DiRT becomes a centerNet initiative

The DiRT directory and centerNet are pleased to announce that the DiRT directory has been adopted as the newest centerNet initiative. As a directory of tools for digital research, maintained by an international community of volunteers, DiRT will benefit from closer ties to centerNet’s member centers around the world, as well as to centerNet’s DHCommons project directory.

As a first step towards integrating DiRT and DHCommons, each site is deploying a new feature that pulls in information from the other. “People visit DHCommons to explore the digital projects that have been developed in their field,” explained Ryan Cordell, co-founder of DHCommons and co-editor of the DHCommons overlay journal. “By displaying information from DiRT about the tools that make up these projects, along with a link to where scholars can learn more about those tools, DHCommons will facilitate the development of new initiatives that build upon prior work.” According to DiRT Director Quinn Dombrowski, the integration with DHCommons fills an information gap on DiRT. “We used to have an ‘I use this’ button on DiRT in order to capture how many people use a particular tool, but we found that individual tool users weren’t engaging with DiRT that way. By pulling in information about tool use directly from project profiles, DiRT can show which tools are in use in the digital humanities community without requiring people to do extra data entry. The DHCommons integration is even better than a simple user count. DiRT now displays links directly to the projects where the tool is being used, which provides important context for how, and in which disciplines, the tool is used.”

centerNet board Co-Chair Neil Fraistat sees the integration of DHCommons and DiRT as an important step towards strengthening the network of projects and organizations within ADHO. “DiRT and DHCommons are both widely-used resources, but not all users of one are familiar with the other,” he said. “Providing contextually relevant information drawn from other ADHO projects is an effective way to introduce people to projects they might not explore as part of a list of initiatives.”

A new requirement that centerNet members maintain current listings of their projects and locally-developed tools will contribute to the ongoing maintenance of DiRT and DHCommons alike. centerNet will be represented on DiRT’s steering committee, and the DiRT Director will serve as an ex officio member of the centerNet board. DiRT, DHCommons and other centerNet initiatives will participate in semiannual strategic planning meetings to explore additional opportunities for integration and exchange across projects.

Note: This is the first in a series of announcements about new features and developments for the DiRT directory, coming daily over the next two weeks. Check back for more "dirt" on DiRT!

Coming March 16: the "dirt" on DiRT


Over the last few months, the DiRT steering committee and editorial board, along with our partners at the City University of New York and the Agile Humanities Agency, have been hard at work finishing up a wide range of integrations and site improvements for DiRT. Every weekday between March 16th and March 27, 2015, we’ll highlight one of these exciting new features and show how it can make DiRT more usable and useful for scholars.

Check back starting March 16th for the “dirt” on DiRT!

DiRT at DH 2014

Quinn Dombrowski recently presented a poster highlighting the integration between DiRT, Commons In A Box, and DHCommons at the Digital Humanities 2014 conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. The same conference also included a short paper presentation on the TaDiRAH taxonomy of digital research activities in the humanities, which will form the basis for the new categories on DiRT.

The DiRT poster was designed by Mark Abrams.

Goodbye, Project Bamboo!

Project Bamboo, which sponsored the re-development of the DiRT wiki in 2011, came to a close in December 2012. Since DiRT is continuing on as an independent project, it's time for us to say goodbye to our former parent project and embrace a new name (the DiRT Directory), URL ( and logo. Stickers with our new logo will be on hand at the DH 2014 conference in Lausanne next week -- come by our poster or find Quinn (@quinnanya) if you'd like one!

DiRT at DHSI, UC Berkeley's One IT Summit

In early June, Quinn Dombrowski presented a poster at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria, depicting the evolution of the TaDiRAH taxonomy that is currently being implemented on DiRT. The poster depicts the theoretical discussions underpinning the taxonomy as clouds. The vocabularies that most directly informed the development of TaDiRAH (the original DiRT categories, the "methods” taxonomy, and the categories used by the DARIAH ‘Doing Digital Humanities’ Zotero bibliography) are shown as rain. A period of community feedback and revision precedes the emergence of TaDiRAH as grass, which “takes root” through its implementation in the DiRT directory, DHCommons, and the DARIAH bibliography.

DiRT was also featured on a poster highlighting UC Berkeley’s digital humanities program, presented by Camille Villa and Quinn Dombrowski at the One IT Summit, a gathering of all campus IT staff.


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