Many universities are facing difficult choices about how to sustain, preserve, and/or archive their (often) hundreds of digital humanities (DH) projects that have reached the conclusion of their funding or support. In 2018, Athenaeum21 carried out an in-depth analysis of the functional requirements of DH projects at the University of Oxford. This included extensive interviews with DH project leads, followed by technical and functional analysis for more than 30 DH projects.
Our research has uncovered a more robust and detailed picture of how both active and retired DH projects differ from the most common research data management and preservation models, and of their unique technical sustainability and preservation issues. In response to these diverse needs, we propose a layered service model for creating a sustainable digital humanities technology infrastructure. Breaking down the functional requirements into “layers” acknowledges the differing life cycles of different technologies and allows for the potential of a distributed, organization-wide solution.
Christine Madsen will be presenting the results of this study at the Fall CNI Member Meeting. This presentation will describe our findings of the unique characteristics of DH projects that make them more challenging to preserve and sustain, as well as a proposed way forward to address their long-term sustainability. If you would like to know more about this work or would like to discuss sustainability solutions for your organization, please do get in touch.
About Athenaeum21 Consulting
Athenaeum21 (A21) is an international digital strategy and innovation consultancy serving organizations that want to derive more value from their past and future investments in data, information, knowledge management, and from the technologies that support them. A21’s approach includes data-driven, iterative assessment, strategy, and implementation, always aligning organizational missions and goals with end-user needs and behaviors. A21 clients include leading organizations in the research and development, publishing, higher education, and cultural heritage sectors in North America and Europe.