Women’s Diary Archive Project Selected for Rare Book School’s Workshop on Digitizing the Historical Record

Posted on 11/29/2014 4:24:58 PM

Tanya Heflin (Department of English) attended the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School in order to workshop the Women’s Diary Archive Project.

In conjunction with a 2014–15 State System Faculty Professional Development grant, and with support from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the English Department, Heflin’s digital humanities project was selected for workshop/development in “Digitizing the Historical Record,” headed by Bethany Nowviskie and Andrew Stauffer.

The Women’s Diary Archive Project endeavors to become a central online repository for digital scans and coded indices of manuscript diaries written by women during the 19th and 20th centuries. The pilot phase of the project centers on 1) developing an online repository for rare manuscript diary holdings from the special collections of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and nearby historical archives, and 2) building relationships with regional archives in the Appalachian/Allegheny region as the next step in expanding the project.

Future phases of the larger Women’s Diary Archive project will have the goal of winning support from external grants (e.g., NEH) in order to collaborate with archives across the Appalachian/Allegheny and larger Pennsylvania, Northeast, and national regions with the ultimate goal of developing a full repository of women’s diary materials for use by scholars from the disciplines of literature, history, women’s studies, psychology, and the many other fields that will be able to expand their primary material by drawing from previously inaccessible manuscript diaries.

Upon return to IUP, Heflin has partnered with the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture, headed by Kenneth Sherwood, and IUP’s Special Collections Library, headed by Harrison Wick, to access manuscript materials, build the Omeka website, and prepare the project for open online access (projected fall 2015). IUP English Department graduate students involved with the project include Adam Colton, Sheila Farr, and Meghan Hurley.