The NEH has announced a new program with SSHRC called Digging Into Data. The program is innovative in a number of ways. It is addresses the challenges of large data collections and their analysis. It is also international in that it brings together the granting councils from three countries. Here is what the program says,
The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to answer the question “what do you do with a million books?” Or a million pages of newspaper? Or a million photographs of artwork? That is, how does the notion of scale affect humanities and social science research? Now that scholars have access to huge repositories of digitized data — far more than they could read in a lifetime — what does that mean for research?
Applicants will form international teams from at least two of the participating countries. Winning teams will receive grants from two or more of the funding agencies and, one year later, will be invited to show off their work at a special conference. Our hope is that these projects will serve as exemplars to the field.
This feels like a turning point in the digital humanities. Until now we have had smaller grant programs like the ITST program in Canada. This program is on a larger scale, both in terms of funding available and in terms of the challenge.