DSS: A model for digital scholarship in new report

cni_logo_pantone_exactSkillman Library’s Digital Scholarship Services (DSS) features prominently in the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)’s latest report “Digital Scholarship Centers: Trends & Good Practice.” The report is the result of an invitational workshop held at CNI’s spring meeting in St. Louis this past April. There, participants from digital scholarship teams representing 24 institutions including Lafayette met to discuss their own experiences in conceptualizing a digital scholarship center and in defining best practices in the field.

From this conversation along with a survey issued prior to the conference, CNI identified Lafayette’s DSS as a model for creating and promoting the growth of digital scholarship at a small liberal arts college. According to the report, “liberal arts colleges are committed to having students learn by doing, and to providing ways for students to engage with faculty doing research; [DSS] lends itself to the interplay of teaching and research that, in part, define institutions like Lafayette.” Placed alongside of much larger research institutions, DSS has earned a reputation for innovation and ingenuity in the digital scholarship community.

At CNI’s fall meeting held in Washington D.C. earlier this month, Executive Director Clifford Lynch, provided a review of this report and announced that CNI will follow up these findings with a new workshop this spring. There institutions will draw on the knowledge gained from models like Lafayette to build their own Digital Scholarship Centers. Lafayette’s librarians are pleased to have such opportunities to share their experience in the company of other leading colleges and universities and look forward to participating in the continued development of digital scholarship in higher education.

For more information on starting a digital project with DSS or applying for an internship opportunity contact us at digital@lafayette.edu, or call (610) 330-5796.

DSS’ John Clark contributes to the Historical Atlas of Maine

ATLASimageforstoreWork by DSS’s John Clark, Data Visualization & GIS Librarian at Skillman Library, will soon appear in print. John is a contributor to the Historical Atlas of Maine (University of Maine Press, 2015). The Atlas, edited by Stephen J. Hornsby and Richard W. Judd with cartographic design by Michael Hermann, traces the historical geography of Maine from the ice age through to the year 2000. It includes a cartographic narrative of the long history of Maine stretching from the history of the region’s native peoples, through to industrialization and the rise of tourism. This extensive collection is the culmination of work by many hands stretching over more than a decade at a cost of nearly one million dollars. Funding for the project was provided principally by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maine, the University of Maine, and a number of private foundations.

John is one of a number of contributors and was responsible for five of the seventy-six atlas plates. These responsibilities included the overall development of the textual and visual narratives presented in the plates as well as the extensive archival research and historical GIS development that went into the original maps, graphics, and archival images which form the narrative elements of the plates.

John’s research focused on the development of energy resources and transportation between the mid-19th and the late-20th centuries and his work includes plates on railroads, streetcars, electrification, and the rise of the automobile. Each one documents how economic and technological development mixed with the state’s regional culture, creating unique patterns of modernity in Maine which persist to this day.

The book will be available for purchase from the University of Maine Press and on the shelves at Skillman Library later this month.

For more information on starting a digital project with DSS or applying for an internship opportunity contact us at digital@lafayette.edu, or call (610) 330-5796.