May 27, 2022

New Report From Ithaka S+R Looks at Sustaining Digital Humanities Projects, Toolkit of Helpful Resources Also Released

Two new items online today from Ithaka S+R.2014-06-18_13-17-41

1. New Report

Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host Institution Support beyond the Start-Up Phase
by Nancy Maron and Sarah Pickle
97 pages; PDF.

From an Ithaka S+R Blog Post:

In this study, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ithaka S+R explored the different models colleges and universities have adopted to support DH outputs on their campuses.  This final report, Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host-Institution Support beyond the Start-Up Phase, and the accompanying Sustainability Implementation Toolkit, are intended to guide faculty, campus administrators, librarians, and directors of support units as they seek solutions for their institutions.

Over the course of this study, Ithaka S+R interviewed more than 125 stakeholders and faculty project leaders at colleges and universities within the US.  These interviews included a deep-dive phase of exploration focused on support for the digital humanities at four campuses—Columbia University, Brown University, Indiana University Bloomington, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. This research helped us to better understand how institutions are navigating issues related to the sustainability of DH resources and what successful strategies are emerging.

The final report suggests that while many faculty report building things, not everything thought of as a “DH” project could or should pose significant sustainability challenges. Some are smaller, private experiments, some are easily executed using existing platforms and templates. Yet even for those significant digital research resources that do have long-term goals and merit ongoing support, few if any institutional strategies take into account the full range of activities needed, from project set up and management, to preservation, long term hosting, upgrading, and dissemination, some approaches to managing this are beginning to emerge.  The report outlines examples of good practice, and suggests three archetypes—service, lab, and network models—that illustrate campus-wide approaches to addressing these issues.

2. New: Sustainability Implementation Toolkit

The toolkit will help you:

  • Understand all of the stages in the digital lifecycle of a project, from project planning to preservation and outreach.
  • Assess the range of project types and complexity, so that your solution can include both scale solutions and customized support where it is needed.2014-06-18_13-18-01
  • Clearly communicate the paths of support to campus faculty.
  • Articulate institutional expectations for project leaders.
  • Obtain the commitment of key stakeholders.

These resources are included in the toolkit:

1. Life Cycle of a Digital Resource

2. Briefing Paper: Digital Project Leaders

3. Intake Questionnaire: New Digital Projects

Direct to Sustainability Implementation Toolkit

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.