprus

12:15-12:45: Lukas Müller (Universität Erlangen), Prosopography and its
Problems in the Digital Edition of the Inscriptions of Metropolis in Ionia

12:45-14:15: Lunch

14:15-14:45: Neven Jovanovic and Alex Simrell (University of Zagreb), Digital
commenting on place names in early modern Latin texts

14:45-15:15: Valeria Vitale (ICS London), Named entities for cross
cultural places: languages, boundaries, identities. The case of CALCS and
the Arabic place-names of classical sites

15:15-15:45: Masoumeh Seydi Gheranghiyeh (Universität Leipzig), TBA

15:45-16:00: coffee break

16:00-16:30: Dagmar Schäfer (Max Planck Institut, Berlin), Local Gazetters
and named entities recognition. Grand corpuses of Classical Chinese

16:30-17:00: Johan Åhlfeldt (Lund University), The Digital Atlas of the
Roman Empire (working title)

January 13

Research area 3: “Towards a cross-disciplinary infrastructure for Named
Entities in historical languages”

9:30-10:00: Keynote: Gregory Crane (Universität Leipzig / Tufts University)

10:00-10:30: Sinai Rusinek (Van Leer University), Kima: Places in a

10:30-11:00: Elton Barker (Open University), Investigating place:
annotation, links, transformation

11:00-11:30: coffee break

11:30-12:00: Hilde De Weerdt (University of Leiden), Named Entity
Recognition for Classical Chinese: Issues and Prospects

12:00-12:30: Brady Kiesling (Laskaridis Foundation), ToposText: Toward an
Ecosystem of Free-Range Big Data in the Classics

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-17:00: Round table and report (with coffee)

Attendance is free and very much welcome.

For further information please visit: http://www.dh.uni-leipz