|Image courtesy Duke University
DH is currently caught in an existentialist dilemma despite the resulting dynamic dialogue between emerging technology and humanistic inquiry. Although DH comprises a scholarly humanities community of practice that is engaged in a wide variety of projects but that collectively values experimentation, collaboration, and making, it is a contentious label that signifies elitism and is characterized by a fetishization of technology and a lack of critical reflection. However it is defined, DH has had a significant impact on the academic landscape for more than a decade. Micah Vandegrift takes a page from Stephen Ramsay and calls for a "screwmaneutical approach," one which of re-imagines the place and role of the library is not simply as a place to get the right answers, or be directed to the correct resource, and that means browsability and playfulness. As Vandegrift put its,
"the“serve ‘em and send ‘em along” model is no longer serving a patronage whose information needs include planning, building and executing projects that utilize the strengths of librarianship."He recommends some excellent steps to take for those interested in diving into this area of DH. I've added some of my own an in a more holistic approach. I hope as a community of practice that this is useful:
1. Attend academic department events - scholars present their work at colloquia
2. Sign up to the department listservs and keep up with its social media
3. Connect with councils and committees - campus-wide initiatives
4. Get involved in online DH social networks - how about #digitalhumanities?
5. Follow Digital Humanities Now
6. THATCamp - a Humanities and Technology Camp that is an open and relatively inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot. There are camps across North America
7. Blogs - Lisa Spiro's blog is just one of many who delve into this topic
8. Join ACRL's Digital Humanities Humanities Discussion Group - Perhaps the most involved academic library group.
9. Digital Research Tools (DIRT) wiki
10. Follow the scholars - Is there a better way than using the web and keeping up with the latest researchers in the field of Digital Humanities by following some of the most involved scholars?