Database of Digital Humanities Projects
Report of Committee Meeting
June 9, 1999
Present: Chuck Bearden, Charles
Faulhaber, David Green, Susan Hockey, Lorna Hughes, Mike Neuman,
Chris Powell, Matt Stoeffler, John Unsworth
The Working Group reviewed the current
early stage of the database prototype, based on 110 records
supplied by the NEH of digital projects funded by the Endowment
over the last three years. The Working Group then reviewed issues
raised by the catalogers working on the prototype at Rice and
1. Review of Prototype
- We agreed that all the NEH records
should remain in the database; that funding by NEH was
fine as an initial criterion for selection. However, we
reiterated that we will include only records of projects
that have a digital product, as opposed to those using
computation in the process of producing a product.
- We would continue to process existing
records, contacting all project directors, e-mailing them
copies of their records and asking for information
necessary for completion. We would focus on detailed
"computational properties" of the project.
- Building as close to perfect a set of
records as we could from the NEH data (together with
records from the NSF and from JISC, if possible) would be
the goal of the current phase (Phase I) of the project.
This will entail a high degree of contact with project
directors (higher than we envision for Phase II, when
project directors would complete submission forms that
would require detailed information). Once we are
comfortable with the form and content of the prototype we
will then open it for submissions by others for Phase II.
Phase II could also include commercial products.
- Even though we have in-kind
contributions (valued at approximately $10,000 each per
year) from Rice and Michigan, we should now create
funding proposals for completing Phase I (including
travel to meetings where necessary) and outline a funding
proposal for Phase II--for the enhancement and
maintenance of the database.
- We need to clarify who will continue
to work on the database at Rice and Michigan: a mixture
of catalogers and selectors/subject specialists/
bibliographers would be helpful.
- We will produce a set of guidelines to
assist the catalogers complete the database records.
2. Database Structure
- We need to clarify and print out field
names of our revised structure (currently it is a hybrid
between the NINCH "Proposed Collated Structure"
of 10/7/98 and the Michigan Registry). (see new Proposed Fields)
- We should aim to narrow the number of
fields and required fields
- We should collapse the "File
Format," "Software Used" and
"Standards Used" fields into a
"Computational Properties" field.
- We need to review the recommendations
on the use of Dublin Core, the model for our database
structure, made in the HDS publication, "Discovery
of Online Resources in the Arts & Humanities."
Chuck Bearden and Lorna Hughes agreed to review the
document and make recommendations.
- We should clarify that we are
cataloging the digital project, not its contents.
- We should add a field indicating
whether the project has been cataloged and how; if
available we should dump MARC cataloging information, TEI
header or other such cataloging or descriptive
information into this "Cataloging Information"
- We will revise the Object Types (see
- We will use LC Subject Headings
(instead of the current Subject list).
- We clarified the "Status"
field: options will now be: STATUS: Accessible Y/N; In
- We will include
"networkable" CD-ROMs and will follow Chuck
Bearden's suggested protocols, which will be written into
- We will follow AACR2 where it helps
- Formats, software used or developed,
standards used, etc) should be as complete and detailed
as possible and should be requested directly from project
directors. The purpose of this information is to help
fellow practitioners gauge the quality and usefulness of
projects as models and to decide on the usefulness of any
software tools for their own projects. Guideline
documentation here would help (see also the NINCH
"Best Practices" Evaluative Criteria developed
for gauging digital projects and practices).
4. Revised Object Types
||3. Reference Tools
(Editions, Collections: Text, Image, Sound, Moving Image,
Born Digital, Multimedia, etc)