Jacob Heil (College of Wooster)
For the last three years the libraries of the Ohio Five Colleges of Ohio have been collaborating under the auspices of a digital scholarship grant from the Mellon Foundation. At its core, the grant is designed to help faculty build digital pedagogical projects; to-date we have developed upwards of thirty such projects ranging from the launch of a student journal to the launch of a web-app. The guiding question of the grant has been: how do we leverage the resources of the consortium to accommodate large-scale digital scholarship? We have learned — or may be learning — that this is not a question of resource management, but rather one of building the culture out of which such projects might grow organically.
In this presentation I share some of Ohio Five’s achievements in the first three years of the grant: roughly standardized project development workflows, consortial communication efforts, and the meaningful involvement of student specialists in a variety of ways. I hope that others might find these descriptions useful. Additionally, I hope to encourage conversation about digital scholarship that is necessarily un-centered — the five colleges are separated by 100 miles, end to end — but that nonetheless relies upon the kinds of collaboration that are orchestrated at the level of superstructure. Is the mere notion of “the Center” — the center as merely an abstraction — enough to overcome institutionalized borders that might be departmental, bureaucratic, and/or cultural?
Jacob Heil is Digital Scholarship Librarian and Director of CoRE (Collaborative Research Environment) at the College of Wooster. He was previously a Mellon Digital Scholar for the Five Colleges of Ohio. From a position in the libraries, Jacob works with faculty, technologists, librarians, and students to build digital pedagogical projects. His doctoral research was on Early Modern English drama and book history, the latter of which led him into a role as postdoc/project manager of the Early Modern OCR Project at Texas A&M University.