A Successful First Year and New Digital Scholarship Fellows Announced

The first year of the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program was celebrated with an all-day symposium on campus to highlight the project work of the 2018 Fellows (Phillip Barnes, Catherine Benoît, and Sufia Uddin) and Anthony Graesch (Kw’ets’tel Project, funded by Diane Y. Williams ’59), and to introduce more of the campus community to emerging practices in digital research tools and online publishing. The fall semester also saw the Fellows and program director present their work together at the Digital Frontiers conference at the University of Kansas in October, and Benoît presented her St. Martin Project at the fifth Caribbean Digital annual conference, held in Trinidad & Tobago in December.

Digital Scholarship & Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts Symposium

On November 12, 2018, Information Services hosted the first Digital Scholarship & Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts Symposium. The event included presentations by the 2018 Digital Scholarship Fellows, Anthony Graesch, Trinity College’s Educational Technology team, and UConn Greenhouse Studios. Nicholas Bauch, PhD delivered the keynote lecture. A cultural geographer currently working on an MFA at the University of Minnesota, Bauch published the first project, Enchanting the Desert (2016), in Stanford University Press’s pioneering born-digital publication series. His talk focused on argument-driven design in the processes of transforming information from one medium into other media on digital platforms leveraged for scholarly publishing.

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Keynote speaker Nicholas Bauch (University of Minnesota) presents “Toward a Graphic Re-Mediation of Spatial Thought.” Photo: Helen Fulmer ’21

Around 70 attendees joined us throughout the day from institutions across Connecticut, including Wesleyan University, Yale University, Southern Connecticut State University, and Fairfield University Art Museum. Several departments, centers, and programs generously co-sponsored the symposium: the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, Anthropology, and Environmental Studies, as well as the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

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Sufia Uddin presents her project “Life in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest” during the Digital Scholarship Fellows panel. Photo: Miles Ladin

We hope to hold similar events in the future to share digital scholarship developing at Connecticut College, as well as to continue dialogues and potential collaborations with institutions across the state.

The symposium livestream footage can be viewed online.

Cohort of 2019 Fellows

In December Information Services and the Dean of the Faculty announced the 2019 cohort of Digital Scholarship Fellows. We are excited to work again with faculty from a diverse range of disciplines and with a variety of research objectives, as we continue to experiment with digital scholarship at Connecticut College.

Benjamin Beranek, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, is analyzing experimental economic data on social preferences from within a singular society, which was collected on a digital platform using spatial econometric techniques. The project Within Society Variation in Social Preferences will associate the geographic location of participants in online social preference experiments with other variables of interest, such as economic development, voting patterns, or density. These associations will be analyzed, mapped and visualized on a project website exploring several related research questions.

Danielle Egan, Professor of Gender, Intersectionality and Sexuality Studies, is working on an experimental research project, Transmitting Dominance, which explores ways of structuring arguments in non-linear, multi-modal formats, when integrating digital processes and tools into the scholarly process from a research project’s conception. The project’s website will make use of a range of media to visualize transmissions of dominance in society.

Christopher Steiner, Professor of Art History and Anthropology and Director of the Museum Studies program, is developing a digital archive and website for the Nut Museum collection owned by Connecticut College. Elizabeth Tashjian (1912-2007) was an artist who lived much of her life in Old Lyme, CT and established the Nut Museum in her home. The collection featured her own paintings of nuts, as well as a collection of nuts, nutcrackers, and nut-related memorabilia and ephemera. The project website will make the collection accessible to the public again, and students in the Museum Studies program will gain hands-on experience working with this collection, including conducting research, archiving and digitizing materials, working on physical and/or virtual exhibition projects, and publishing collection highlights online.

It is our pleasure to announce that the Office of the Dean of the Faculty will continue to support the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program for a third cohort next year. Faculty interested in digital scholarship should contact program director Lyndsay Bratton. Stay tuned for updates about all the exciting projects currently in production.

Open Educational Resources and the Open Pedagogy Connection

OER Conn College LogoWe are making great progress toward expanding the use of open educational resources at Connecticut College. After years of advocating for OER on campus, Information Services is currently offering an OER grant for faculty to fund the exploration, adoption, and creation of open access materials. Faculty may receive up to $1,500 to explore and implement OER, or a course remission to develop their own materials.

Creating OER is an exciting opportunity for faculty who wish to develop learning resources customized to their classroom and teaching needs. In addition to funding, the grant offers faculty help in finding non-restrictive licensing and alternative options to traditional copyright. Staff can help with Pressbooks and other platforms in order to adapt or create original OER. IS staff can assist in finding and evaluating existing OER that can be used as base or supplementary material for OER projects. We can also help integrate newly created material into Moodle and advise on strategies to engage students in the OER creation/annotation process.   

The use of OER in classes can provide an avenue to incorporate open pedagogy into the curriculum, a practice in which students are partners in the creation of course materials. The lessons lead to renewable assignments that can be built on throughout the term and into future semesters. As creators of information, students in these courses gain a greater understanding of the rights and responsibilities associated with information ownership. Practitioners of open pedagogy embrace collaboration, student agency, and authentic learning. This open educational practice leads to greater student engagement as well as reducing the cost of a college education.

Below are two interesting examples of faculty created OER:

  • Data Feminism (left) by Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor, Emerson College and Lauren Klein, Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology is publicly available to read and comment on manuscript draft for open peer review.
  • Robin DeRosa’s Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature was  produced by students and faculty for an American literature survey course. Read about the process of creating an open textbook with students in this informative blog post.

Teaching faculty (full-time, part-time, lecturer, and visiting) at Connecticut College may apply for an OER grant. Individuals, teams, Pathways, and departments/programs are encouraged to work together for a unified adoption of OER. Faculty may only receive one grant per course. See the Call for Proposals for more details. Proposals are due Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Please direct questions to Ariela McCaffrey (x2103), research support and outreach librarian.

Welcome to the public domain, 1923!

1923 calendar

On January 1, 2019, thousands of creative works published in 1923 were released into the public domain. This is the first time in 20 years that new material entered the public domain, including literary works, periodicals, dramatic works, movies, musical works, artistic works, and choreography. Now, every year on January 1st, a new batch of material will be released – next year it will be works published in 1924, and so on. Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain explains why, and also includes a list of creative works now available to the public.

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Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

What implications could the release of these materials into the public domain have for scholars and teachers? All public domain materials can be remixed, revised, translated, and explored in in new ways. For example, the literary works listed in this document can now be scanned (if they are not already available in Hathi Trust) and shared. Students can engage with the online texts in new collaborative ways – asking questions, discussing passages, and adding annotation to enhance understanding. Scholars can more easily perform new analysis of the texts using data mining and data analysis techniques, not to mention include rights-free images in scholarly publications. Artists and musicians can draw on previous works, remix and adapt them, creating new works that respond to the present. Literature can be translated into new languages, making them available to audiences for the first time. Books and short stories can be transformed into screenplays for the stage and film. In short, works in the public domain foster creativity and innovation by building on our cultural heritage.

Read more about Public Domain Day 2019:

What will you do with the newly released works?! Contact us with your ideas!


Deadline Extended! Submit a Proposal to Join the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program in 2019

If you have ideas for a digital project related to your research and would like support for project development, consider joining the second cohort of the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program. The deadline for proposals has been extended to December 16. See our recent post for more details!

The program offers a learning community with other faculty doing digital scholarship and library staff who can help with technological, pedagogical, and theoretical aspects of embarking upon a digital scholarship project. You will also receive $2000 to support your project, funding to travel to a digital scholarship conference, and a $1000 stipend.

Contact Lyndsay Bratton, if you have any questions about the program or would like to discuss ideas.

Introducing “Digital Connecticut College”

Digital Connecticut College Homepage

Yesterday we held a workshop to introduce Digital Connecticut College. Thanks to everyone who attended!

What is Digital Connecticut College?

Digital Connecticut College provides students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to register a domain name and create a digital presence through various mediums such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis. You can easily install open source applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, Scalar, and Omeka to your own domain.

Why would I use it?

Although are are the beginning stages of rolling this out to the community, we can share some ways faculty, staff, and students are already using Digital Connecticut College.

  • Faculty research website. Use your domain as a space for digital scholarship, or to share your research with a broader community.
  • Online annotation of texts. Upload your course material into an interactive site that allows for student comments, discussion, and annotation. CommentPress and hypothes.is are two available options that we can support.
  • Collaborative class website. Several courses created a class website, sharing the results of their coursework with a wide audience.
  • Weekly writing. Students post reflections based on course readings or films. The site is shared with everyone in the class, and students comment on each other’s posts creating a vibrant online discussion.
  • Small group or individual websites. Students can also share their research or a project by creating their own websites.

How do I get started?

Contact Diane Creede, Lyndsay Bratton, or Jessica McCullough to create your domain and get started! If you have an idea, feel free to contact one of us. We can work with anyone regardless of your experience with technology.

Enhancing Research through Digital Scholarship

The spring and summer saw many new developments in digital scholarship at Connecticut College. As the College seeks to “open new channels for groundbreaking research, scholarship, and creative work,” outlined in the 2016 Strategic Plan, digital scholarship offers new tools and methodologies to leverage open-access publishing and computational methods of analysis for the advancement of scholarly dialogues and undergraduate pedagogy. The Digital Scholarship Fellows Program, a collaborative initiative by the Office of the Dean of Faculty and Information Services, was launched in January to support faculty wishing to develop digital projects in their research endeavors.

Digital Scholarship Fellows Updates

The 2018 inaugural cohort of fellows were hard at work this summer on their projects. A team including Catherine Benoît (Anthropology), library staff Lyndsay Bratton and Diane Creede, and two students, Gareth Barr ‘19 and Darriana Greer ‘21, attended the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS) at Occidental College in Los Angeles this June. The project team worked with web developer Gabriel Ortiz from Claremont Colleges Library to build the second iteration of Benoît’s St. Martin Project, featuring new image-filtering, crowdsourcing, and bilingual functionalities. In the fall, Benoît’s students will expand the project with an oral history component, conducting interviews with the Saint Martinois community in New London. Benoît will give a talk on her project at the Caribbean Digital V conference in December, hosted by the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.


Sufia Uddin (Religious Studies) led two ConnSHAARP summer research internships to develop the first iteration of her project site, Life in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest. Julia Neumann ‘20 and Avatar Simpson ‘20 spent four weeks engaged in intensive research to design a digital resource Uddin’s students will use in her fall ConnCourse. The team partnered with an external web developer to integrate interactive maps into the site. Uddin plans to expand the project in the future with the publication of her translation of a Bengali epic poem and new research to be conducted on-site in Bangladesh. She aims to present the mangrove forest and its inhabitants in ways that foster broader public awareness of deforestation and its effects on indigenous communities and the environment.


After years of recording the size, shape, and veins of fruit fly wings on paper during morphological research experiments, Phillip Barnes (Biology) developed a new workflow this summer to digitally image the wings at high resolution. As Barnes develops a large dataset of these images, in collaboration with his student researchers, he will build a project website to share the collection and metadata with researchers well beyond his field with the hope of enabling multidisciplinary collaborations.

Stay tuned this semester for project site launches from our fellows!

Digital Frontiers Logo

In early October, the fellows and program director Lyndsay Bratton will give a talk at the Digital Frontiers conference, hosted by the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.

Fall Symposium

We will round out the first year of the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program with our inaugural Digital Scholarship and Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts symposium, Monday, November 12, 2018. The symposium (8:30am-3pm in the Chu Room of Shain Library) will feature talks by the DS Fellows and Anthony Graesch (Anthropology), and by guest institutions Trinity College and the University of Connecticut’s Greenhouse Studios center for scholarly communications design. Cultural geographer, digital humanist, and artist Nicholas Bauch (University of Minnesota) will deliver the keynote lecture (4:30pm in Olin 014), which is co-sponsored by the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology as part of their 2018/2019 colloquium speaker series, Creative Ecologies. Bauch’s 2016 Enchanting the Desert was the first born-digital interactive monograph published by Stanford University Press in their new series of digital scholarship publications.

If you are interested in learning more about digital scholarship or starting a project, join us for the symposium and consider submitting an application for the 2019 DS Fellows Program. A call for proposals will be posted later this fall.

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We are grateful to Professor of Art and Director of the Ammerman Center, Andrea Wollensak, who designed the sleek new logo for digital scholarship.

First Cohort of Faculty Join the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program

This January, Professors Phillip Barnes (Biology), Catherine Benoît (Anthropology), and Sufia Uddin (Religious Studies) became the first Digital Scholarship Fellows in a new program generously funded by the Office of the Dean of Faculty and led by staff members in Information Services.

Building on the success of the Technology Fellows Program (2014-2018), the Digital Scholarship Fellows program supports faculty engaged in digital scholarship projects to scope and design their projects, integrate aspects of the projects into their courses, collaborate with student researchers, acquire new technological skills, and build platforms for sharing their scholarship in innovative ways online. The program works toward the College’s strategic plan objectives to offer new opportunities for student/faculty research and to build a community of practice in digital scholarship.

Catherine Benoît’s project will be a multilingual digital companion to her book, Au coeur des ténèbres de la friendly island: sida, migration et culture à Saint Martin [In the Heart of Darkness of the Friendly Island: Migrations, Culture and AIDS in St. Martin] (2015). Students in Benoît’s Anthropology of the Caribbean course are currently engaged in digitizing a portion of her primary research materials gathered in St. Martin in the 1990s. Across the semester, each student will conduct research on one of the thematic threads of the project—tourism, hurricane Luis (1995), St. Martin as an international tax haven, immigration and undocumented migrants, and the AIDS epidemic—and curate a related collection of images, as well as publish an introductory text for inclusion on the public project website. A project team of faculty, students, and staff from Connecticut College has been accepted to attend the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS) in June, hosted at Occidental College, to work on the next iteration of the project. At ILiADS, Benoît hopes to build a crowdsourcing feature that allows site visitors to submit documents and oral histories for inclusion on the website. She will also implement assignments in future courses that will add oral histories, maps, multimedia, and new research to this multi-year project.

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Students in Benoit’s Anthropology of the Caribbean course (ANT260) are building a collection of digitized photographs in Omeka, a web publishing platform for image collection management.

As part of the program, Sufia Uddin will create a multimodal website about the Sundarbans Mangroves to present the forest and its inhabitants in ways that foster broader awareness of deforestation and its effects on indigenous communities and the environment. Uddin translated the Bengali epic poem that tells the story of Bonbibi (Lady of the Forest), which she will publish online as a component of this project. Digital methods of working with the poem, including textual analysis, digital annotations, the addition of images, maps, and related scholarship, will provide the means by which different ways of knowing this forest will emerge. Uddin plans to work with students this summer to build an interactive map of the mangroves using ArcGIS software.

Through digital scholarship, Phil Barnes hopes to discover other colleagues around the world working on experiments similar to his own and potentially develop collaborations by sharing his data online. He plans to digitize drawings of insect wings created by his students over the years and develop a new workflow to capture more visual data through digital imaging of the wings. This digital process will yield richer information that Barnes and his students can use in future studies, expanding the original intent of the experiment and making data available that other researchers may be able to use.

In summer 2018, students working with the faculty fellows will conduct some or all of their work in the library’s Technology Commons, developing aspects of the individual projects in conversation with each other. Students will have access to advanced software, and library staff will be available for advising on project development.

Stay tuned for blog posts from the DS Fellows, as well as information about a digital scholarship symposium on campus in the fall!

A call for proposals to participate in the 2019 cohort of Digital Scholarship Fellows will go out in fall 2018.

2018 Digital Scholarship Fellows Program: Call for Proposals

Have you been thinking about creating a digital companion for your book project? Do you have collections of research materials collecting dust or physically degrading in your office, or large datasets you’d like to develop into a digital archive, maps, or visualizations to accompany your written scholarship? Would you like your students to actively engage with Special Collections & Archives materials to create a digital project?

If any of these questions resonate with you, and you would like to involve students in the processes of digitization, analysis, and online publishing, please see the Call for Proposals and consider applying for the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program. As a 2018 Digital Scholarship Fellow, you would have the opportunity to work with Information Services staff members and other faculty fellows to 1) gain new technological skills to support the development and broad dissemination of your research; 2) scaffold research projects that involve digital technologies and collaboration with students and other partners; and 3) present the results of your participation in the program at speaking engagements at both Connecticut College and other institutions engaging in creative digital scholarship.

Digital scholarship offers liberal arts colleges opportunities to leverage the close working relationship between students and faculty and develop students’ research and technology skill sets through experiential learning. Digital scholarship tools and methodologies reflect a changing landscape in both teaching and scholarship, including innovations in instructional technology, content management platforms, computational analysis, and open-access publishing. Building upon the successes of the Technology Fellows Program (2014-2018), the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program invests resources in faculty who want to both model these changes and help build a foundation of best practices for the campus. In support of the College’s commitment to enhancing academic distinction, the DSF Program will promote the research objectives outlined in the College’s Strategic Plan.

Participation in the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program provides up to $2000 to be used toward expenses related to a project (e.g. software, hardware, data storage, student labor), funding to present at a digital scholarship conference, and a stipend of $1000.

Proposals of no longer than 1000 words should be submitted to Lyndsay Bratton (lbratton@conncoll.edu) by Sunday, December 3, 2017. All proposals will be reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Faculty, the Vice President of Information Services, the Digital Scholarship Faculty Advisory Board, and the staff who lead the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program. Fellows will be announced by December 15, 2017.

Not sure if your project ideas are a good fit for the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program? Contact Digital Scholarship Librarian Lyndsay Bratton to talk about your ideas and hear more about the program.