Scholarship at Penn Libraries

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists

Start Page


Last Page



We describe the evolution of support for digital humanities work at the University of Pennsylvania through the library’s adaptation of spaces, facilities, technical support and faculty advising. We begin with the Weigle Information Commons (WIC) in 2006 which provides broad support for educational technology, including multimedia authoring in the Vitale Digital Media Lab. In 2013, we added the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts (Kislak), with the Vitale 2 Lab focused on the digital humanities. We have integrated space, technology and facilities with the provision of professional development opportunities and support for informal experimentation. Techniques include: helping librarians to articulate and expand their repertoire of digital tools, strategically including staff with non-traditional skillsets, using library space to facilitate and host peer-learning opportunities for faculty, showcasing the creations and perspectives of students, and providing customized support for teaching and research experimentation.


Recommended citation:

Anu Vedantham and Dot Porter. "Spaces, Skills, and Synthesis" Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists. Ed. Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Laura Braunstein, and Liorah Golomb. Washington DC: ACRL, 2015. 177-198.


digital humanities, library, collaborative spaces, technology, pedagogy



Date Posted: 23 April 2015