ACLS Digital Extension Grants

The ACLS Digital Extension Grant program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. It is hoped that these grants will help advance the digital transformation of humanities scholarship by extending the reach of existing digital projects to new communities of users and by adding diversity to the digital record.

This program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

  • Citations: The Renaissance Imitation Mass  |  Abstract

    Building upon recent developments in digital music scholarship, Citations: The Renaissance Imitation Mass investigates similarity and borrowing in music on a massive but detailed scale, using digital tools that only a few years ago were beyond our grasp. This work focuses on the craft of musical counterpoint, and how musicians of the sixteenth century transformed pre-existing pieces to make intricate cyclic compositions from familiar sounds. The CRIM team, an accomplished group of scholars and data scientists active in Europe, North America, and Australia, will assemble a diverse collaborative network of music scholars and students at colleges, music schools and university graduate programs, extending the reach of digital scholarship to new users, and building new communities.

    David Fiala
    David Fiala

    Lecturer, Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance, Université de Tours, France

    Richard Freedman
    Richard Freedman

    Professor, Music, Haverford College

    Andrew Janco
    Andrew Janco

    Librarian, Haverford College

    Raffaele Viglianti
    Raffaele Viglianti

    Researcher, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park

  • Designing Tools for the Boas/Hunt 1897 Digital Edition: Extending the RavenSpace/Scalar Collaborative Publishing Platform to Support Critical Editions in Indigenous Studies  |  Abstract

    This ACLS Digital Extension Grant funds the extension of an existing online platform to enable a new digital Critical Edition of Franz Boas and George Hunt’s landmark 1897 book, "The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians." In creating and later amending the book, Boas and Hunt produced vast archival and museum collections. This project—a collaboration between anthropologists, Kwakwaka’wakw people, and international institutions—has re-assembled and analyzed this archive for a print Critical Edition, and has digitized the relevant materials. It is now expanding its partnerships to extend the functionality of RavenSpace, a Scalar-based platform at University of Washington Press/UBC Press. The development of a new suite of media annotation and navigation tools is supporting the completion of the digital edition and contributing to a powerful new platform for future critical editions in Indigenous Studies.

    Judith Berman
    Judith Berman

    Adjunct Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Victoria

    Andy Everson
    Andy Everson

    Community Consultant

    Aaron Glass
    Aaron Glass

    Associate Professor, Bard Graduate Center

    Dean Irvine
    Dean Irvine

    Director, Agile Humanities Agency

    Barbara Taranto
    Barbara Taranto

    Co-Director, TarantoLabs

  • Expanding the Commons: Supporting Emerging World History Scholars and Community Colleges through the World History Commons OER  |  Abstract

    “Expanding the Commons” extends the reach and impact of “World History Commons,” which provides valuable resources to teachers, students, and researchers. These resources include scholarly essays, teaching materials, historical thinking strategies, and curated primary sources. “Expanding the Commons” extends this scholarly digital project in two key ways. The first is by recruiting early career scholars to write new scholarly essays and incorporating their cutting-edge historical research into “World History Commons.” The second is by partnering with experienced community college faculty to connect “World History Commons” to the community college curriculum and to promote its use among community college world history teachers and students, increasing both access and visibility.

    Jessica Otis
    Jessica Otis

    Assistant Professor, History and Art History, George Mason University

    Kelly Schrum
    Kelly Schrum

    Associate Professor, Higher Education, George Mason University

    Nate Sleeter
    Nate Sleeter

    Research Assistant Professor, History and Art History, George Mason University

  • Expansion of the Intra-American Slave Trade Database  |  Abstract

    The Intra-American Slave Trade Database currently documents more than 11,500 trading voyages that moved enslaved people from one part of the Americas to another. It includes voyages as far north as Newfoundland and as far south as Argentina. When launched online in 2018, the database focused on the trafficking of African-born individuals in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The project is now expanding into the nineteenth century to include more information on forced movements of enslaved people born in the Americas. This expansion adds thousands of additional voyages to the database, mostly in the United States and Brazil, and improves information about previously documented voyages delivering captives to Spanish America. Along with new data, the project is adding lesson plans to help K-12 and university instructors incorporate the database into curricula. These enhancements are made possible by expanded collaboration, with scholars at various career stages joining the project team.

    Alex Borucki
    Alex Borucki

    Associate Professor, History, University of California, Irvine

    Daniel Domingues
    Daniel Domingues

    Associate Professor, History, Rice University

    Gregory E. O'Malley
    Gregory E. O'Malley

    Associate Professor, History, University of California, Santa Cruz

    Jennie Williams
    Jennie Williams

    Doctoral Candidate, History, Johns Hopkins University

  • Generative Rhizomes: Extending Digital Discovery of Mexican American Art  |  Abstract

    "Generative Rhizomes: Extending Digital Discovery of Mexican American Art" builds a new gateway, Rhizomes of Mexican American Art since 1848, by modifying and documenting the software that comprises Umbra Search: African American History, a digital aggregating portal created at University of Minnesota. Rhizomes harvests over 7,500 assets from the Digital Public Library of America, Internet Archive, Calisphere, the Portal of Texas History, and the Smithsonian Institution, and thus becomes the first national-level digital portal focusing on Mexican American Art. The project integrates diverse and interdisciplinary communities through workshops training new users on both portals. Communities vary: from the Smithsonian Latino Center to Midwestern colleges and universities; the Universities of Houston and New Mexico; and to Hispanic-serving institutions, such as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and University of California, Riverside. Generative Rhizomes also invites librarians and scholars in California and Minnesota to support cost-effective cyberinfrastructure for future post-custodial gateways.

    Constance Cortez
    Constance Cortez

    Professor, School of Art, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    Karen Mary Davalos
    Karen Mary Davalos

    Chair, Chicano and Latino Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Mary Thomas
    Mary Thomas

    Postdoctoral Associate, Chicano and Latino Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  • Optimizing Crowdsourced Transcription using Handwritten Text Recognition  |  Abstract

    This project explores the use of machine learning within online crowdsourced text transcription projects. In this collaboration, University of Minnesota researchers will train a machine-learning model for handwritten text recognition (HTR) using data from Anti-Slavery Manuscripts, a crowdsourced transcription project hosted on Zooniverse.org. Zooniverse developers at the Adler Planetarium will create a new online workflow to combine machine-generated transcriptions with crowdsourced effort, using existing Zooniverse tools for collaborative text transcription. The Adler and Minnesota teams will test the HTR model on similar datasets from Minnesota's Archives & Special Collections. The output from this effort will be a data pipeline for uploading machine transcription data into the Zooniverse platform, and an evaluation of best practices for combining human and machine effort in the production of high-quality transcription data.

    Samantha Blickhan
    Samantha Blickhan

    Zooniverse Humanities Research Lead, Adler Planetarium

    Benjamin Wiggins
    Benjamin Wiggins

    Assistant Professor, History, University Libraries, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Darryl Wright
    Darryl Wright

    Research Associate, Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities