|Richard Gartner has worked as both a practising librarian and an academic throughout his career and combines both functions to this day. He served for sixteen years as the Pearson New Media Librarian at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, where he was responsible for the Library's first digitisation projects, the introduction of the Internet into the library and its first CD-ROM networks. He followed this by six years as a lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London before joining the Warburg as its first Digital Librarian. His primary research is in the theory and practice of metadata, particularly in digital libraries.
In 1946 a Jesuit scholar, Father Roberto Busa, began work on an index of 179 works of philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas. He enlisted the help of IBM to index over 10 million words, a project that took 34 years to complete. It resulted in the Index Thomisticus, which is now considered one of the pioneering works in the digital humanities.
Today digital humanities is widespread as an academic and research discipline with departments dedicated to it in scores of universities throughout the world. But what exactly is digital humanities and is it the digital or the humanities in its title that defines it? This talk will introduce the discipline and attempt to clarify these questions by examining the work of digital humanists, concentrating particularly on recent developments which have transformed and continue to transform its theory and practice.