Introduction to this Section

This is an early draft of materials to help prepare the "Case Statements" for Bamboo. The Bamboo case statements will be one or more short documents that explain what Bamboo is and why one should participate and invest in Bamboo. We imagine we will need case statements for several different audiences. First, leaders at local institutions such as Presidents, Chancellors, Provosts, Deans, heads of Libraries, and/or CIOs. These leaders will decide whether and to what degree their local institution should commit resources to the Bamboo Project. Second, case statements will be needed for funders from Foundations (private and federal) and corporations. Such funders will need to understand the broad, multi-institutional, and in some cases international value that Bamboo provides. Third, we see the need for case statements that can speak to the very large community of those engaged with humanities scholarship world wide (perhaps as many as 100,000 individuals). This third community is critical to the large-scale engagement with Bamboo in the long-term.

Below we've posted an initial list of arguments for leadership, participation, and/or investment in Bamboo. We seek the Bamboo Community's suggestions on:

Several important things to note:

Case Statement Materials: Reasons to Participate and Invest in Bamboo


  1. Support for All of the Humanities. Bamboo strives to benefit scholars at all levels of technology use, and in all disciplines in the arts and humanities. For humanities researchers who are deeply engaged with digital technologies, Bamboo seeks to provide shared services and infrastructure so that scholars can spend more time on research and teaching and less time managing and sustaining technologies and technologists. For humanities faculty and students who want to explore what is possible in their field, Bamboo will provide multiple avenues to connect to what other scholars have done with digital technology, see what next steps to take, and learn how to use shared services.

  2. Collaborate Across Boundaries. The Bamboo philosophy is centered in bringing together colleagues from the humanities, computer and information sciences, the library, museums and archival collections, university presses, learned societies, and information technology organizations. Bamboo's community model works to make this happen on campus, between campuses, and with other organizations and partners central to the cyberinfrastructure for humanities. Participation in Bamboo thus gives a focus and locus of activity for faculty and staff on a campus to work together in a coordinated fashion to further research and integrate resources.

  3. Understand Scholarly Practices, Search for Commonalities, Build Shared Services. In Bamboo, teams of humanities scholars and technologists work together to understand scholarly practice, now and in the future. They use this growing body of qualitative and quantitative data to search for commonalities across disciplines. From these commonalities of need, they build reusable software components that can be exposed and combined as shared services for the humanities. In this way, collaborative research about humanities scholarship drives the development of software.

  4. Connect Content to Tools, Tools to Content. Digital collections and corpora in all forms are increasingly fundamental to humanities scholarship. Libraries, museums, and archives face challenges in growing and sustaining these collections so that they are accessible to researchers and the public alike. By bringing together content stewards with information scientists, and by investing in a shared platform for services across higher education, Bamboo will help to connect tools with content resources, and to make content across collections far more usable. Often the concerns and methods of content stewards and tool developers have been isolated from each other. The future of the digital humanities requires a common culture of information management. Bamboo will help to develop this shared culture.

  5. Sustain Digital Scholarship with Common Infrastructure. At the heart of Bamboo is the development of sustainable infrastructure for shared technology services across institutions. This will allow digital humanities projects to transition from project-specific applications to longer-lived, broadly supported, efficiently operated, and widely reused services. The Bamboo Services Platform, combined with a partnership process to help existing applications make use of a services model, is the core to this infrastructure. Bamboo believes a sustainable infrastructure for shared services will set the stage for a future in which many scholars can easily discover, combine, and re-mix content and technology to create new forms of research and teaching.

  6. Participate in a Technological Ecosystem for Innovation. Bamboo's philosophy is to leverage and fit in with a much larger ecosystem of tools, content repositories, community source programs, cyberinfrastructure initiatives, and open standard offerings from technology corporations. Bamboo will realize this goal by focusing on the platforms, APIs (programming interfaces), models for data exchange and interoperability, and "gadgets" for services. In this way Bamboo can connect with a wide range of collaborative environments, collections, and applications — thus harnessing innovation from many fields, many technologies beyond Bamboo. In addition, Bamboo will help to coordinate and participate in discussions about critical technical standards across higher education.

  7. Leverage Investments, Save Time, Share Expertise. Throughout its efforts, Bamboo is looking for ways in which small and large higher education institutions can partner together to leverage investments, share expertise, and support the academic and professional development of a cadre of scholars, librarians, technologists, and researchers who can work together for the long term to support the humanities.

  8. Help Lead an International Effort to Advance Humanities Scholarship. Leadership in Bamboo is an opportunity for an institution to partner with other colleges, centers, and organizations globally to nurture technology-enhanced research and teaching in the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences. By participating in Bamboo, an institution can leverage the broader community's expertise to solve problems, shape methods for sharing tools and content across disciplines, and influence the direction of humanities research. Participation in Bamboo can be an important means to attract and retain researchers, staff, and students. Helping to lead Bamboo is a concrete step your institution can take to support and advance the humanities locally and across higher education.