PRESERVATION IN PRACTICE: A SURVEY OF NEW YORK CITY DIGITAL HUMANITIES RESEARCHERS

| By Malina Thiede (with significant contributions from Allison Piazza, Hannah Silverman, and Nik Dragovic) |

Looking for definitions of Digital Humanities (DH), there are hundreds to choose from. In fact, Jason Heppler’s whatisdigitalhumanities.com alone offers 817 rotating definitions of the digital humanities, pulled from participants from the Day of DH between 2009-2014. A few of these definitions are listed in this article.

Digital Humanities (DH) describes the emerging practice of interpreting humanities content through computing methods to enhance data gathering, analysis, and visualization. Due to factors including scale, complexity, and uniqueness, the products of DH research present unique challenges in the area of preservation. This study collected data with a survey and targeted interviews given to New York City metro area DH researchers intended to sketch a picture of the methods and philosophies that govern the preservation efforts of these researchers and their institutions. Due to their familiarity with evolving preservation principles and practices, librarians are poised to offer expertise in supporting the preservation efforts of digital humanists. The data and interviews described in this report help explore some of the current practices in this area of preservation, and suggest inroads for librarians as preservation experts.

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