[Humanist] 24.684 the Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Feb 3 06:46:18 CET 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 684.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 10:57:00 -0500
        From: "K. Rimkus" <kyle.rimkus at gmail.com>
        Subject: Mellon Foundation grant will help Cuban Theater Digital Archive improve technical infrastructure

Coral Gables, FL. - The University of Miami Libraries and the College of
Arts and Sciences have received a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation to rebuild the technical and organizational infrastructure for
the Cuban Theater Digital Archive
(CTDA) http://scholar.library.miami.edu/archivoteatral/ ,
a unique digital collection of Cuban theater resources.

"The CTDA is a fantastic example of how the University of Miami Libraries
support interdisciplinary scholarship using innovative new media,” said Dean
and University Librarian William Walker. “We are grateful for the Andrew W.
Mellon Foundation’s recognition of our commitment to this unique scholarly
resource. We hope that our partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences
will serve as a model for other creative digital humanities initiatives at
the University and beyond."

Leonidas Bachas, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the CTDA
provides an innovative approach to research, teaching, and learning in the
humanities and the arts and "explores new methods of scholarly publishing in
a networked environment. The partnership between the Center for Latin
American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and the UM Libraries is
ideal, given the center’s renewed focus on the Caribbean as well as the
Libraries’ extensive collections in this area."

The CTDA was established by Lillian Manzor, associate professor of modern
languages and literatures and Latin American studies, and the UM Libraries
as the result of a 2005 Digital Library Fellowship. The initiative’s purpose
is threefold: It is a resource for teaching, learning, and research in Cuban
theater and performance as well as in related fields; a community repository
for important Cuban theatrical materials; and a forum to foster scholarly
communication in this field.

As such, the CTDA participates in a virtual culture that allows for
communication and exchange to take place between communities that are
socially and geographically separated. The Digital Archive includes
materials digitized and filmed in Cuba as well as resources and information
related to Cuban theater in the Diaspora, with a special focus on theater
produced by the Cuban community in the United States.

The $172,000 grant comes on the heels of the completion of a six-month
research and planning initiative, also funded by the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation, which determined the importance of the CTDA to the broader
academic and cultural communities, as well as the need to rebuild its
technical and organizational back-end. The new grant will support an
overhaul of the CTDA’s technical infrastructure to better support the
long-term contribution of new content from geographically dispersed
partners. This work, led by the University of Miami Richter Library, will be
complemented by an organizational restructuring led by the Center for Latin
American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

With the aid of the Mellon Foundation, the yearlong project of establishing
a sustainable infrastructure for the CTDA will bring CTDA staff and
international partners closer to their goal of creating the world’s most
comprehensive scholarly record of Cuban theater. It will also allow the CTDA
to realize its mission of engaging educational, scholarly, artistic, and
cultural communities across national boundaries in a collaborative virtual

The grant will be led by principal investigators Manzor, of the College of
Arts and Sciences, and Kyle Rimkus, of the Richter Library.
To view the official press release, please visit:


Kyle Rimkus

Head of Digital Scholarship and Programs
University of Miami Libraries

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