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Digital Seed Grants 2021-2022 Awarded

Over summer 2021, the Digital Seed Grant Committee received applications for its fifth year of awarding Digital Seed Grants. The proposals received were of high quality despite the impact of Covid-19, Walker Library is committed to keeping the library’s charge of accelerating teaching and research with digital technologies and methodologies. One way the library does this is by funding seed grants.

The Digital Seed Grant Committee was exited to receive 12 applications from a diverse background of projects and disciplines and commends all the applicants on their proposed research or teaching projects. We are pleased to announce the 2021-2022 winners in no particular order:

Project: Revisiting the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) with Computerized Linguistic Analysis

Led by Ms. Cindi Brown, MTSU graduate student in the Department of Psychology

Project runs July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022

See the final projects page for updates and details.


Project: Voices From the Amazon: Translating Three Brazilian Films

Led by Professor Paul Chilsen, MTSU Department of Media Arts

Project runs July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022

See the final projects page for updates and details.


Project: Tissue Culture of American Ginseng

Led by Mr. Ethan Swiggart, MTSU Department of Agriculture

Project runs July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022

See the final projects page for updates and details.


Congratulations to the winners. Check back later to see project news updates. To read about the next cycle for proposals or to see other Digital Seed Grants awarded, visit the Digital Seed Grant page.

Digital Seed Grants 2020-2021 Awarded

Digital Seed Grants 2020-2021 Awarded

Earlier in spring-summer 2020, the Digital Seed Grant Committee was excited to receive applications for its fourth year of awarding Digital Seed Grants. The proposals received were of high quality despite the turn of events with COVID-19 and although these challenges continue, the Walker Library is committed to keeping the library’s charge of accelerating teaching and research with digital technologies and methodologies.  One way the library does this is by funding seed grants.

The Digital Seed Grant Committee commends all the applicants on their proposed research or teaching projects. We are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 winners in no particular order:

Project: Hidden Town in 3D Website

Led by Dr. Molly Taylor-Poleskey, MTSU Department of History

Project runs January 19, 2021 through January 18, 2022

See the final projects page for updates and details.


Project: Studio Art Teaching Resources

Led by Professor Mark Mcleod, MTSU Department of Art and Design

Project runs September 1, 2020 through December 9, 2021

See the final projects page for updates and details.


Congratulations to professors Taylor-Poleskey and Mcleod. Check back later to see project news updates. To read about the next cycle for proposals or to see other Digital Seed Grants awarded, visit the Digital Seed Grant page.

Student Job Opportunity: Project Assistant

A recent Digital Seed Grant recipient is looking to fill a vacant position to help with project research. Please see the position description below, and contact the primary investigator, Cindi Brown, with questions and interest by June 17, 2021.


Project Assistant: Revisiting the Thematic Apperception Test with Computerized Linguistic Analysis

Project Description

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a projective test which was important in the history of psychology. Developed by Dr. Henry Murray in the 1930's, the TAT was used extensively by psychologists between the 1930s and the 1970s. Since the TAT was administered extensively for decades, it is suspected that many of these TAT narratives still exist. The initial purpose of our project will be to locate these historical TAT narratives, archive them, and make them available for interested researchers who wish to apply more modern interpretive techniques. The second phase of the project will involve original research using the archived narratives.


  • Assist with research
  • Type handwritten narratives
  • Transcribe recorded oral narratives
  • Perform data entry and data analysis


Employee must be a student (graduate or undergraduate). Any major accepted, but job might be of special interest to psychology or history majors. Strong clerical skills, including knowledge of Excel, desired.


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Pay and Employment Details

Job is very part time, approximately 200 hours total over the course of one year ranging from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Averages to 4 hours per week, but could be variable, with the bulk of work expected in September/October of 2021 and March/April 2022. Employee will be hired through the James Walker library, as a student library worker, and the supervisor will be the grant primary investigator, Cindi Brown. Compensation is $9 per hour. A good opportunity to gain research experience in History or Psychology.

To Apply

Please answer the questions on the following questions via email to Cindi Brown, Project Lead and Psychology Graduate Student, cgb3j@mtmail.mtsu.edu. If you wish, you may attach a resume or CV to the email, but it is not required.

Please email Cindi Brown, cgb3j@mtmail.mtsu.edu, the following information:

  1. Your Name
  2. Your M#
  3. Your Program and Major
  4. Contact information, including a phone number where you can be reached
  5. Please briefly explain why you are interested in this job and why you think you would be a good fit for it.
  6. Describe any prior experience you have had with either historical archiving or with psychological research.
  7. Please describe your clerical skills, including experience working with Excel.

Applications are due by June 17, 2021.


Announcing the Final Projects for the Digital Seed Grants 2019-2020

The Digital Seed Grant (dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant) had impressive applications for its third year (award period 2019-2020), which initially launched in 2016 for the award period of 2017-2018. The Digital Seed Grant Review Committee and Dean of Libraries decided to award two grants for the 2019-2020 academic year. One recipient later declined due to scheduling conflicts. The AY 19-20 awardee was announced on the website at https://dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant19-20. A PDF copy of this announcement is preserved in the institutional repository (access the PDF by clicking view/open).


Use of Spectral Interpretation and Database Resources


Primary Investigator (PI):  Dr. Ngee-Sing Chong, Chemistry Department

PI’s Project Description: Through research projects undertaken at MTSU, the identification of chemical compounds via the acquisition of NMR, Raman, IR, and mass spectra have played a central role in advancing research in the interdisciplinary areas of forensic, materials, and environmental analyses. The use of Walker Library’s Digital Seed Grant was used for the purchase of ACD Labs and Mestrenova software programs that have enabled the editing and conversion of the spectral data into formats that can be shared online. Spectral data of color dyes, environmental toxicants, and polymers are now available for supporting analytical courses and research in relevant fields.

Purpose and Audience: The outcome of this project includes the creation of spectral data that can be shared among different student and faculty researchers at MTSU and other institutions. This will improve the productivity of research in forensic, materials, and environmental fields by allowing researchers to calculate the spectral match index through database searching. It will also support the instructional activities related to CHEM 6230 Intermediate Analytical Chemistry as well as CHEM 4230 and FSCH 4230 Instrumental Analysis courses by Forensic Science and Chemistry majors to download the spectral data remotely, which is helpful for remote instruction under the current pandemic restrictions. Students will learn spectral interpretation skills and procedures for searching a spectral database using the sample spectra acquired for this project.

Project News:

The creation of dynamic spectra database is complete, upload to searchable online database is pending (expected upload by June 2021). Once complete the spectra will be used to generate a software-based match index.

In the meantime, you can get an idea of an example of this spectra on the Chemspider website. This sample spectra was produced by MTSU graduate Daniela Talyor. Click on the tab labeled "Spectra" to see the options for ESI + Mass Spectrum, HNMR, Infrared, and Raman.


Funding and Support

The Digital Seed Grant is made possible by generous funding and support from the Dean of Libraries and the Digital Scholarship Initiatives project team. For many, this is a starter grant, which can lead to national grant opportunities in the future and Walker Library wants to encourage and support such creativity activity.

As a competitive grant, evaluation of applications and assessment of digital lifecycles of selected projects takes time. The Digital Seed Grant is indebted to the time of the Review Committee, comprised of digital project experts from Walker Library and the Digital Partners (a rotating member from the Department of History, Center for Historic Preservation, Center for Popular Music, Albert Gore Research Center and the University Archives). The Walker Library also thanks those that help promote the grant and encourage participation.


The 2020-2021 call for proposals closed; and those projects will continue until August 2021 and January 2022. As those projects are completed, the following website will be updated: https://dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant20-21.   

The 2021-2022 call for proposals opened March 1, 2021 and closed April 16, 2021. For more information on the Digital Seed Grant, visit https://dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant.

Digital Seed Grant 2019-2020 Awarded

Digital Seed Grant 2019-2020 Awarded

The Digital Seed Grant had an impressive amount of applications for its third year. The proposals received were of high quality and diverse in scope. The Digital Seed Grant Committee commends all the applicants on their proposed research or teaching projects.

Due to the quantity and quality of proposals, the Digital Seed Grant Review Committee and Dean of Libraries decided to award one grant for the 2019-2020 year.

Project: Use of Spectral Interpretation and Database Resources

Led by Dr. Ngee-Sing Chong, MTSU Department of ChemistryImage removed.


The intended audience will be primarily faculty and students in the Department of Chemistry along with researchers from other departments such as Biology, Physics, Engineering Technology, and Forensic Science programs that are involved in interdisciplinary projects that requires identifying chemical compounds and materials.


Purchase of special software to create a dynamic resource that will be made freely available to researchers and the public. The proposed solution is to create a more effective identification of chemical compounds in faculty research or student thesis projects by acquiring NMR and IR spectral software that support spectral search and comparison and compiling experimental spectra into databases in areas of research pursued by MTSU faculty.


Once the dynamic resource is created, it will be placed on the MTSU Library’s research guide for Chemistry, which is located at https://library.mtsu.edu/chemistry. The project is expected to be completed by June 30, 2020.

For more updates visit the final project page.


Congratulations to Dr. Chong and colleagues in the department of Chemistry.

A Call for Proposals for next year will be announced later in spring 2020, available here.

CFP Now Open: Digital Seed Grants 2021-2022

Announcing the call for Digital Seed Grant Awards

The Digital Seed Grant competition for 2021-2022 is now open. Walker Library Digital Scholarship Initiatives invites proposals for seed grants to support individual or collaborative digital scholarship projects in research, teaching, or public outreach from any discipline or area at MTSU. The call for proposals (CFP) is open to MTSU faculty, staff, researchers and graduate students pursing digital scholarship projects (from the arts to sciences and everything in between). Projects run from July 1 to June 30. Applications for the 2021-2022 cycle are due April 16, 2021.


Examples of digital projects, past winners, and application guidelines are available at http://dsi.mtsu.edu/dsgrant.


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Seed Grants (up to $2,000)

The number of grants available each year will vary, with each at a maximum of $2,000. A list of the awarded projects are available by year: 2020-2021, 2019-2020, 2018-2019 and 2017-2018.

Example Uses of Seed Grant

·  Hiring a student worker to perform data collection or analysis, text encoding, or data entry*

·  Digitizing materials not held at Walker Library

·  Purchasing specialized equipment for digitization or analysis

·  Digital textbook, edition, archive or exhibit

·  Media-rich narratives or interactive storytelling

·  Use of games, 3D, AR/VR, or maker projects for research or teaching

·  Applying geospatial methods to literary texts, historical problems, or scientific discoveries

·  Textual, network, audio, or visual analysis

·  Pedagogical focus on civic or public humanities



Publication: Digital Scholarship Initiatives Highlights 19/20

Announcing the recently published Digital Scholarship Initiatives Highlights 2019-2020: A Digital Scholarship Center Assessment


The 6th annual DSI Highlights brochure summarizes the past year's development (2019-2020). The brochure highlights initiatives lead by the MTSU Walker Library for the creation, access, dissemination, and preservation of digital and scholarly initiatives. Digital Scholarship Initiatives (DSI) Programs include opportunities to:

  • learn and share digital tools and methodologies

  • create and preserve university scholarship

  • fund research and teaching opportunities through seed grants

  • encourage and support development of digital projects

  • provide and support open access publishing


A pdf copy of the double-sided brochure is available at https://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/handle/mtsu/6377.

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A visual gallery of the brochure pages can be scrolled at https://library.mtsu.edu/digitalscholarship/highlights



More information:


Digital Scholarship Initiatives began at Walker Library several years ago as a way to build out the library’s collections digitally. More recently, other initiatives have been added including library publishing through JEWLScholar and Journal Hosting services; the creation of a collaborative Digital Partners group; and a Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) dedicated to faculty and advanced students who enhance research by using digital tools and methodologies learned in workshops, collaborating on digital projects, and disseminating research through digital platforms.


All DSI publications, including previous years of this Highlights brochures are available at https://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/handle/mtsu/4357


What is Digital Scholarship?

Digital scholarship at Walker Library is interdisciplinary, collaborative, and committed. As a method, it emphasizes the use of interactive technologies to expand the participation, modes of access, diversity of analysis, and the dissemination, and preservation of scholarship. The frequently used term, digital humanities (DH), is a subset of digital scholarship (DS)--the larger umbrella of all scholarship including the arts, sciences, and everything between.

Specific examples include but are not limited to:

  • Institutional repository (JEWLScholar) that promotes, highlights and indexes scholarship of campus (including peer-reviewed articles, department newsletters, theses, dissertations, conference proceedings, OER, etc)

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  • Consultations and resources on digital scholarship matters, including open scholarship—(access, data, education), author rights, digitization, digital publishing, scholarly communication, digital and data tools, data management and digital project development.

DS/DH projects are created with and for scholars. In addition to images and historical documents, projects include multimedia components, contextual themes, and lesson plans or essays. DS/DH projects are a collaborative effort with content and technology experts who use a variety of digital methods (text analysis, spatial analysis, digitization, photogrammetry, etc) and digital tools including CONTENTdm, ArcGIS, StoryMaps, TimelineJS, Drupal, Omeka and more.

Examples of Digital Scholarship/Humanties projects at MTSU

  • Image removed.Shades of Gray and Blue
    In Tennessee, we have all heard stories of life and death on the state’s Civil War battlefields, but what happened to the men, women, and children who stayed at home? Their stories, seen through the lens of the objects that were a part of their daily lives, reflect the ways Tennesseans adapted, coped, and thrived during a war whose reverberations are still felt today.
  • Image removed.Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations
    This collection explores African-American Tennesseeans' search for citizenship, community, and opportunity between the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the end of World War II (1945). The project was a collaboration between MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation and the James E. Walker Library, in cooperation with many partner institutions across Tennessee.
  • Image removed.Places, Perspectives
    This collection documents the histories of communities that are the focus of Places, Perspectives: African American Community-building in Tennessee, 1860-1920, a collaborative partnership initiative funded through a matching grant from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area to Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Geosciences and James E. Walker Library in partnership with the Center for Historic Preservation.

Spring 2020 Digital Workshop Series

The Spring 2020 Digital Workshops Series schedule is now available. Mark your calendar for the following topics.

*All workshops are in LIB 272. Register to get a reminder email before the workshop and to help with program planning*

Workshop Schedules below:

  • Historical Newspapers Workshop • Thursday, February 20, 2020, 11:30am-12:20pm
  • Scholarly Publishing & Open Access Workshop • Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 11:30am-12:20pm
  • Introduction to NVivo Workshop • Thursday, March 26, 2020, UPDATE 3/12/20: CANCELLED
    • Learn the basics of NVivo 12, a software tool designed for the collection and analysis of qualitative data sources.
    • More details at https://dsi.mtsu.edu/nvivoSP2020
  • Sanborn Maps Workshop • Tuesday, April 7, 2020, UPDATE 3/12/20: CANCELLED
    • Join this hands-on workshop to learn how to locate specific properties and document the development of Tennessee towns and cities (1800s-1940s).
    • More details at https://dsi.mtsu.edu/sanbornmapsSP2020


Free workshops: open to all faculty, staff, students and community members

50-minute workshops are in LIB 272 (near 2nd floor water fountain)

Copy of all the Spring 2020 DSI Programs (PDF)

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Sanborn Maps Workshop

Sanborn Maps Workshop


Sanborn maps provide detailed information (location, size, construction materials) about buildings in towns across the U.S. dating back to the late 1800s to the 1940s. This hands-on workshop provides guidance on navigating through a digital collection of Sanborn maps of more than 100 towns in Tennessee. To explore the library's subscription to Sanborn maps on your own, see the Historical GIS LibGuide and click on "Fire Insurance Maps Online" (FIMo).

Session topics:

  • What are Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps?
  • Research uses: growth of towns over time, history of industries, historic preservation / city planning, and  local / family history
  • How to access Sanborn maps (Tennessee and other states)
  • Finding specific buildings (churches, schools, buildings) and streets on the maps
  • Discovering details about specific buildings (e. g., color codes for frame, brick, stone, and iron buildings)


Prerequisites: None

Presenter:  Walker Library’s Digital Initiatives Librarian, Ken Middleton

Location: Walker Library, LIB 272 (Instruction Classroom)


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