Livingstone Online goes to Maryland

We are delighted to announce that Livingstone Online has moved to the University of Maryland Libraries and that our website will henceforth be broadcasting from Maryland’s servers.

Livingstone Online director Adrian Wisnicki, associate director Megan Ward, and program manager Mike Toth traveled to the University of Maryland on 22 February 2016 to kick off the collaboration. There they visited MITH (Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities), one of the leading digital humanities centers in the USA.

Figure 1. Entryway sign for MITH (Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities).
Figure 1. Entryway sign for MITH (Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities).

Members of the Livingstone Online met with Neil Fraistat (MITH director) and Trevor Munoz (MITH associate director and lead for developing the collaboration with Livingstone Online) as well as Stephanie Sapienza (project manager), Ed Summers (lead developer), and Raffaele Vigilanti (research programmer).

The meeting offered a chance to discuss the objectives of Livingstone Online and to consider how ongoing MITH projects, especially the Shelley-Godwin Archive, might offer the basis for a future, grant-funded collaboration.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Megan Ward, Adrian Wisnicki, and Mike Toth on the grounds of the University of Maryland. Copyright Livingstone Online. CC BY-NC 3.0

While in the Washington, D.C. area, the team members also met with staff of the National Endowment for the Humanities, including Joel Wurl (program officer for the LEAP grant) and Jennifer Serventi and Perry Collins, both of whom have taken an interest in the Livingstone project over time. During the meeting, the Livingstone Online team provided updates on ongoing, NEH-funded research and also explored potential funding for new initiatives.

The move to the University of Maryland Libraries also marks the beginning of a new phase of development for the site. We are delighted to welcome Nigel Banks as a programmer to the project. Nigel, an independent consultant, is an expert in Islandora, the publishing platform for Livingstone Online.

Continuing on with us also is Kathy Chavez of KappaLuppa Inc. Kathy specializes in Drupal, the content management system that provide the user interface for Livingstone Online. Indeed, to date Kathy has played a big role in getting Livingstone Online to look the way it does.

Figure 3
Figure 3. One of the wireframes (mockups) for the new Livingstone Online manuscript viewer. Copyright Livingstone Online and David Livingstone Centre. CC BY-NC 3.0

Over the next few months some big changes will be coming to Livingstone Online, thanks in part to Nigel and Kathy (and a little help from our TEI expert James Cummings)….

We’ll finally be releasing all our archival images and transcriptions (several thousand manuscript page images/several hundred items). We’ll be introducing a new manuscript viewer that will allow site visitors to interact with our images and transcriptions in a dynamic way. We’ll be developing the mobile and tablet versions of our sites. And we’ll be embedding a variety of other site enhancements.

Stay tuned!

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