Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Physical Library as Digital Laboratory

From “The Landscape of Digital Humanities” (Digital Humanities Quarterly): 
The link between digital humanities and libraries is robust, but not static, and the expansion of the digital humanities and changing roles for libraries may lead to a new set of dynamics and a renewed sense of library as laboratory as well as a physical and digital repository. The idea of the library as a space for collaborative scholarship is strengthened through the introduction of more study spaces for (primarily) students, project spaces for digital humanities and technical infrastructure such as large, interactive screens. Perhaps libraries have always been the analogue to laboratories, in that they are sites for knowledge production, a repository or archive, and a place of exchange. In this sense, the contemporary moment re-sensitizes the traditional function of the library in order to extend its dynamic qualities, rather than those that may be strictly archival.
Regarding the repository as place or function, see “Accessioning the Digital Humanities: Report from the 1st Archival Education and Research Institute” (Digital Humanities Quarterly): 
As the digital humanities community continues growing in the direction of data collection and curation for born-digital (and not only paper-to-digital, or "digitized") materials, the field must begin to plan for regular surveys and monitoring of these valuable collections.