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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Atlas Value Statements

Mike Furlough, Nikki Saylor, Michael Spalti

Penn State University, University of Iowa, Willamette University

Value of Bamboo (Atlas) to Librarians, Cultural Heritage Organizations, and other Content Providers

After fifteen years of digitization by libraries, museums, cultural heritage organizations and other content providers that has led to large scale-digitization partnerships, there is still a tremendous wealth of primary and secondary resources not yet digitized, or even processed to a degree that it is discoverable. Existing digital content is often difficult to discover, or made available through systems that may inhibit reuse and repurposing. However, these organizations, especially academic research libraries, will become more invested in supporting these communities of practice and their efforts to create and disseminate data. Their effective practice will depend upon the degree to which they are tightly integrated into the cluster of inter-institutional collaborations that enable the creation and use scholarly content. Going forward, stewards of these materials must make strategic investment choices about how they create and curate collections of digitized content, and those choices must be informed through a deep engagement with scholars in all disciplines.

The Bamboo Atlas should provide content stewards with evidence of scholarly engagement with digital resources, elucidating current trends and cutting edge research in the digital humanities and social sciences. The Atlas could identify communities of practice for which particular collections and services may have significant value and impact. The documentation of scholarly practices should also provide content stewards with insights that will assist them in designing and implementing services for the curation of digital humanities data, including the "refactoring" of content to work with tools and/or services supported by Bamboo. By using and contributing to the Atlas, librarians, archivists, curators, and faculty may jointly discover opportunities for local collaboration that draw upon and contribute back to developments within the wider Bamboo community. Perhaps most significantly, the Atlas could provide content stewards with an avenue for direct collaboration with members of the Bamboo Community to support the development of additional contextual materials or other value-adds to their existing collections.

In their use of the Atlas, stewards of cultural heritage materials will also be driven by the following concerns, and others:

1) Current practices are critical, but stewardship must anticipate the unanticipated needs of unknown and future users. How might decisions made today constrain scholars in the future?

2) Many members of this community exhibit contradictory behaviors. While stewards seek to improve access and use of their collections, they also may wish to control that access and use of the materials in order to protect their organizational interests, or to ensure that the context of the collections and resources are not rendered invisible when networked.

Katherine Harris, Steve Brier, Jon McKenzie, Mark Williams

San Jose State University, CUNY Graduate Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dartmouth College

Value Statement about Teaching/Learning/Pedagogy for the Bamboo Atlas

Digital humanities work doesn't divide neatly into teaching and research categories. Rosemary Feal notes in a recent Inside Higher Ed column ( that one of the exciting aspects of the new digital projects being created is that they advance scholarship and create teaching tools at the same time. The development of a growing body of scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) over the past decade helps us end the false dichotomy between teaching and research work. For digital humanities practitioners, teaching becomes the place where scholarship is practiced and modeled for students.

Digital humanities work, by its nature, focuses on multiple audiences: scholars, technologists, teachers and just as importantly, students (graduate and undergraduate). Moreover, while Project Bamboo will build appropriate digital humanities tools and resources to facilitate faculty and graduate student research, if we don't introduce those digital tools into classroom pedagogy and use them to improve teaching and learning, our audience will remain limited to a small portion of the higher education learning population. The way to overcome the false divide between teaching and research is to HEIGHTEN the visibility of pedagogy within that equation.

We believe strongly that research and pedagogy should not be separated in Project Bamboo, but rather integrated, through the Atlas, to take full advantage of the natural synergies that exist between the two functions and allow those synergies to emerge:

  • many basic technical needs and tools that are required for research and pedagogy in the digital arts and humanities are in fact the same;
  • by including pedagogy explicitly in Project Bamboo, we expand our pool of participants and increase the likelihood of creating a vital and engaged community that will maintain and expand the Atlas's information and minimize confusion and dissipation of energy;
  • many arts and humanities faculty and graduate students are actively exploring the ways to take research principles and embed them into the classroom so that classes adopt a more active research agenda, including publishing the results of classroom activities and merging classroom practice with collaborative research projects.

The Bamboo Atlas is the locus for the dissemination and discussion of related educational and curricular materials in the arts, humanities and interpretive social sciences that can help faculty, students, library and technology professionals, and others to integrate emerging digital content and tools into research, teaching, and public service. The Bamboo Atlas can serve as a "Craigslist element" of sorts, to encourage individual scholars to discover and then share and improve on such pedagogical ideas and "services." Bamboo can then keep track of who is using the services and report on how that technology is being deployed for research, teaching, professional development, promotion, and grant proposals.

John Laudun

University of Louisiana, Lafayette

Value for scholarly / professional societies

The central focus of the learned society remains support of its members' pursuit of reliable knowledge and its effective communication within and without the society. Cyberinfrastructures expand the communicative modalities available to learned societies and their members. However, these same infrastructures threaten some of the most venerable revenue streams, emphasizing the importance of maximizing the return on investment in the digital realm. What learned societies need are at least interoperable, if not common, infrastructures that allow members to communicate and collaborate, in a trusted fashion, with other scholars, be they mutual members of the same society or in an adjacent field. By participating in a common technological ecosystem, learned societies can leverage their investment to give their members the tools and content they need to advance their own scholarship, and thus the impact of the society itself.

Jim Muehlenberg

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Value to IT people who support digital humanities

I think the Atlas artifacts serve to document and help us learn about the range of scholarly problems, methods and practices that are typical for arts/humanities/interpretive social sciences faculty, including the language they use, the kinds of content they work with, the types of tools they use or might benefit from, the actual activities that comprise their work, and the like. This education for those of us new to trying to support the needs of that community is most helpful, and helps us better support our faculty by understanding typical needs and processes, helping us bring to bear resources from other departments or institutions or disciplines, helping us plan for shared campus needs, helping to plan for new LIbrary services and resources, and so forth. It lets us avoid starting from scratch in providing solutions to expressed needs.

A related value for IT and Library is it fosters a dialog with the faculty that may not have occurred prior to the campus involvement with Bamboo, it brings new connections and opportunities for partnership, it helps local faculty and institute/center directors and deans and the like see that they have an on-campus partner who cares about their problems and their general lack of resources to support their technology needs (at least on our campus this has been the case)."

David Germano

University of Virginia

Help a faculty member find a tool they need, find out who is developing the tool, its strengths and weaknesses

The Bamboo Atlas will help faculty and students (info) find tools to do what they want to do in their scholarly activities and lives (whether research, teaching, learning, service, engagement, networking, or publication); (ii) then assess each tool in terms of its functions, how broadly it is used in general, how extensively it used/being developed/being supported specifically within their peer micro-communities (locally, nationally, internationally, within institutions, disciplines, etc.), what the strengths/weaknesses of each tool are, and various use scenarios for its utility; and (iii) finally of course to actually chose a tool based upon the preceding and get as much information, support, and guidance as they can for their use of that tool.

Deb Keyek-Franssen, Jim Muehlenberg

University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Local sustainability of digital humanities initiatives and local team-based support of humanities research

The Bamboo Atlas will allow local teams of humanities faculty and libraries and IT staff to tap into a rich network of disciplinary-based expertise, to connect with and learn from faculty and staff at peer institutions and professional organizations, and to bring that new knowledge to benefit digital humanities initiatives and humanities research on home campuses. All three groups - humanities faculty, libraries staff, IT staff - will gain direct benefit in three distinct areas:

  • An increased understanding of humanities research methodology: faculty will enhance their scholarly work by exposure to different models of reflection on humanities research ("scholarly narratives" of research approaches, etc.); libraries and IT staff will gain a better understanding of the research process in the humanities and therefore will be better able to support it.
  • Identification of tools and content: faculty will enhance their scholarly work through new knowledge of and easy access to tools and content; libraries and IT staff will be better able to support research in the humanities by their increased understanding of the tools and content necessary for that research, and by learning how to access those tools and to integrate them into campus systems.
  • Recognition of teaming as valuable to humanities research, and identifying effective practices in teaming: faculty will enhance their scholarly work by gaining a new perspective on the benefits of teaming with campus libraries and IT staff, as well as with peers within their disciplines, and by understanding practices that can help make those teams successful; libraries and IT staff will gain a similar perspective and understanding of effective practices in successful team support of humanities scholarship.
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