The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities offers technology support for a variety of different humanities projects. Looking through their list of current research projects, you can see examples of many different types of projects taking advantage of these resources. Many of these projects seem to be image heavy in different ways, which makes using digital media extremely attractive. Works on objects, engravings, or architecture greatly benefit from the ability of new media to allow the reader to really connect with these items. Other projects, which primarily have a very tight theme and focus on compiling a multitude of information in a meaningful and organized fashion also make good use of this potential. The ability to include interactive or searchable maps, or include small videos giving a three-dimensional view of an object allows a different audience of people to find something of interest in the past. It is important though that the technology not become an end to itself. Without scholarly work explaining what these artifacts are and why they are included, a site runs the risk of becoming just another interesting place to be browsed in passing. Its important not to become so involved with the tiny details that everything just becomes trivia.
The Indiana University Digital Library Program offers resources to digitize information and create digital progects. They also provide links to a number of digital resources offered by Indiana University. One resource I found that I had been unaware of was Digital Images Delivered Online from the Department of History of Art. This allowed you to search their collection of images that could be used for teaching or study, as well as information for finding images on the Web and links to other image sites. A quick search for “Degas and Woman” returned 13 thumbnails with citation for the work and a link to the full image. Other types of resources include a number of other colleccts, from film to music to indexes of magazines and articles about specific topics.
IU Scholar Works is a subsection of the Digital Library Program which makes works from IU scholars available online. Submissions include syllabi, lectures and papers. The interface is a little clunky and difficult to browse as someone without a specific item in mind, but the idea is really creative. It seems that right now really niche departments have signed up for this program, mostly in the sciences like Chemistry, the Cyclotron facility, and Informatics. Why haven’t many other deparments signed on to a program like this yet and what can be done to promote this service?