UWS Research Centre for Digital Humanities update

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that one of the main attractions for me in moving to the University of Western Sydney was the proposal to establish a Research Centre for Digital Humanities. This involved a small risk – when I accepted the post, the Centre was still at the proposal stage, and funding was yet to be confirmed. Fortunately, it was approved shortly afterwards, and last week UWS announced that its first director is to be Paul Arthur, who will be joining us from ANU at the end of June.

Paul is a fellow historian who has served as  Deputy Director of the National Centre of Biography and Deputy General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography as well as Deputy Director of the ANU Centre for European Studies. His significant roles in digital humanities include serving as inaugural President of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities, and a member of the steering committee of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations and executive council of centerNet, the international network of digital humanities centres. A fuller biography is available, for now at least, on the ANU website. His appointment is another coup for UWS and everyone here is looking forward to working with him. So congratulations and welcome aboard Paul!

With its Director in place, and a new Research Group in Digital Humanities established, the Centre will move to make several other key appointments over the next couple of months, so anyone interested in joining us should start watching for the ads…

Future Arrangements for FBTEE

I am pleased to announce ambitious plans for establishing a Research Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). This news is hot off the press. I had been aware of the proposals for over a year, but it is great to see them come to fruition. They were a major consideration in my decision to move to UWS, as the Centre will offer great infrastructural support for proposed and existing projects. Equally, FBTEE was mentioned in the proposal documentation, so played a small part in strengthening an impressive proposal.

It is now less than a month til I leave Leeds, and in due course the FBTEE project’s online materials will follow me. They will be hosted by Leeds until after the 2013 Research Assessment cut-off, to allow Leeds to claim its share of the credit. Thereafter it will be hosted at UWS, with an automatic forwarding facility from Leeds for at least the first couple of years. For users the transition should be seamless. And to minimise risks, the cloning of materials is already underway…