Long-Term Preservation of Digital Humanities Projects

Alex Gil, Columbia University
Simone Sacchi, Columbia University
Arden Kirkland, Syracuse University

Abstract

As Digital Humanities initiatives continue to grow in breadth and depth, the conversation has necessarily turned to questions of how to preserve the work that goes into such projects, as shown in the recent report on “Sustaining the Digital Humanities” (Maron & Pickle, 2014). This is especially true when institutional server space for live web projects (and the labor for their maintenance) continues to be at a premium. In this presentation we argue that leveraging the university repository might be a tool for overcoming this impasse for digital humanities projects which are imagined as archives, editions or exhibits, and we outline a working plan to help us achieve those goals. We provide two case studies in the form of two digital humanities project meant to disintegrate into the repository—one built with Omeka, the other with Scalar. These projects will be disassembled into several components that can allow for continued access to its digital assets and the future reconstruction of the original interface. Our approach is also dependent on building projects from the ground up oriented towards eventual 'graceful degradation' into the repository. In essence, we propose that digital humanities archives and exhibits become more feasible, affordable and sustainable if they are planned in such a way, provided university repositories are ready to receive them.

 
Apr 29th, 1:50 PM Apr 29th, 2:35 PM

Long-Term Preservation of Digital Humanities Projects

KIPJ D

As Digital Humanities initiatives continue to grow in breadth and depth, the conversation has necessarily turned to questions of how to preserve the work that goes into such projects, as shown in the recent report on “Sustaining the Digital Humanities” (Maron & Pickle, 2014). This is especially true when institutional server space for live web projects (and the labor for their maintenance) continues to be at a premium. In this presentation we argue that leveraging the university repository might be a tool for overcoming this impasse for digital humanities projects which are imagined as archives, editions or exhibits, and we outline a working plan to help us achieve those goals. We provide two case studies in the form of two digital humanities project meant to disintegrate into the repository—one built with Omeka, the other with Scalar. These projects will be disassembled into several components that can allow for continued access to its digital assets and the future reconstruction of the original interface. Our approach is also dependent on building projects from the ground up oriented towards eventual 'graceful degradation' into the repository. In essence, we propose that digital humanities archives and exhibits become more feasible, affordable and sustainable if they are planned in such a way, provided university repositories are ready to receive them.