Stopping to smell the roses: more thoughts on DH and collaboration

By Laura Whitebell

Milton in his old age

We have been fortunate to have a series of visiting Digital Humanities scholars at the University of Rochester over the last few months, and while all of their projects and approaches have been very different, most have still emphasized the importance of collaboration in their work. We’ve written a post about the topic before, but this time I want to focus more generally on the different kinds of group work we engage in at BAND.

Looking back over the last few years, the letters project has changed the way that we work, at once promoting the collaborative spirit that is such a positive part of DH, but also eroding some of the skills that group work encourages. I think that this is because of the specific nature of the project and the workflow that we have developed to handle it. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. A BAND Assistant will take responsibility for transcribing and putting together the editorial apparatus of a single letter;
  2. Nick (who has been managing the project) will resolve any outstanding queries and bank the finished letter;
  3. When a batch of a dozen or so are ready they are re-distributed for proofreading.

Often this third stage of the process happens …read more