Digital Initiatives Librarian Kelli Babcock attends and presents at the International Digital Curation Conference

From February 9-12, in London, England, ITS Digital Initiatives Librarian Kelli Babcock attended the International Digital Curation Conference. Kelli presented a poster entitled, “Using Islandora Multi-sites to Sustain Faculty Digital Humanities Projects.” The poster relayed Kelli’s collaboration with faculty to design and develop digital collections for faculty-led digital humanities (DH) projects.

Many recent reports on digital humanities have raised the issue of DH project sustainability and the library’s role in fostering this sustainability. For example, Dr. Lynne Siemens, Associate Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, has stated that “digital humanists, administrators, and granting agencies alike continue to struggle with age-old questions about the type and amount of resources, including but not limited to computing infrastructure and funding, needed to support and grow Digital Humanities’ academic capacity.” Furthermore, the 2014 report Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host Institution Support Beyond the Start-Up Phase identifies the need for libraries to create sustainable solutions to support faculty DH projects, since “[a]fter the digital resources are launched, the percentage of projects receiving grant support – both internal and external – drops by almost half.”

The poster described the Collections U of T service provided by UTL ITS. Collections U of T is an example of how institutions can use existing digital curation policies, infrastructure, and workflows when collaborating with faculty on DH projects to sustainably and efficiently support DH initiatives.

Collections U of T is an Islandora repository service that allows UTL ITS to integrate the same digital curation policies, infrastructure, and workflows that are used for the library’s own digital special collections into faculty-led DH projects. This model has enabled UTL ITS to reduce the resources invested into DH  projects while also ensuring DH project sustainability.

Specifically, the poster visually identified:

  • The needs of DH faculty, drawn from Dr. Lynne Siemens’s “Developing Academic Capacity in Digital Humanities: Thoughts from the Canadian Community.”
  • How Islandora satisfies most of the project needs of DH faculty.
  • How Islandora fulfills components of the DCC digital curation life cycle.
  • The Collections U of T site structure and examples of digital objects.

To find out more about the presentations and posters at the IDCC 2015 conference, check out the conference Storify.

Works Cited

Maron, N. L., & Pickle, S. (2014). Sustaining the digital humanities: Host institution support beyond the start-up phase. Retrieved from

Siemens, L. (2013). Developing academic capacity in digital humanities: Thoughts from the Canadian community. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 7(1). Retrieved from

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