Glocal Notes Travels Around DH

This past Tuesday marked the final day of Around DH in 80 Days, a collaborative project that showcased a different digital humanities project from around the world every day for eighty days. Inspired by Jules Vernes’ classic novel, the project illustrates the diverse range of work that can be considered part of the “digital humanities.” Today, Glocal Notes is traveling Around DH and highlighting some of the projects from our service areas. Just in case you were wondering, there are plenty of copies of Vernes’ text in the library.

Image of the complete map of Around DH projects.

The complete Around DH map. / This image from is licensed under CC BY 3.0 US.

Around DH was started by Alex Gil, Digital Scholarship Coordinator at the Columbia University Libraries, and built with the help of many contributors. The first project was posted on June 22, 2014 and the last was published last week on September 9, 2014.

The project was motivated by the desire to highlight the disciplinary and regional diversity of digital humanities projects. Indeed, as you can see from the map above, multiple projects from every continent were included. If you are wondering what, exactly, digital humanities is all about, a look at some of the projects highlighted here should give you a better idea.

The concept behind Around DH is simple: every day for eighty days, a new digital humanities project appeared on the map. Crowdsourced suggestions for projects to include were submitted by contributors from around the world. The editorial team selected and wrote up the projects which were featured on the website. Each project is accompanied by a description of its scope and coverage. Most of these descriptions are rather brief, providing just enough information to give you a sense of the project before directing you to the project itself. Finally, the website was designed according to minimal computing principles, so as to be accessible in places with limited bandwidth.

Below are just a few examples of Around DH projects from our service areas here at the International & Area Studies Library. Visit to learn more about the project and see what other resources it has to offer. You can also follow along, or share additional projects, using the hashtag #arounddh on Twitter.

Day 10: Aluka

Aluka is a collaborative project to build a digital library of scholarly sources “from and about Africa” tailored to an undergraduate student audience.

East Asia
Day 1: Frog in a Well | 井底之蛙

This project, the first one to be featured, is a blog dedicated to publishing open-source scholarship about China, Japan, and Korea. Its name comes from an East Asian proverb that highlights the importance of openness and collaboration.

Eastern Europe
Day 76: Digitális Irodalmi Akadémia

This project is a “digital academy” of living Hungarian authors. Beyond providing digital access to the texts themselves, the project includes a rich collection of supplementary materials contributed by the authors.

European Union
Day 24: Quijote interactivo

Quijote interactivo is a beautiful digital edition of Cervantes’ Don Quijote. It is a high quality reproduction of the first edition of the work that allows the reader to turn the pages and search the full-text. Supplementary materials about the novel are included as well.

Latin America & the Caribbean
Day 16: Memorias de la Patagonia Austral

This project aims to provide access the a rich collection of primary source materials about the Patagonia region. It includes a wide variety of materials, ranging from newspaper articles to oral histories.

Middle East & North Africa
Day 52: AlexCinema

This project aims to preserve the history of Egyptian cinema, specifically in Alexandria. The film-making tradition in the city is over 100 years old and AlexCinema is an extensive bibliography documenting that tradition and its modern-day revival.

South Asia
 Day 33: Indian Memory Project

The Indian Memory project is an online archive dedicated to the history of the Indian subcontinent. It includes a variety of resources, including images and oral histories.

Europeana- Europe’s largest digital library is an internet portal that provide access to millions of digital and digitized books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe. It is so far the largest digital library in Europe.

One of the logos of the Europeana Digital Library.

One of the logos of the Europeana Digital Library.

This project began in 2005 as a conversation among national leaders in European countries about building an integrated library to share European culture with the world. The result of this conversation was the creation of European Digital Library Network (EDLnet), launched in 2008 with the Beta version. It started with 4.5 million cross-discipline, cross-domain digital items from over 1,000 contributing organizations all across Europe, including national libraries, galleries and museum collections, and so on. Europeana came out to replace EULnet in February 2009. This collection hit 10 million digital objects in 2010. Up till today, more than 2,000 institutions across Europe have contributed to Europeana, some of the best known ones include Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Library and the Louvre. There are also plenty of regional and local collections, including archives and museums from members of the European Union contributing to this collection. Some interesting items in this collection include digitized Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, the works of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music pieces.

With such an impressive collection, Europeana tries to make active use of its digital objects and share them with the world. To achieve this goal, they work hard on customizing their website. Their browsing and search functions are also well designed. They set up different organizing groups for browsing: fields, titles, creators, subjects, dates/ periods, places for browsing. When users search a term, the search box will show up other relevant and more specific search terms as a drop-down list to choose from.
Serving as an online portal, Europeana does not have the full content available on their website. However, on every item’s record page, a link guides users to the host library. Users can follow the link to the host library to use the materials. Europeana contributing libraries have open download link to their digital materials. On an item’s record page, there are links to share on social networks, or sent to email. There is also a Wikipedia link so that users can read more about it on Wiki. Also, the record can also be translated into 40 major languages around the world.

    Interior de les Àligues, posteriorment seu de la Universitat de Girona. (Public domain image accessed through the Europeana Digital Library.)

Interior de les Àligues, posteriorment seu de la Universitat de Girona. (Public domain image accessed through the Europeana Digital Library.)

Another neat feature of Europeana is that curates digital exhibitions on various themes. They bring up items related to the theme and attach them with detailed information. This collection is still growing: check the new content page for their recent additions. They are also experimenting with new projects, such as 3D ICONS ( digitizing archaeological monuments and buildings in 3D), ATHENA (aggregating museum content and promotes standards for museum digitization and metadata), Europeana Regia (digitizing royal manuscripts from Medieval and Renaissance Europe), and many more.


Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP) @ Illinois

Today’s blog post will introduce you to the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP), an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Illinois focused on studying cultural heritage and museum practices around the world within the context of globalization.

This University Center is headed by Dr. Helaine Silverman – an esteemed professor in the Department of Anthropology with appointments in other University departments, including Art History and Landscape Architecture. CHAMP is comprised of faculty and graduate students at the University of Illinois, visiting scholars, distinguished lecturers, and others who share the center’s major concerns, such as stakeholders’ competing claims to heritage and history, heritage conservation and preservation, and memory work. In keeping with its interdisciplinary nature, individuals involved with the center come from an eclectic array of disciplines, including American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Global Studies, Landscape Architecture, Library and Information Science, and Political Science.

In pursuit of critical dialogue and research, CHAMP sponsors and hosts a number of conferences, film series, guest lectures, and other scholarly events on campus that promote discussions on cultural policies and practices of the past and present. Visit the CHAMP web site for a complete list of Spring 2014 upcoming events, including a much anticipated colloquium entitled The Controversial Dead. This program will be held May 1st , 2014 at Burrill Hall and will focus on how societies across the globe remember and treat their deceased. Featured lectures and discussions will engage questions such as who owns the past and “whose heritage do the dead constitute.” [i]

One of the center’s primary goals is to train students in heritage and museum theory: graduate students in Masters and Doctoral programs at the University of Illinois can become involved with CHAMP by pursuing the Heritage Studies minor and/or Museum Studies minor. The CHAMP website asserts its commitment to training “a new generation of heritage scholars, heritage managers and museum professionals capable of dealing with complex realities and of articulating progressive policies to local and national governments and other agencies,” [ii] including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The minors provided through CHAMP may be of special interest to students of archiving, library science, heritage management, or museology.

Machu Picchu on the eastern Andes mountains. A historic site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1983. Picture by Charles J Sharp via Wikimedia Commons.

Shortly after beginning graduate school, I was inspired to couple my own Masters curriculum in Library and Information Science and African Studies with a Museum Studies minor. I was interested in engaging the politics of representing identities as told by ‘often one-sided’ narratives in museum installations and dioramas — especially those displaying artifacts and objects with contested histories. While pursuing the Museum Studies minor, my research interests were mainly concerned with the importance of South African museums’ connection and contribution to global conversations on identity formation, marginalized narratives, and indigenous or traditional knowledge production. The District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa was often a research topic of mine since it stands out as a prime example of symbolic restitution and the transformation of South Africa’s heritage sector after the first democratic elections. Today, this small-scale community museum acts to restore a sense of belonging to more than 150,000 South African citizens who were systematically displaced from various areas in Cape Town during a painful legacy of apartheid.

A map on the ground floor of the District Six Museum in Cape Town; visitors who are former residents of District Six are invited to draw place markers on the map to remember their homes and other important localities. Picture re-posted via Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain.

The Museum Studies minor, consisting of an additional 16 hours of coursework from an approved list of graduate-level classes and a culminating capstone project, greatly enriched my program in African Studies and Library Science because much of the intangible and tangible heritage in continental Africa, such as artworks, performances and traditions, cannot be easily encapsulated in archives and library collections. I highly recommend this program if you are interested in complimenting your graduate degree with culturally enriching courses, practicums and projects.

Check out CHAMP’s latest projects, publications and updates by visiting the Center’s online newsletter. For online and print research resources on history, heritage, identity, globalization, and other interrelated topics from around the world be sure to visit the International and Area Studies Library or contact one of our area specialists.

[i] CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy). “The Controversial Dead: A Colloquium.” (Accessed March 16, 2014).

[ii] CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy). “The Significance of CHAMP in the Contemporary Globalizing World.” (Accessed March 16, 2014).

An Evening of Carnatic Violin Music

Mark your calendars folks, for “An Evening of Carnatic Violin Music.” This event will take place on April 1st, at 5 P.M. in the International and Area Studies Library (IASL). The library will be hosting violinists Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini who will be accompanied by mrindangam player Padmanabha Puthige.

Violin esignage

First things first, what exactly is Carnatic violin music? Carnatic music is mostly associated with South India, usually performed by an ensemble of performers. In this style of music the violin renders the melodic form and the mridangam renders the rhythmic form to the performance. Violinists Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini come from a long line of musicians. Kalaimamani Dr. M. Lalitha and Kalaimamani M. Nandini are the fourth generation of musicians in their family. Music critic Sabbudu has said, “Music runs in their blood, they must have played music even when they were in their mother’s womb.”

Having been called the “Queens of Violin,” they are also known as the “Violin Sisters.” They have “enthralled the audiences with their spell binding music and have been highly acclaimed throughout the world.”  Dr. M Lalitha and M. Nandini are the only female duo in Asia to perform World music, South Indian Classical, Fusion and Western Classical music. Lalitha and Nandini have been recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship from the United States, and the Charles Wallace Fellowship from the United Kingdom in performing arts.

If the fabulous music isn’t enough, there will also be a reception with free Indian snacks from Aroma Curry House. We think this is going to be a popular event and seating is limited so we recommend arriving a little bit early to secure a good spot.

For more information about the event check out the Facebook invite! The Music and Performing Arts Library has also put together a subject guide to introduce you to this musical style, available here. The subject guide even includes a video of the “Queens of Violin” performing in India, so you can have a taste of what’s to come. We hope to see you on April 1st!