HathiTrust Research Center awarded grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Stephen Downie
J. Stephen Downie, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and Co-Director of the HathiTrust Research Center
Tim Cole
Tim Cole, Affiliate Professor

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant in the amount of $437,000 to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in partnership with Indiana University for an exciting new project in the HathiTrust Research Center. The “Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project” (WCSA) project will be directed by HTRC Codirector and GSLIS Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie, GSLIS-affiliated faculty member and Professor of Library Administration Timothy Cole (MS '89), and Beth Plale of Indiana University.

Requirements for creating scholarly worksets are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, both as humanities scholarship has become more interdisciplinary and as it has become more digital. Developing the ability to slice through the massive HathiTrust corpus and to construct the precise set of materials needed for a particular scholarly investigation will open exciting new opportunities for conducting research with digital content in the humanities and beyond. Given the unprecedented size and scope of the HathiTrust corpus—in conjunction with the HTRC’s unique computational access to copyrighted materials—this project will engage scholars in designing tools for exploring, locating, and analyzing content from the HathiTrust so they can conduct computational scholarship at scale, based on meaningful worksets.

In an effort to increase community participation in HTRC and engagement with the HathiTrust corpus, the HTRC will release an open, competitive Request for Proposals in November 2013 with the intent to fund four prototyping projects that will build tools for enriching and augmenting metadata for the HathiTrust corpus. Throughout the project, the HTRC will also work closely with the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) to develop a set of formal data models that will be used to capture and integrate the outputs of the funded prototyping projects with the larger HathiTrust corpus.

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