Assessing the Missions of Digital Humanities Centers
Sanders, Sarah K.
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This paper examines the outlined missions of Digital Humanities Centers, as well as what activities they are partaking in to meet them. Additionally, as producers of unique research data, do Digital Humanities Centers view the preservation of their research data as important to their missions? Formal attempts to define these entities are prevalent, although most alliances and groups dedicated to the field of digital humanities accept the unavoidable differences and conflation that occur. For the purposes of this paper, Digital Humanities Centers will be defined as entities “where new media and technologies are used for humanities-based research, teaching, and intellectual engagement and experimentation” (Zorich, 2008a, p. 4). This broad definition was chosen to allow the investigation of various types of Digital Humanities Centers (such as Labs, Departments within larger units, and virtual spaces) with differing focuses to be appropriately included. In addition to providing background information on the field of digital humanities and related Digital Humanities Centers, their outlined missions and activities; this paper also thoroughly examines three Digital Humanities Centers: Digital Humanities at Michigan State University (DH@MSU), the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, and the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) at Hamilton College.