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:
- Metadata, descriptive records that aid in the indexing and discovery of digital collections
- Open access publishing through library hosted journal software for peer-reviewed journals and open educational resources (OER)
- Institutional repository (JEWLScholar) that promotes, highlights and indexes scholarship of campus (including peer-reviewed articles, department newsletters, theses, dissertations, conference proceedings, OER, etc)
- Events that foster practical and theoretical learning and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration such as the Digital Workshop Series and the DH Seminar Series
- Opportunities for presentation or development of research in collaborative and competitive calls for proposals such as the Digital Projects Showcase and the Digital Seed Grant
- Development of digital exhibits and thematic research collections that are collaborative in nature and often grant funded such as Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations
- Research that focuses on the qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating the library user experience; and often published as case studies or guides on the use of digital methods and tools, such as Digital Project Preservation Plan or Collaborative Publishing in Digital History.
- 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 In addition to images and historical documents, projects include multimedia components, contextual themes, and lesson plans or essays.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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.