Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Forging Our Cultural Commonwealth: The Importance of Digital Curation in the Digital Humanities

New forms of digital data and tools or methods, for instance those that cross academic disciplines and domains, those that feature teams of scholars instead of single scholars, and those that involve individuals from outside the academy, can enable new forms of scholarship and teaching in the digital humanities. Such scholarship can promote reuse of digital data, provoke new research questions, and cultivate new audiences. Digital curation, the process of managing a trusted body of information for current and future use, can help maximize the value of research in the digital humanities. This exploratory qualitative study centered on the salience of digital curation to the digital humanities. A case study predicated upon semi-structured interviews, it explored the creation, use, storage, and planned reuse of data by 45 interviewees involved with nineteen Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant (SUG) projects. Similarly, the study sought to determine what digital curation skills had been employed in these projects and what digital curation skills project personnel felt were most important in doing such work. Interviewees grappled with challenges surrounding data, collaboration and communication, planning and project management, awareness and outreach, resources, and technology. This study sought to understand the existing practices and needs of those engaged in digital humanities work and how closely these practices and needs align with the digital curation literature. It established a baseline for future research in this area and suggested key skills for digital curation work in the digital humanities. Finally, it provided a learning model for guiding such education.