“WASHINGTON (July 20, 2010)—The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $897,000 in grants for five international digital humanities projects, in partnership with the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), which contributed approximately $772,000.
The NEH/DFG Enriching Digital Collections Grants support collaborations between U.S. and German scholars to develop digitization projects that will benefit research in the humanities. Each project was sponsored jointly by an American and a German institution, whose activities will be funded by NEH and DFG respectively.
“Technology is rapidly changing the landscape for humanities research,” says Brett Bobley, director of NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. “Our partnership with the DFG has inspired scholars, librarians, and archivists in both Germany and the United States to work together on these groundbreaking projects that combine new technology with leading-edge scholarship.”
Among the grants awarded is one that will allow scholars and the public to search records of artwork sold during wartime Germany. This collaboration between The Getty Research Institute, the Heidelberg University Library, and the Art Library, and National Museums in Berlin to digitize German auction catalogs from 1930-1945 will provide an indispensable source for provenance research in establishing the origins of artistic and cultural assets that were taken from their legal owners during the Nazi regime and make those records freely accessible to the general public.
A grant to combine the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and Tufts University’s Perseus Digital Library’s digital holdings in Classical Studies will create one of the most comprehensive online collections of Greco-Roman materials available for public and scholarly use. And an award to the University of Virginia and the University of Paderborn’s cooperative Music Encoding Initiative will allow scholars to share and study vast collections of music manuscripts through the development of an open-source digital encoding standard for music notation.
One award will allow researchers from Cologne University and Maharishi University of Management to work together in establishing an international digital Sanskrit library. Another will support collaboration between Princeton University and the Freie University in Berlin to digitize 236 Arabic manuscripts on Islamic theology and law that will shed new light on the political, intellectual, and literary history of Islamic civilization, but have till now lain largely neglected and inaccessible in private libraries in Yemen.
“The NEH/DFG cooperation has proved to be a fruitful framework for encouraging ambitious cooperative projects in the digital humanities,” says Christoph Kümmel, program officer within DFG’s Scientific Library Services and Information Services division. “These grants will make it possible to develop encoding standards, digitize large collections of text and materials, and integrate valuable existing databases from both sides of the ocean. It has been very satisfying to see digital collections being improved and enriched in such an innovative way.”
NEH and DFG are also announcing the deadline for the next Enriching Digital Collections grant competition, which will be November 16, 2010. For information on how to apply, please see the Office of Digital Humanities’ webpage.
NEH/DFG Enriching Digital Collections Grants were awarded to the following projects:
* Getty Research Institute – Los Angeles, California
German Sales 1930-1945: Art Works, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy
Thomas Gaehtgens, Project Director
To support: An international collaboration between The Getty Research Institute, the Heidelberg University Library and the Art Library, National Museums in Berlin to create an open, searchable database of German art auction catalogues from 1930-1945.
* Maharishi University of Management Research Institute – Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa
Sanskrit Lexical Sources: Digital Synthesis and Revision
Peter Scharf, Project Director
To support: An international partnership between the Sanskrit Library (Maharishi University of Management) and the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (CDSL) project (Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, Cologne University) to establish a digital Sanskrit lexical reference work.
* Tufts University – Medford, Massachusetts
The Hellespont Project: Integrating Arachne and Perseus
Gregory Crane, Project Director
To support: An international collaboration between Tufts University and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) to join together the digital holdings of Tufts’ Perseus Digital Library and the DAI’s Arachne into the largest collection of Greco-Roman materials online.
* Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey
The Yemen Manuscript Digitization Initiative
David Magier, Project Director
To support: An international collaboration between Princeton University and the Freie University, Berlin, to preserve three private libraries and create an online resource for their dissemination; the project team will digitize 236 Arabic manuscripts in the fields of Islamic theology and law.
* University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia
Digital Music Notation Data Model and Prototype Delivery System
Erin Mayhood, Project Director
To support: An international collaboration between the University of Virginia and the University of Paderborn to develop the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) demonstration project in order to establish an open source, non-proprietary academic encoding standard for music notation.”