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. 


Black Book Interactive Project - Extending the Reach (BBIP-ER) |  Abstract
Principal Investigator: Maryemma Graham, University of Kansas. “Black Book Interactive Project: Extending the Reach (BBIP-ER)," based at the University of Kansas, is the first searchable digital collection of previously unavailable African American novels. Created by the Project on the History of Black Writing to address the digital divide, BBIP-ER developed as a collaboration with scholars at the University of Chicago with support from KU’s Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. As the project continues to add content and descriptive data, it is also expanding the user base both inside and outside the academy and encouraging new working partners in this unique interactive environment. The project has a team of advisors and works with the College Language Association to provide training and access to the collection through a user interface. The result is a diverse learning community where scholars and practitioners can work creatively in producing new knowledge and opportunities for teaching and research.

Collaborators: Textual Optics Lab at the University of Chicago, University of Kansas Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, College Language Association, and HBCU Library Alliance

Maryemma Graham
Maryemma Graham

University of Kansas

Linking Literature, Bioinformatics, and Machine Learning through the Quantitative Criticism Lab |  Abstract
Principal Investigator: Pramit Chaudhuri, University of Texas at Austin; Co-Principal Investigator: Joseph P. Dexter, Harvard University. The Quantitative Criticism Lab (QCL) is producing a web-based suite of tools for traditionally-trained humanists to analyze literary texts in a quantitative manner. The tools are designed with an important class of literary problems in mind, exemplified by the identification of verbal parallels and, at a larger scale, by the individuating of entire works within generic traditions. The two main computational approaches involved are sequence alignment for the detection of verbal resemblance, and stylometry augmented by machine learning for the profiling of texts and corpora. QCL’s research includes enhancement of an existing sequence alignment tool for Latin (Fīlum) and its extension to ancient Greek, Italian, and English, and the leveraging of previous work on Latin style to create a user-friendly stylometry toolkit applicable to multiple premodern languages. Partners will include faculty members and students from Austin Community College, Trinity University, and Rice University.

Pramit Chaudhuri
Pramit Chaudhuri

University of Texas at Austin

Enhancing Scholarly Use of the Corpus of Early Modern Print |  Abstract
Principal Investigator: Joseph F. Loewenstein, Washington University in St. Louis; Co-Principal Investigator: Anupam Basu, Washington University in St. Louis. This project will develop an open-access portal to an enriched digital corpus that represents the output of the English press in the first two and a quarter centuries of printing from 1473 to 1700, an enhanced workspace with improved digital tools for historical and literary scholars, and a pedagogical gateway by which teachers can introduce students to the print record of Tudor and Stuart culture. This work will extend the achievements of already well-developed digital projects—including the Text Creation Partnership of Early English Books Online, The Early Modern Lab (Northwestern, Washington, and Notre Dame Universities) and Early Print (Washington University)—and seek to build a communal curatorial infrastructure to ensure the continued growth and increasing tractability of the central corpus for digital research in Early Modern Studies.

Joseph F. Loewenstein
Joseph F. Loewenstein

Washington University in St. Louis

The Freedom of Information Archive |  Abstract
Principal Investigator: Matthew Connelly, Columbia University; Co-Principal Investigator: David Madigan, Columbia University. The FOIArchive makes it possible to explore millions of declassified government records. The project aggregates collections that are currently scattered across virtual archives, extracts unique metadata, and makes all of it available through web-based interactive tools. This extension also will make these data and tools compatible with Columbia Library systems and software. Users worldwide will be able to get an aggregate view of entire archives, filter subsets of metadata, and see the specific words that produced a single data point. The project also will seek to build a network of libraries to support the platform and train junior scholars in how to use it.

Collaborator: Raymond Hicks

Matthew Connelly
Matthew Connelly

Columbia University

Extending GeoPACHA: Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, History, and Archaeology |  Abstract
Principal Investigator: Steven Wernke, Vanderbilt University; Co-Principal Investigator: Parker VanValkenburgh, Brown University. In partnership with scholars at universities across North and South America, this project enhances and extends the Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, History and Archaeology (GeoPACHA), an open source, browser-based tool for discovering and documenting archaeological sites in Andean South America. GeoPACHA is producing the first truly global map of settlement history in the prehispanic and colonial Andes by 1) aggregating diverse collections of legacy archaeological data collected through field survey; 2) expanding these datasets through virtual survey of satellite and historic aerial imagery; and 3) providing training data for machine learning algorithm approaches to site detection on a massive scale. The thousands of sites being documented with GeoPACHA will enable new views of the organization and transformation of interregional political, economic, and defense networks in the Andes from 1000 to 1600 CE.

Steven Wernke
Steven Wernke

Vanderbilt University