Emma Annette Wilson provides an essential and timely resource for academic librarians across ranks and specializations in Digital Humanities for Librarians. This book stands out as an introductory textbook that delivers practical instruction for librarians to acquire new skills and apply their existing knowledge. Every librarian, and many administrators will want Digital Humanities for Librarians on their desk as both a quick-reference guide and an in-depth manual to developing innovative and sustainable digital humanities programs and instruction in libraries.
Wilson has written the comprehensive textbook on digital humanities (DH) work in libraries that she never had as a student or beginning practitioner. She reviews the theoretical and historical underpinnings of DH, then delves into the practice of librarians and their many roles on DH projects. Additional chapters focus on major projects, such as the Text Encoding Initiative, which leverages markup language to describe and provide access to manuscript material, marginalia, and a variety of other corpora. The author also considers technology and provides sample markup language, platform, and vendor information. Each chapter contains exercises that would be useful in a classroom environment, as well as references to more detailed works for further consultation. The real strength is in the third section, which focuses on the “humans in digital humanities,” particularly with respect to establishing an outreach program. This work should be a core text for courses in MLIS programs and will be helpful for librarians beginning work in DH.
Wilson (Univ. of Alabama libraries) offers an impressively practical guide to the complex, interdisciplinary world of the digital humanities. She explains the technical side of digital humanities, including details on the most relevant digital humanities tools—for example, the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), digital mapping, and big data analysis—and their uses in digital exhibitions. She also provides a digestible explanation of metadata types and their uses. In the final section, Wilson offers a lens library professionals can use to clearly define their roles, specifically enumerating the responsibilities of various digital humanities positions in libraries and the tasks involved in digital humanities projects. Wilson closes each chapter with thorough notes and selected resources for additional reading, along with a handful of exercises centered on the chapter’s topic. These exercises support the suitability of this text for a digital humanities graduate course. Wilson’s obvious expertise in the field renders Digital Humanities for Librarians at once a valuable, suitably detailed guide for those already in the library and information science profession and a trustworthy textbook for those preparing to enter the field. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, and professionals.
Emma Annette Wilson has pulled together a very approachable and packed resource for aspiring Master of Library Science (MLS) students and those new to digital humanities (DH). The book is as easy to follow as it is informative, providing a balance between the practicality of various digital humanities methodologies, the development of those methodologies, and approaches to engage with them.