The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York is awarding a $500,000 grant to Indiana University to support the HathiTrust Research Center. IU says the grant will allow the center to develop reusable worksets and research models from the 17-million-volume HathiTrust Digital Library.
The project, called Scholar-Curated Worksets for Analysis, Reuse & Dissemination, intends to develop new methods for creating and analyzing digital collections. IU says the effort will focus on content related to historically under-resourced and marginalized textual communities.
The HTRC, according to the university, aims to provide tools and services computational research on the growing collection of digital texts on the HathiTrust library. IU says the SCWAReD project will examine different ways to digitally preserve research artifacts that can ‘serve as reusable models for the entire digital research lifecycle.’
“Our focus on historically under-resourced and marginalized texts and communities will allow us to highlight the diversity of the collection and identify gaps where that diversity may be lacking,” said Dr. John Walsh, director of the HTRC. “We expect that the reusable worksets and research models will facilitate outreach and extend the use of HTRC tools and services into new research communities and in the classroom.”
IU says Dr. Stephen Downie, co-director of the HTRC and associate dean for research in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will lead the Illinois team. Downie’s team is responsible for research support and tool development.
“Because the SCWAReD project encourages scholars to preserve and document their most significant research artifacts—from their worksets and the principles that went into creating and curating them, to the algorithms that are used to interrogate them, as well as the data that is derived or produced during analysis—reviewers and other researchers will be in a much better position to replicate, refute, or build on their findings,” said Downie. “The work produced as part of SCWAReD will have a clear and transparent provenance and rigor that are rare in contemporary digital textual scholarship.”
IU says SCWAReD is planning to partner with the University of Kansas’s Project on the History of Black Writing for the initial curated collection and research model.