Welcome to The Sustainability Sandbox blog series! The Alexandria Archive Institute and Open Context advocate for data sharing, data literacy, open access, and community collaborations. In this series, we share the story of our journey to identify and develop digital data management, public engagement, and data literacy projects with potential partner institutions.
I’m in the process of preparing a longer post about the role that sustainability plays in digital humanities (DH) projects. This is something that I’ve thought about a lot over the last few years, in a number of different capacities: as a graduate student facing the job market; as a scholar striving to be innovative in my research; as a teacher wanting my students’ work to make an impact outside our classroom; as a DH administrator building a community of praxis at my institution; and, most recently, as a new team member at The Alexandria Archive Institute / Open Context (AAI / OC) trying to understand how our work fits into this complex landscape.
In the meantime, though, there’s a reason to celebrate. Today is the 2021 Day of DH! One of the things I’ve always stressed about DH is that, while you don’t necessarily need to know how to do everything yourself, you do need to familiarize yourself with the range of what is possible. What better way to do that and to observe the holiday (it is a holiday right?) than by engaging with a few DH projects today.
Open Context would certainly be a great place to start. As a linked open data repository for archaeology and cultural heritage data, Open Context represents both a culmination of data curation processes and a jumping-off point for deeper engagement with and reuse of published data.
If you’re already familiar with our work, you can use this opportunity to learn about DH work that others are sharing on Twitter and Instagram today using the shared hashtag #DayOfDH2021. Step outside your disciplinary comfort zone, or even your language comfort zone, given that this year’s theme is multilingual DH. Find scholars whose work can provide a good model for you to follow. Find scholars who inspire you to be creative in how you apply digital methods to your research and teaching.
While these may sound like directives, they’re really reminders to myself. In my own work, closely examining a variety of DH projects has been the first step towards understanding the myriad issues around sustainability in DH more generally. And while I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on that soon, I’m going to spend today exploring.
We’re looking to build relationships with libraries, museums, educational organizations, and other cultural heritage groups. If you’d like to connect and discuss a potential collaboration, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!