This summer, ZSR’s Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication team hosted the third annual DH@Wake Summer Institute. This year’s theme, Community and Collections, highlighted collaborations by research teams at Wake Forest University, the University of Washington, and the University Delaware, as well as innovative digital humanities classroom collaborations that have bridged divides between the university and community organizations.

This was the first year the event was held virtually and open to participants beyond Wake Forest. The average attendance across 3 days was 48 participants. In total, 157 registered for the event from 53 institutions in the US, Canada, and India. We were pleased to have 33 Wake Forest faculty and staff representing 12 departments in attendance.

In a survey sent to participants, many responded that they gathered ideas and inspiration for digital humanities classroom projects. One participant commented that the event “was very well organized, and I learned something from each session I attended.” An impressive 68% of those responding to the survey ranked the event as exceeding their expectations. A few remarked that their schedules didn’t allow for full participation, but not to fear, the entire event is archived on the DH@Wake website!

Community and Collections featured innovative and inspirational projects that have built collections and created communities through digital collaborations. The keynote speaker, Sarah Ketchley, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, University of Washington, spoke about her work on the Emma B. Andrews Diary Project and as co-director of Newbook Digital Texts. Other invited speakers included Anna Lacy and Brandi Locke, who presented their work leading digital pedagogy initiatives of the Colored Conventions Project at the University of Delaware.

Presentations also highlighted partnerships between Wake Forest faculty, students, and staff and cultural heritage organizations in Winston-Salem. Meredith Farmer (Wake Forest Department of English), Daniel Ackermann (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) and Brianna Derr (Wake Forest Information Systems) spoke about their collaboration on Old Salem’s Hidden Town, a classroom project funded by a Wake Forest Localize Your Course planning grant. Lisa Blee (Wake Forest Department of History) and Alanna Meltzer-Hodlerfield (MUSE Winston-Salem) presented their work building community oral history projects in the history classroom.

The final day of DH@Wake featured workshops and panels on how to incorporate collection-building projects in teaching and research projects. In the panel, From Data to Narrative: Digital Collections and Cultural Heritage Collaborations, presenters from MUSE Winston-Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and Wake Forest’s Special Collections & Archives highlighted their institutions’ digital records and collections and discussed potential applications for teaching and research. Shelley Sizemore from Wake’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement led a discussion offering tips, resources, and strategies for collaborating with community partners.

Overall it was an excellent event! Many participants remarked that they were interested in attending again and appreciated the opportunity to attend virtually. DISC is already planning for next year’s event and considering ways to continue to include a virtual element.

Special thanks to ZSR Library for sponsoring DH@Wake for the third year! We look forward to seeing you at DH@Wake 2021.