DH thrives at the Library

Through January, we’re publishing year-in-review highlights from FY2020. Download a full PDF of this year’s Annual Report to read more!

Digital Humanities is, by necessity and by design, interdisciplinary and collaborative, branching across the University from traditional humanist disciplines into 21st century philosophy and ethics, aesthetics, world cultures, and social justice. DH research often brings together seemingly disparate areas of study, as with the inaugural Victorian Data Conference, a national conference held at UVA in November 2019 and co-sponsored by the Library’s Scholars’ Lab, the Data Science Institute, and the Humanities Informatics Lab. But what do nineteenth-century studies have to do with data? Victorianists, like other academic researchers, need to capture and visualize data in order to create archives, maps, and 3D models; and to study and interpret everything from book history to social networks. The conference offered participants the opportunity to learn about and share research through roundtables, panels and presentations, and poster sessions. Library staff executing the event include Alison Booth, Sherri Brown, and Laura Miller.

Another DH first this year was the Women’s Maker Program, run by Fang Yi, Maggie Nunley, Jennifer Roper, and Arin Bennett, and created to improve gender equality in library makerspaces and STEM fields. The program was sponsored by the Charles L. Brown Endowment and the Library’s Robertson Media Center. The inaugural cohort of six UVA students were to spend the spring semester learning and using maker technologies in Clemons Library, but the program had to go online in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Final projects were completed and showcased on YouTube, and plans are underway to expand the program in the coming year by collaborating with other UVA schools.

One Makerspace event that did come off as planned was a Valentine’s Day Maker Workshop, run by Ammon Shepherd as part of the Scholars’ Lab Makerspace workshop series. Attendees were invited to “make a Valentines gift for your special someone.” Projects included candy heart buttons and 3D printed heart bookmarks.


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