DH@SAS provides a focus for digital humanities activity that occurs across the School and within Senate House Library. It showcases both world-leading digital research and the digital resources that are developed here to support humanities research nationally and internationally.
Digital humanities (DH) is an emerging field that has the potential to inform the development of transformative research in the humanities. It has become increasingly influential both as an academic field and as an area where the intersection of digital tools, methods and content can be seen in an interdisciplinary, transnational way.
DH@SAS demonstrates the value of digital research to the wider humanities community and fulfils the School’s remit to promote and facilitate digitally enabled research across the disciplines. It fosters interdisciplinarity and takes a proactive approach in setting the national agenda for DH.
Key themes and activities
DH@SAS enables development in digital humanities across the School's institutes and libraries. Themes include:
- Building a digital research infrastructure for access to, and sustainability of, research outputs; for research data management; and for digital collections
- Developing digital and scholarly communication initiatives, particularly open access publications
- Conducting outreach and public engagement to raise awareness and build collaborations and networks
- Building capacity through research training
- Fostering and developing strategies for interdisciplinarity in digital humanities
- Big data for humanities research
The School is developing a new digital strategy that will include the establishment of visiting fellowships; innovation in postgraduate training and teaching; fundraising for research; and the organisation of internationally focused events.
Existing SAS digital humanities activities
The School of Advanced Study has a long history of digital research and innovation, and it combines the delivery of well-established digital resources and services with cutting-edge new projects. A full list of digital resources at SAS may be found here, but flagship projects include:
- British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)
- Electronic Access to Global Legal Information (Eagle-i)
Cultural history and the role of images in culture
New digital research in the School has focused on the archived web (humanities), big data for humanities research (law and history), social media (modern languages and history), the transnational comparison of parliamentary proceedings (history), and English literary heritage (English).
Recent strategic appointments have underlined the emphasis the School places on digital humanities:
- SAS Chair in Digital Humanities
- Institute of Classical Studies Reader in Digital Classics
- Warburg Institute Digital Librarian
Other Institutes have developed funded research with digital content and methods at its core, and key appointments have been made in digital publishing. Senate House Library is developing digital initiatives, especially through the appointment of a Head of Commercial Licensing and Digitisation. There is also a digital humanities strand at the annual Being Human Festival.
Senate House Libraries Digital Initiatives
Senate House Library has created a new role of Head of Commercial Licensing and digitisation, with responsibility for identifying commercial and grant-funded opportunities to digitise and license content from the wealth of modern and special collections held within the Library. The Library aims to:
- Improve access to, and awareness of, its collections
- Take a lead role in supporting digital scholarship (with particular emphasis on the creation and curation of digital assets)
- Digitise materials for remote access research
- Create enhanced metadata to enable research across linked datasets
- Develop a range of analytical tools.
Equally, the Library will explore the challenges posed by the need to curate digital content and research outputs across various standards and formats, and how to ensure the continued provision of access, thereby redefining the role of an academic research library for the 21st century as both an onsite and a virtual research centre.