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Create a Humanities Marketplace


As suggested at a Princeton group session, Bamboo could create a "Humanities Marketplace," or "Trading Zone." This idea was also raised at Berkeley as a "Craig's List" for scholars.




Proposed/originated by:

Rick Peterson

Washington & Lee University

Current facilitator(s)

Chad Kainz

University of Chicago

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Why might this direction be appropriate for Project Bamboo?



The creation of a "Humanities Marketplace" would support academic "commerce" and provide access to products and services provided by "vendors" in the marketplace.

Depending on the capabilities, philosophy, and politics at individual instutionals, it may be difficult if not impossible to find appropriate, accessible, and valuable resources to engage in scholarly projects. Having a humanities marketplace of ideas, skills, and services would provide a source for community information, conversation, and resources. For example, if a faculty member wanted to provide open access to a seminal bibliography and did not know how to accomplish that goal, she could consult the humanities marketplace. There she may find consultants (some would charge a fee, many would not) who may tell her to TEI tag her bibliography, and then use XML/XSLT to transform and publish it.  Technologists would be in the marketplace to create the necessary XML/XSLT transforms (for a reasonably fee hopefully) and the faculty member would be able to spend more of their time producing scholarship and less worrying about the technology.

Why might this direction be inappropriate for Project Bamboo?





What tools, standards, organizations, or efforts exist in this area?

Note:  This list does not need to duplicate listings on related-theme page(s) linked above. 


Description - what is it?

URL or other reference


it's eBay  (smile)
(auction style)

Craig's List

Classified ad model

What tools, standards, organizations, or efforts are missing from this area?

Note:  This list does not need to duplicate listings on related-theme page(s) linked above.


Description - what is it?

URL or other reference

Community Analogue

In the case of both eBay and Craig's List, there were analogues to the physical world. Is there an analogue to this marketplace notion that makes sense for arts, humanities, and social sciences scholars and those who support them?

Related Theme(s) of Scholarly Practice


Related theme(s) of Scholarly Practice (links)



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  1. Unknown User (

    This is exactly what is needed, speaking as a Humanities faculty member at a small liberal arts institution, where support for, expertise in, and knowledge of research computing issues is virtually non-existent. I have had to go outside of my own university to find consultants able to help me with my own project, and even having found these consultants, I have still had to spend an enormous amount of time on software and programming issues that have absolutely nothing to do with producing more scholarship. Mind you, all of this information related to computing has been interesting, but it is only very tangentially related to my field of expertise. In short, a place where Humanities faculty members might be able to match up with knowledgeable and available technology colleagues might produce collaborative efforts of great value, potentially to both communities.

  2. Unknown User (

    This is a notion I've discovered myself. In thinking about this issue, there was a recent exchange I had with a faculty member on Facebook that seems to mirror this kind of idea.

    1. Unknown User (

       I would like to suggest a slightly different model - one of matching rather than trading or marketing.

      For me the "model" would be more like and less ebay or craigslist though with features of these (e.g. trust scores).

      The situation of looking for a service that can be offered by others implicitly establishes a hierarchy on a "need" basis. I believe that the problem about making collaborations in Dig. Humanities work has been this asymmetry that we willingly or unwillingly introduce. I think the best collaborations happen between scholars that were already working in the fringes of their disciplines. In other words, not all computer scientists will understand what historians need. Some will though, and I think that a matching rather than a "marketing" model would make these surface more.

      So in fact it would be like but imagine a circle (an ecosystem with expert, CS, designer, manager) rather than the duo you have on that site.

      For a true model that can not only match but assist during collaboration stages I would look into a model like that I keep going back to in many contexts as one of the best portals for project collaboration I have encountered.

  3. Unknown User (

    1. Unknown User (

      In Sweden today study circles have broad federal and national support.

      National educational associations receive annual subsidies from the federal government and work with folk high schools (Volkshochschule), university short courses, correspondence study and distance learning, allowing citizens to understand and participate more fully in their communities and nation.

      The Swedish study circle model was successfully transplanted into American culture, most notably in the National Issues Forums (sponsored by the Domestic Policy Association in Dayton, Ohio) and the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen's Study Circle Program which began in 1986.

      Study circles allow complex topics to be broken down into manageable parts.