Library taps specialist to explore role of technology in Humanities research

Rachel Deblinger
Rachel Deblinger

The University Library and Humanities Division have jointly awarded a two-year Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship supporting digital humanities scholarship to Rachel Deblinger.

As a CLIR Digital Humanities Specialist, Deblinger will have the opportunity to build a community around digital humanities scholarship at a time when the practice is emerging at UCSC.

Collaborating with librarians, faculty and students across multiple divisions, Deblinger will explore online collaborative research practices supporting digital humanities and develop a pilot infrastructure to support this research.

She will also examine the role of the University Library supporting digital humanities, conduct workshops, and help to facilitate graduate research.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for the campus,” said Elizabeth Cowell, University Librarian. “Working with the CLIR fellow and our faculty we can identify the expertise and services the Library can foster in support of emerging digital humanities scholarship needs.”

Deblinger, who received her Ph.D in History from UCLA, brings a wealth of experience in digital humanities projects and is the recipient of multiple honors and fellowships.

Collaborating with UCLA faculty Sarah Stein and Todd Presner, she served as technical consultant on the development of a textual database supporting the publication of Sephardic Lives: A Documentary History of the Ottoman Judeo-Spanish World and its Diaspora, 1700-1950; and was the thematic expert at the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities for the computational visualization of Shoah Foundation Holocaust testimonies.

“We’re so pleased to have a scholar with Deblinger’s knowledge and expertise engage in a broad discussion of the role of digital technologies in Humanities research methodologies,” noted Alan Christy, UC Santa Cruz Associate Professor of History.

“But perhaps most significant is the opportunity this fellowship provides to understand our current capacity, along with the Library, and develop a shared understanding of a desired future for digital humanities scholarship at UCSC.”

This effort is co-sponsored by the University Library, the Office of the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, the Humanities Division, Information Technology Services, the Graduate Division, and the Office of Research.