Today's Digital Scholarship program at Falvey Memorial Library builds on a foundation laid by two earlier initiatives in the last decade, which brought this emerging field into the library.

Aurelius Digital Humanities

The Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative (and later, Aurelius Digital Scholarship Initiative) was an earlier pilot project of Falvey Memorial Library to support digital humanities (DH) projects and digital scholarship more broadly at Villanova University. Aurelius was the family name of St. Augustine and the pilot program was named after him to reflect the Augustinian heritage of Villanova.

Aurelius began in Fall 2012, premiered by Laura Bang, a special collections librarian who served as coordinator and project manager for the program, and David Uspal, a library technology developer who served as technical support. Laura and Dave had both been active in local DH activities before starting the program at Villanova. They helped organize THATCamp Philly, an annual unconference (part of theTHATCamp tradition) held from 2011-2016, and were also active in PhillyDH, a local interest group. Laura proposed starting a DH program at Villanova and Dave agreed to join as technical expert.

The majority of the projects completed during the Aurelius pilot program were classroom-embedded research projects in History and other disciplines. For these projects, Laura and Dave visited the classes numerous times to talk about web design and copyright basics, as well as providing office hours for students with questions about the content management system. These classroom projects were not doing digitally complex analysis, but still provided a novel experience of digital content creation for the students involved. In addition to classroom projects, we also provided a hosting-only service for a few faculty research projects, in which we provided web space and training on the CMS for the project participants.

You can find classroom and hosted projects on the digital exhibits site.

You can read old blog posts about some of Aurelius’s projects and activities.

Digital Seeds

Digital Seeds is a digital scholarship support program begun by Janice Bially Mattern and Nikolaus Fogle in 2018, with the goal of centralizing conversations about digital scholarship on campus by channeling them through the library. The program had three goals: (1) to catalyze interest in and momentum behind digital scholarship pursuits, (2) to facilitate support for those pursuits where possible, and (3) to gather information about interest and activity in digital scholarship on campus. The work of the Digital Seeds program made the case for a full-fledged Digital Scholarship program and Digital Seeds continues as a lecture series. Learn more about the Digital Seeds Speaker Series.