GC Digital Initiatives Wins Second Consecutive Start-Up Grant

May 27, 2015

GC Digital Initiatives have been awarded a highly competitive National Endowment for the Humanities grant for a project that originated in the Digital Praxis Seminar, a course focused on introducing Graduate Center students to digital scholarship.

The winning project, DH Box, seeks to create a simple toolbox that can be used to teach technical subjects in the digital humanities. The NEH Office of Digital Humanities awarded the project a Level 2 Start-Up grant of nearly $60,000. The grants support the planning stages of innovative projects that are intended to benefit the humanities.

DH Box began in the Digital Praxis Seminar, a year-long, two-part course open to both doctoral and master's students. The project was proposed by Stephen Zweibel (pictured), a student in the GC's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, at the end of the fall 2013 semester.

A team of students - Zweibel, Cailean Cooney, Harlan Kellaway, and Gioia Stevens - then implemented the project the following spring. The GC Digital Fellows, including Patrick Smyth, who had served as advisors to the students, contributed to the project and helped write the grant.

Grant partners such as the New York Public Library and the British Library will contribute datasets to DH Box, while partner training institutes HILT (Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching) and DHSI (Digital Humanities Summer Institute) will use the platform in their courses.


Matthew K. Gold, executive officer of the Graduate Center's M.A. Program in Liberal Studies and advisor to the provost for digital initiatives, will serve as the project director.

Professor Matthew K. Gold (English/Liberal Studies), who among other roles serves as Executive Officer of the M.A. in Liberal Studies Program and is Advisor to the Provost for Digital Initiatives, will serve as the project director.

This is the second consecutive DH Start-Up grant for GC Digital Initiatives. Last year, the program was awarded funding for its "Social Paper" project. That year, only 16 percent of applicants received funding.
"This grant is wonderful validation of our strategy for fostering innovative digital research and teaching at the Graduate Center," Gold said. "DH Box has the potential to enable a wide range of scholars and students at a wide range of institutions to begin experimenting with DH tools and methods. We're looking forward to getting started.