NYU Abu Dhabi   Fall 2018 
CADT-UH 1018 001  Digital Curation 
Core: Arts, Design and Technology
Dr. David Joseph Wrisley  @DJWrisley
Office: A6 1151
Office hours MW 1530-1630, or by appt

Meeting time & place: MW 1315-1430,  C3 116


In this Arts, Design and Technology core course we examine what it means to be a curator of content online. We begin with basic questions: What is an author? What is a collection? Who is our audience? What are ways we curated collections before the digital age? In the digital age? We explore popular forms of curation in everyday life, historical examples and those found in contemporary social media (Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram stories, Storify, shareable playlists). We look at politics and trends in digitization and the open cultural data movement, exploring in theory and in practice what makes a digital object and what constitutes a web-based digital collection.  We examine a variety of open content management systems (bbpress, WordPress, Scalar and Drupal) and the ways they are used in the museum and academic sector for cultural heritage.  We will use, and critique, one of the most common platforms for academic exhibit building: omeka.org and neatline.org. Students will think about their own digital identity and citizenship, as well as their own social media practices, all the while building important data literacy skills.  It will also be a chance for students to be creative, co-creating new content, remixing and building upon the “vast and growing digital creative commons”.  Furthermore, we will focus on how we position ourselves with respect to what others have created and how we add meaning and interpretation through reuse. The course is for any student interested in information sciences, content creation and the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives and museums). Student work consists of open, reflective blog writing about curation, as we build web-based exhibits within student web hosting.




  • This course will take place in a classroom in both discussion and hands on lab.
  • Since students will be building their own digital exhibits in NYU web hosting some of the hands on work can take place asynchronously and from their own computers.
  • Students will collaborate in group projects, as well as design, create and evaluate individual project concepts. They will present their practical work to the group incorporating feedback.
  • All writing is public and open in research blog format. Students may opt for anonymity in these blogs and may also erase the content at the end of the semester if they so desire. They will also have the option of archiving their work in a digital repository. 
  • Accessibility will be a persistent point of inquiry in the course. 


This syllabus is provided as an open educational resource with a CC BY-SA-NC 4.0 International license. If you reuse it, in part or in whole, please cite it. 

Suggested Citation: 

NYU Abu Dhabi. (2019). CADT-UH 1018 Digital Curation course syllabus. Abu Dhabi, UAE: David Joseph Wrisley.