Special Report: Digital Humanities in Libraries

« Libraries and librarians have played a crucial role in the story of DH. From the earliest days, librarians were eager partners on collaborative digitization projects, and now they can be found negotiating text mining rights with researchers and vendors, hosting open access journals, and making room for makerspaces within their buildings. We have been such valuable collaborators over the years because the values of librarianship inform a deep interest in information access, a concern for information preservation, and a desire to make room for our diverse user communities.

Yet despite this ongoing engagement, libraries are often unsure how they should respond as DH attracts more and more practitioners and its definition evolves to cover an ever-expanding range of techniques and methods.

This uncertainty is illustrated by the responses to a survey conducted by database publisher Gale Cengage and American Libraries (see the complete librarian survey results and faculty survey results). “We were hoping to find out what changes were taking place in the library, whether libraries really were seeing the demand for support in DH research as the profile-raising opportunity Gale feels it represents,” says Ray Abruzzi, vice president and publisher for Gale Digital Collections. (…) »