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Digital Humanities

A resource guide for learning about and starting projects in the Digital Humanities

Planning Your Digital Project

Preserving and granting access to digital collections is a process that takes a great deal of time and planning. This guide provides a thorough introduction to the necessary steps in guiding a digitization project from start to finish.

Preservation Guidelines

Links to guidelines for Digital Humanities preservation projects. Some links are guides for managing digitization projects, other are links to standards and best practices.

Markup Languages, Metadata Schema and Controlled Vocabularies

If you are creating DIGITAL COLLECTIONS, you can either use presentation and access software like OMEKA or DigiTool or you can encode your documents for direct access without a pre-packaged user interface. If you want to apply digital humanities tools, such as text mining, ENCODING will be your preferred method of access. To apply text mining and other tools, you need to use a coding language to mark up your resources so that they can be machine read and used by others. What follows are a handful of markup languages for ENCODING and metadata standards used in preservation and access projects in PRESENTATION and ACCESS software suites.

Digital Collections


Amanda French's Lesson Plan: Introduction to OMEKA

The presentation and access software developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University. Amanda French is a member of the development team for the tool.



SCALAR is an open-source publication platform focused on leveraging the inter connectivity  of meaning by linking media resources.

SCALAR User's Guide




A markup language for the creation of interactive, sharable music scores.


TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)

A standard designed for creating interactive, searchable text documents. Currently on version P5.

Metadata Standards

Metadata: General

Dublin Core

This is the most basic metadata standard available and is supported by international standards bodies. It is widely used and can be easily implemented. Dublin Core is also extensible, which means it can be customized to suit your project's needs. Other standards may be more complex, but they will capture your metadata more thoroughly.

Metadata: Archives and Special Collections

EAD 2002

Created by the Library of Congress, the EAD metadata standard is designed to handle data about all objects in digital collections. The Library of Congress intends to update the EAD standard in 2013.


The standard used by many organizations, including Rutgers in RUcore institutional repository.

Metadata: Images

VRA Core

Metadata Schema for managing images of cultural heritage and other materials.

Metadata: Cultural Heritage Materials

Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA)

Metadata standard developed by The Getty Institute for cataloging and tracking cultural heritage materials.


XML Schema Content for Contributing Records via the OAI Harvesting Protocol (Version 1.1. Often used instead of a full version of CDWA to create smaller metadata records.

Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO)

CCO was developed to allow museums to record detailed metadata about objects in their collections.

Jenn Riley's Visualization of the Metadata Universe

Jenn Riley and Devin Beckly created this stunning
visual map of metadata standards for the
Indiana University Libraries. Click on the image to
link to the page and a full sized version.

DH Preservation and Access Projects

Media History Digital Library

Eric Hoyt and UW-Madison offer this "free online resource ... from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound."


A digital archive of artifacts and programs from Cinema Zoology at the Antwerp Zoo (1915-1936).

New York Public Library Labs: Building Inspector

NYPL Labs does it again with this crowdsourcing tool that will help computer programs learn to recognize building shapes in old city maps.

Social Networks and Archival Contexts

The Universit of Virgina's groundbreaking project to link archival information from geographically disparate locations for research.

NYPL's "What's on the Menu?"

A crowdsourced preservation and access project by the New York Public Librar Labs. Volunteers are in the process of transcribing approximately 45,000 menus from New York restaurants dataing as far back as the 1840s.

Haiti Memory Project

An oral history project at the Universit of Kentucky recording the experiences of Haitians during the earthquake of January 20, 2010 and living in its aftermath.

Boston College Libraries' Digital Humanities Projects Page

A list of digital humanities projects focused on scholarly communication/preservation using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) for analysis.


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