1) Electronic texts and encoding: the web and HTML, while easy to undertake, are not comprehensive or robust enough to address the needs of scholars interested in textual analysis. SGML, in particular a DTD designed for humanities scholarship, the TEI, is currently the accepted standard among scholars. Digitization of primary resources, which includes non-textual resources such as images, original artwork, video and audio
2) Digitization of primary resources: while there are overlaps with #1 above, this also includes non-textual resources such as images, original artwork, video, and audio. See, for example, the Ovid Project or Godey's Lady's Book web site (http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/gallery.html)
3) Computer mediated communication - in some ways the broadest category
including everything from utilizing electronic discussion groups or
real-time electronic discussion, to creating hypertext fiction, to
analyzing cyborg theory, and other deconstructionists' delights.
What can a Humanities Computing Specialist do to encourage and support UVMers doing humanities computing?
1) Learn the tools and provide models: CIT and the libraries are pursuing a grant from Electronic Book Technologies (EBT) to acquire their suite of SGML tools. The suite will be installed on B/H library servers. Initial training in these tools will be undertaken by myself and Elizabeth Dow of Special Collections. In addition to two initial test projects, we will also develop models and methodologies for faculty and students who wish to create their own digital texts or who wish to use digital texts in their work.
2) Arrange traditionally accepted ways to introduce the tools and concepts
of the electronic humanities through:
a) a joint lecture series with B/H, Humanities Center, and ACS focusing on these topics (I've begun to discuss this with Tom Simone)
b) week-long practica on "electrifying" courses. This would go beyond the basic "how to create a web page" and include things like making good use of a newsgroup, web resources (like electronic texts instead of paper bound ones!) and be structured for the needs of humanities disciplines.
c) a Humanities Center web site
3) Marketing: Pursue faculty on their own ground. Clarify what services are needed and what can be offered; work with A&S tech. coordinator to identify needs, etc.
4) Provide a testing ground for new tools and investigate and test new applications.