Downtown Digital is an experimental training strategy undertaken by the members of the Social Sciences and Humanities Department (SocHum) at NYU’s Bobst Library with the goal of improving our ability to provide high-level service in an increasingly digital world. Recognizing the growing importance of and potential for digital humanities projects in academia we set out in the spring of 2015 to learn about both the theory and the practice of digital scholarship.
In consultation with our colleagues who spearheaded the Developing Librarian Project at Columbia University, we will develop a course of training modules related to digital scholarship creation – both technical and conceptual – as we endeavor to produce a digital project of our own. By taking a hands-on approach to professional development in the area of digital scholarship we hope to become even more relevant and valuable to the faculty and students we serve, able to fully partner with them in their digital pursuits, and positioning the library as a central resource for digital humanities projects at NYU.
Throughout the project we will maintain this blog as public documentation of our methods and progress so that others may learn from our experience. While the creation of a tangible digital humanities project will certainly lead to a more robust understanding of digital scholarship, the knowledge we gain throughout the process – manifested in this blog – will be the true final product of the Downtown Digital initiative.