New Digital Humanities Approaches

New digital humanities approaches are transforming the ways in which historians and other humanities scholars conduct research.

This spring, I am offering a series of workshops on “New Digital Humanities Approaches to Renaissance Studies: Manuscript Imaging and Research Outsourcing in the Florentine Archives using the Bía Platform” on behalf of the Medici Archive Project. The workshops offer a discussion of some of the new possibilities of digital humanities research through a demonstration of capabilities of the Medici Archive Project’s new Bía platform.


The Medici Archive Project describes the Bía platform on its website:

Over the past two years the IT team at the Medici Archive Project has been working on developing a new innovative digital platform, with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. At the 2012 Renaissance Society of America conference in Washington DC, MAP unveiled the new platform, which is called BIA. The name means “force” in in ancient Greek. We chose this name because we like to think it is representative of the power and strength that the digital humanities bring to scholarly research. white”>We also chose it because Bia was the name Cosimo I’s illegitimate daughter and the subject of one of Bronzino’s most beautiful portraits.

Now in the final stages of development, these are some of the most important elements of BIA:

  • Preservation of documents with digitized images online
  • Enhanced Research possibilities through outsourcing
  • Involving the world in scholarly discourse

The Bía platform thus offers humanities scholars working on subjects in the Renaissance and early modern periods of Italian, European, and World history a unique research tool.

The Medici Archive Project and the Mellon Foundation have asked former postdoctoral fellows with the Medici Archive Project, such as myself, to present a series of workshops across North America to showcase the possibilities of the Bía platform as a research tool and as a model for future digital humanities projects.

Workshops are being held at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and other midwestern universities.

A description of the workshop by the Office of Research Cyberinfrastructure at the University of Michigan shows the interest in this type of presentation for specialists in computing and internet applications, as well as humanities faculty and students.

If your research center or university is interested in hosting a digital humanities workshop, contact me at bsandberg@niu.

This entry was posted in Archival Research, Current Research, Digital Humanities, History in the Media, Humanities Education, Information Management, Italian History, Renaissance Art and History. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New Digital Humanities Approaches

  1. empecee says:

    Reblogged this on 3mpecee Information Solutions and commented:
    If you like Archives, Histoty and times gone by, this is a fasinating read.

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks for posting this announcement, Brian. I hope that the sessions go well. I may want to ask you about the Newberry offering since it is open to the public.

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