History of Art and Architecture

Alison Langmead Colloquium

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 12:00pm

Room 202, Frick Fine Arts Building

“Towards the Persistence of Digital Scholarship: The Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap”

The Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap is a module-based, team-focused workshop intended to help with the seemingly daunting task of sustaining web-based, user-facing, digital humanities project over time. The design of the Roadmap is predicated on the conviction that digital humanities project teams need to answer the question, “How long do we want this to last?” at the very same moment that they formulate their intellectual goals. Digital humanities projects can, and should, have a variety of expectations of longevity, and these expectations should match individual intellectual and technological goals as well as a realistic assessment of funding opportunities. Not all digital project teams plan for their work to last for “BookTime,” that is, for as long as a traditional paper-based codex might last on a library shelf. Some projects might “bloom and fade,” others may plan to last for the length of an individual scholar’s career, some may indeed strive to persist indefinitely into the future. It is important to admit, address, and validate the fact that digital projects can also end for a variety of reasons, from an intentional “sunsetting” of the work to a sudden loss of funding resulting in an inability to support the project further. The Roadmap is predicated on the conviction that successful digital sustainability relies on pursing any of these options as intentional plans rather than surprise happenstance. Inspired by design thinking and collaborative learning approaches, this team-centered project audit guides participants through the practice of creating effective, iterative, ongoing digital sustainability strategies best suited for their needs and goals.