search articles: 

   from the issue of February 2, 2006

Open house to celebrate digital center


The newly designated Center for Digital Research in the Humanities will host an open house for faculty and staff from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 in Love Library, room 319.

Faculty, staff and students working in the Center do more than convert text to be read on the Web. They create a "value-added" resource for researchers and instructors, making it one of the premiere Web-based destinations of its kind in the world.

Efforts in the area of digital research at UNL were ongoing for more than 10 years before faculty in the text studies initiative of Arts and Sciences and the University Libraries met. In 1997 the center was formed and digital efforts were concentrated in the libraries

The center's work reflects the change in how text is perceived in a digital environment, said Katherine Walter, professor and chair of Digital Initiatives and Special Collections. She and Kenneth M. Price, Hillegass professor of American Literature, are co-directors of the center.

Faculty have become more interested in digital work, both for research and teaching, as the capabilities became available.

The center has about 28 projects ongoing, with dozens of faculty and students involved in the mostly interdisciplinary projects.

Most of the projects involve more than digitizing projects and putting them on the Web.

"It involves interpretive work as well," Walter said. "If you look at the Willa Cather archive, you would see it's not just digitized things but also added value such as volumes from scholarly editions."

The site also provides nuggets of information not available, for example, in an unidentified scanned photo. Graduate students and faculty look at photos and identify people in them and provide contextual information. In one case, a woman in a photo turned out to be the inspiration for the Cather story "The Profile."

The first project Walter's group worked on was Steve Behrendt's "Charlotte Smith: An Electronic Edition of the Complete Works," located online at

Four of Smith's volumes in the libraries' special collections that were difficult for people to access were digitized and encoded so they would be searchable.

Cather's works have had a Web presence for many years. The Willa Cather Archive,, contains information about the scholarly editions of her writings, biographies, and resources for teachers.

Prices' arrival to UNL in 2000 provided another opportunity for the center. Price is engaged in a long-term effort to re-edit Whitman's works on the Web and is co-editor, with Ed Folsom of the University of Iowa, of the Walt Whitman Hypertext Archive,

The 13-volume Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary Moulton, also has a major presence on the Web,

Also, the center is completing a project for the Western Waters Digital Library, digitizing collections for the Platte River section of the library.

The project is availabe at



Life and family inspire Lied staffer
Attic remodel creates door to exhibition
Committees lay foundation for general education reform
Open house to celebrate digital center
Speaker to discuss assessments
Star Art project includes additional campus ties
African American HIV/AIDS awareness day is Feb. 7
Duke scholar presents 'hip-hop theory' lecture
Owomoyela to share Yoruba proverbs, collection methods