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Poster: Good Evidence is Hard to Find: Policy-based Approaches to Curating and Preserving Digital Humanities Data

Marciano, Richard, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill USA, richard_marciano@unc.edu

Hedges, Mark, King's College London, mark.hedges@kcl.ac.uk

Chassanoff, Alexandra, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill USA, achass@email.unc.edu

Aschenbrenner, Andreas,

Hasan, Adil, English Department, University of Liverpool, UK,

Blanke, Tobias,


What does it mean to support scholarship in the 21st century? For the digital humanist, scholarly needs range from providing long-term online access to digitized collections to developing reusable tools to discern historical patterns among large data corpuses. The so-called “age of evidentiary abundance”O’Mally, Michel. "Evidence and Scarcity." [Weblog entry.] The Aporetic. George Mason University. 02 Oct 2010. (http://theaporetic.com/?p=176). 30 Oct 2010. yielded by linked data and other technological advancements presents further interpretative challenges: materials aggregated across collections need to merge content and context in a seamless research environment. Supporting all of these endeavors over the long term requires an efficient underlying structure to manage evolving technologies, scholarship needs, and research requirements. This infrastructure must ensure longevity and usability by attending to curation and preservation components. Building sustainable research environments for the long term should be seen as a core requirement of scholarly infrastructure in the digital age.

In response to the Digital Humanities 2011 theme of “Big Tent Digital Humanities”, this poster will demonstrate policy-based approaches to building sustainable infrastructures for digital research environments. Drawing on our work from key funded projects in the United States and Europe, including Sustaining Heritage Access through Multivalent ArchiviNg (SHAMAN), DCAPE, and Policy-Driven Repository Interoperability (PoDRI), we will showcase how policy- based frameworks can be applied to both small-scale institutional collections and to larger, federated multi-repository research environments. Our work provides a model for how policy- driven curation and preservation policies can be used to effectively manage digital humanities data.