OI awards three 2019 Digital Collections fellowships

WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA – The Omohundro Institute (OI) has awarded 2019 Digital Collection Fellowships to three projects, each a collaboration between historians of early America, broadly understood, and a special collections library or archive. The fellowships are part of the OI’s Lapidus Initiative, a series of programs designed to promote the creative use of digital tools and materials for scholarly projects. Each project was awarded $5000, the maximum amount possible.

The winning projects include the following.

“The Maryland Loyalist Project,” a collaboration between Benjamin Bankhurst (Shepherd University) and Kyle Roberts (Loyola University, Chicago) aims to make the letters and petitions of British loyalists who fled the American Revolution into a digital archive. The source documents are housed at the British National Archives. The archive will be created as part of a class in digital humanities taught by Professors Bankhurst and Roberts at their respective institutions.

“Endangered Colonial Imprints in the Bibliothèque Hatïenne des Pères du Saint-Esprit: The Archives Décoloniales of the Age of Revolutions” is a collaboration between Jennifer Palmer (University of Georgia), Julia Gaffield (Georgia State University), and Patrick Tardieu (Conservateur-en-Chef of the Bibliothèque Hatïenne des Pères du Saint-Esprit). The project seeks to digitize materials printed before 1820 during the colonial, revolutionary, and early independence periods in Saint-Domingue (later Haiti), some 160 documents. Up to an additional 100 documents will be conserved then scanned, cataloged, and uploaded as part of the project. The materials are housed at the Bibliothèque Hatïenne des Pères du Saint-Esprit, the oldest library in Haiti, and are at risk of deterioration or loss due to the significant damage sustained by the library and its collections during the 2010 earthquake.

Digitization of documents relating to Apache (Ndé) history in the Spanish colonial archives of northern New Spain seeks to preserve records related to bands, clans, and family lineages during different stages of migration and territorial expansion. The project is a collaboration between Daniel Webb (University of New Mexico) and the University of New Mexico’s Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections. Additional consultation for the project is planned with representatives of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in Dulce and the Mescalero Apache Tribe in Mescalero, New Mexico, along with representatives of the Lipan Apache in Texas and the San Carlos, Tonto, and White Mountain Apache in Arizona.

Founded in 1943, and proudly situated on the campus of its primary sponsor, William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Omohundro Institute is the oldest organization dedicated to the study of early America in the United States. Its scope of inquiry encompasses the history and cultures of North America from circa 1450 to 1820 and includes related developments in Africa, the British Isles, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America.

The Lapidus Initiative for Excellence and Innovation in Early American Scholarship, generously funded with a major gift from Sid and Ruth Lapidus, looks to build on the OI’s tradition of excellence in scholarly programming and publishing by funding projects that incorporate digital platforms and tools.

Applications for the 2020 Lapidus Initiative Digital Collections Fellowships will be available on the OI’s website (oieahc.wm.edu) after August 1 and due November 1, 2019.

Further inquiries: Martha Howard, Martha.Howard@wm.edu, 757-221-1115