ACLS Digital Innovation Fellows

The ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. It is hoped that projects of successful applicants will help advance digital humanistic scholarship by broadening understanding of its nature and exemplifying the robust infrastructure necessary for creating further such works.

2014-2015 marked the tenth and final year of the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship Program, generously funded by 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. 

Peter K. Bol
Peter K. Bol  |  Abstract
This effort expands the capabilities of the China Biographical Database project by improving the online systems, creating new output formats, extending text-mining capabilities to the difficult genre of grave epitaphs, rectifing code tables, and holding a series of workshops to show users how relational databases work and how to take full advantage of the online querying system.

Professor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University  -  The China Biographical Database

Mary Flanagan
Mary Flanagan  |  Abstract
How can the strengths of current digital tools enhance the environment and the collection of the archive? This project presents novel methods of accessing archival records through the creation of five to ten testable front-end models that foster participatory interactions for furthering research and also bolstering the content of the archive itself. Based on ideas from “crowdsourcing,” where groups of people can solve problems and address tasks quite difficult to do on a person-by-person basis, these models are tested with a larger open source initiative that allows for the deployment of various front- and back-end systems so that a scalable model is available to Open Source developers.

Professor, Film and Media Studies, Dartmouth College  -  Interfacing the Archive: Developing a Participatory Model for Archival Records and Research

S. Max Edelson
S. Max Edelson  |  Abstract
The Cartography of American Colonization Database is a web portal that organizes records of thousands of historic maps relating to the European colonization of the Americas in the period 1500-1800. Based at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, this database gathers and refines metadata relating to digital map images scattered across library sites around the world. The CACD provides a single place where scholars can explore, analyze, and interpret maps in their historical and cartographic contexts. Through key collaborations, it features visualizations that allow the scholar to make the most of maps' research potential as digital objects through image layering, dynamic timelines, and automatic text association.

Associate Professor, History, University of Virginia  -  Cartography of American Colonization Database (CACD)

Philip Sapirstein
Philip Sapirstein  |  Abstract
This project is generating digital architectural reconstructions of the Hera sanctuary at Mon Repos, Greece. The Corfu museums hold more than 500 elements of a major, unpublished Archaic temple and auxiliary structures. Preparing for an architectural monograph, the study is creating 3D laser scans, photographs, and notes from the corpus. The basis for restoring the sanctuary, project data will also be freely distributed on an interactive website, including 3D VRML models, hosted by the Penn Museum. The result—accurate visualizations of the richly ornamented, transitional early Heraion—is crucial to understanding the synthesis of Greek art and monumental architecture. The project’s novel applications of laser scanning and rapid web distribution are broadly significant to archaeology and related fields.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania  -  The Digital Reconstruction of the Sanctuary of Hera at Mon Repos, Corfu

Abigail A. Firey
Abigail A. Firey  |  Abstract
The Carolingian Canon Law project is producing a searchable, electronic rendition of canon law texts used by Carolingian jurists, and showing their relations to other such texts. Digital presentation matches the dynamic nature of the material, which varies in each manuscript. The dynamic interface will supply extraordinary capacities for manipulation of the data by users, to allow them to investigate particular statutes, specific principles or concepts, and the transmission of individual canons in a large corpus. The project also supplies historical and bibliographical annotations.

Associate Professor, History, University of Kentucky  -  The Carolingian Canon Law Project: Access, Analysis, and Editing Large Corpora of "Living" Texts