Here are a few projects that Digital Scholarship Services has supported, to give a sense of the types of work we support and the range of services we provide.
The Sylvester Manor Collection is an online exhibit containing personal and professional papers, photographs, and other materials from Sylvester Manor, a home and grounds located in Shelter Island, NY that was initially settled by Nathaniel and Grissell Sylvester in 1652. Select materials from the collection, acquired by Fales Library in 2008, were displayed in an exhibition in Bobst Library in Spring 2013.
The project initiator, Rob Koehler (English Department graduate student), approached DSS wanting to create a website with an online version of the 2013 exhibition as a way to promote the collection to wider audiences, both public and scholarly. DSS managed the content digitization process (performed by NYU Libraries’ Digital Library Technological Services), assisted with website platform selection, and advised on metadata creation.
Curricular digital research design
The Irish in Greenwich Village in the Post-War Period project is a multi-year, classroom-based undertaking to create an interactive map of locations significant to members of New York City’s Irish community who grew up in the West Village beginning in the late 1940s. Oral history interviews with community members were conducted by a graduate student in NYU’s Irish Studies Program, and undergraduate Honors Seminar students gleaned map points from locations mentioned during interviews. The students created a dynamic Google Map using Google Fusion Tables and ArcGIS, and future students will integrate media, including images and audio.
For this project, DSS partnered with NYU Libraries’ Data Services to work with Professor Linda Almeida and her students. After an initial consultation discussing how the project would fit within the course’s curriculum, we designed an approach that struck the right balance between allowing the students to learn new technologies while still discovering insights about the city’s Irish community.
Long-term project consultation and management
The Organism for Poetic Research (OPR), sponsored by NYU’s Department of English, is an experimental, critical-poetic platform and a vehicle for the performance of research in poetics and poetic research. In 2012 the editors of OPR approached DSS for advice on enhancing the functionality of their site. We conferred on technical aspects (domain names, potential web hosting platforms) and options for delivering multimedia (audio and video streaming options, 3D AutoCAD files). We also discussed best practices for organizing and presenting content online, issues related to copyright (including their rights as content creators and how to secure permissions from copyright holders), and improving the editorial workflow for their journal, Pelt.
After the initial consultation, the editors migrated and redesigned their site, which is currently built with WordPress. More recently, the editors again approached DSS for advice on incorporating additional improvements, such as how to communicate with a programmer about modifying the code underlying the site. Also, given the experimental nature of OPR and the editors’ desire to provide readers with a non-linear reading experience, we discussed recent developments in website hosting platforms and examined the benefits and drawbacks in light of OPR’s goals and editorial mission.