Digital Curation in the Digital Humanities

Digital Curation in the Digital Humanities

Preserving and Promoting Archival and Special Collections

1st Edition - April 11, 2015

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  • Author: Arjun Sabharwal
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081001783
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081001431

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Archives and special collections departments have a long history of preserving and providing long-term access to organizational records, rare books, and other unique primary sources including manuscripts, photographs, recordings, and artifacts in various formats. The careful curatorial attention to such records has also ensured that such records remain available to researchers and the public as sources of knowledge, memory, and identity. Digital curation presents an important framework for the continued preservation of digitized and born-digital collections, given the ephemeral and device-dependent nature of digital content. With the emergence of analog and digital media formats in close succession (compared to earlier paper- and film-based formats) came new standards, technologies, methods, documentation, and workflows to ensure safe storage and access to content and associated metadata. Researchers in the digital humanities have extensively applied computing to research; for them, continued access to primary data and cultural heritage means both the continuation of humanities scholarship and new methodologies not possible without digital technology. Digital Curation in the Digital Humanities, therefore, comprises a joint framework for preserving, promoting, and accessing digital collections. This book explores at great length the conceptualization of digital curation projects with interdisciplinary approaches that combine the digital humanities and history, information architecture, social networking, and other themes for such a framework. The individual chapters focus on the specifics of each area, but the relationships holding the knowledge architecture and the digital curation lifecycle model together remain an overarching theme throughout the book; thus, each chapter connects to others on a conceptual, theoretical, or practical level.

Key Features

  • Theoretical and practical perspectives on digital curation in the digital humanities and history
  • In-depth study of the role of social media and a social curation ecosystem
  • The role of hypertextuality and information architecture in digital curation
  • Study of collaboration and organizational dimensions in digital curation
  • Reviews of important web tools in digital humanities


Archivists, historians, digital humanists, educators (including those teaching online), digital curators, special collection librarians, and project managers and administrators at heritage institutions

Table of Contents

  • 1. Defining digital curation in the digital humanities context

    • Foundational definitions for curation
    • Digital curation
    • Digital preservation
    • Lifecycle of digital contents
    • Levels of curation
    • Digital humanities data curation
    • Using linked open data in digital curation
    • Conclusion

    2. Archives and special collections in the digital humanities

    • Defining the digital humanities
    • Characteristics of Digital Humanities
    • Discursive concerns in the digital humanities
    • The role of archives in the digital humanities
    • Archives and the linguistic turn
    • Digital humanities projects involving archives and libraries
    • Digital humanities project descriptions
    • Digital humanities curation in the classroom
    • Conclusion

    3. Digital history, archives, and curating digital cultural heritage

    • Defining digital history
    • Paradigm shifts in archival curation
    • Digital historiography and archives
    • Digital historical representations
    • Historical hypertext
    • Digital history data curation
    • Digital historiography and digital curation
    • Conclusion

    4. Information architecture and hypertextuality: concerns for digital curation

    • Defining information architecture
    • Digital curation of hypertextual content
    • Information architecture and hypertextuality
    • Spatial, temporal, and ontological dimensions in information architecture
    • Localized approaches at the Ward M. Canaday Center for special collections
    • Information architecture for online and hybrid courses in digital humanities
    • Conclusion

    5. Digital curation lifecycle in practice

    • Overview of the DCC curation lifecycle model
    • Conceptualization and the master plan
    • Curation of data sets and digital objects
    • Full lifecycle actions
    • Preservation planning
    • Preservation and conservation in the curation lifecycle
    • Description and representation information
    • Community watch and participation
    • Sequential actions
    • Occasional actions
    • Conclusion

    6. Organizational dimensions of digital curation

    • Knowledge management in digital curation
    • Knowledge architectures for digital curation
    • Knowledge transfer in digital curation
    • Organizational contexts for knowledge architectures
    • Conclusion

    7. Social networks’ impact on digital curation

    • Cross-curation, social curation ecosystems, and cultural heritage
    • Hypertextuality and ontologies in social media
    • Social network theory, hypertextuality, and cross-curation
    • Social networking and Web 2.0 tools in archives
    • The social curation ecosystem in Toledo’s Attic
    • Conclusion

Product details

  • No. of pages: 182
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2015
  • Published: April 11, 2015
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081001783
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081001431

About the Author

Arjun Sabharwal

Arjun Sabharwal joined the University of Toledo Library faculty in January 2009 as Assistant Professor and Digital Initiatives Librarian. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration in addition to previously earned graduate degrees. He oversees the digital preservation of archival collections, manages the Toledo's Attic virtual museum web site, designs virtual exhibitions, leads the planning and implementation of UTOPIA (The University of Toledo OPen Institutional Archive) and the University of Toledo Digital Repository at the university, and manages digitization projects. Current professional interests include archiving, digital humanities, digital history, and developing thematic research collections. He has authored several research articles and reviews, and presented at conferences on work related to archives and digital libraries. Since 2010, he has engaged in digital scholarship via his international blog on ResearchGate titled Digital Humanities and Archives.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor and Digital Initiatives Librarian, University of Toledo Library, University of Toledo, Ohio, USA.

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