The following article appears in issue 12.2 of Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ).
The Alpheios Project, Ltd.
School of Information, Kent State University
Matthew Thomas Miller
Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland College Park
University Libraries, University of Maryland College Park
Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ)
In the last decade tremendous advances have been made in the tools and platforms available for the digital study of manuscripts. Much work, however, remains to be done in order to address the wide range of pedagogical, cataloging, preservation, scholarly (individual and collaborative), and citizen science (crowdsourcing) workflows and use cases in a user-friendly manner. This study (1) summarizes the feedback of dozens of technologists, manuscript experts, and curators obtained through survey data and workshop focus groups; (2) provides a “state of the field” report which assesses the current tools available and their limitations; and, (3) outlines principles to help guide future development. The authors in particular emphasize the importance of producing tool-independent data, fostering intellectual “trading zones” between technologists, scholars, librarians, and curators, utilizing a code base with an active community of users, and re-conceptualizing tool-creation as a collaborative form of humanistic intellectual labor.
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