[Humanist] 28.23 Mellon grant for partnerships: DiRT, Commons in a Boxm DHCommons

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu May 15 02:38:16 CEST 2014

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 23.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 14 May 2014 07:25:11 -0700
        From: Quinn Dombrowski <quinnd at berkeley.edu>
        Subject: DiRT receives grant for partnerships with Commons In A Box, DHCommons

The University of California, Berkeley
(http://digitalhumanities.berkeley.edu) and the Graduate Center of the City
University of New York (http://www.gc.cuny.edu) are pleased to announce that
the Mellon Foundation has generously provided a $150,000 grant to fund a
partnership between the DiRT (Digital Research Tools) Directory (
http://dirt.projectbamboo.org), Commons In A Box
(http://commonsinabox.org/), and the DHCommons project directory
(http://dhcommons.org) that will develop APIs to link these initiatives,
providing new ways for scholars and students to connect with digital
research tools.

For scholars who work with digital tools and methodologies, directories like
DiRT are essential guides to the broad range of digital humanities tools
that are available to meet various research and pedagogical needs. DiRT
provides users with the prompt “I need a digital research tool to…”
and offers a variety of options, ranging from “visualize data” and
“make a dynamic map” to “manage bibliographic information” and
“publish and share information”. After choosing an activity, the scholar
is presented with a list of tools that they can narrow down based on
parameters like platform and cost. When selecting a tool, scholars often
weigh factors including what other projects are using the tool and which
communities of expertise can provide support. Connecting DiRT directory to
DHCommons and to the Commons In A Box platform–which powers an increasing
number of scholarly community hubs such as MLA Commons and NYC Digital
Humanities–will make it easier for scholars to connect with others who are
using DH tools.

“Developing publicly available APIs for DiRT and DHCommons will allow us
not only to contextualize tools by showing the projects that use them, but
also to open up the rich data sets stored in these directories for scholarly
inquiry,” said project director Quinn Dombrowski (UC Berkeley).
“Enabling people to explore digital research tools within the Commons In A
Box platform and to connect with communities of practice around those tools
will lower the barrier to entry for scholars who are new to digital
humanities,” she added.

“The DiRT Directory is a robust resource that provides important
information about DH tools,” Commons In A Box Director Matthew K. Gold
added. “We think that integrating information about DiRT tools into CBOX
profile pages will make it easier for users of those tools to connect with
and learn from one another.”

As part of this initiative, the DiRT directory (formerly Bamboo DiRT) will
also be redesigned and relaunched at dirtdirectory.org in July 2014. All
tool entries will be updated to use TaDiRAH taxonomy terms (

For more information and updates on this initiative, visit

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