One Week | One Tool -- A Digital Humanities Barn Raising

One Week | One Tool

A Digital Humanities Barn Raising


What is One Week | One Tool?

Generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, One Week | One Tool is a unique summer institute, one that aims to teach participants how to build an open source digital tool for humanities scholarship by actually building a tool, from inception to launch, in a week.

During the week of Sunday July 25 – Saturday July 31, 2010, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University will bring together a group of twelve digital humanists of diverse disciplinary backgrounds and practical experience to build something useful and usable. A short course of training in principles of open source software development will be followed by an intense five days of doing and a year of continued remote engagement, development, testing, dissemination, and evaluation. Comprising designers and developers as well as scholars, project managers, outreach specialists, and other non-technical participants, the group will conceive a tool, outline a roadmap, develop and disseminate an initial prototype, lay the ground work for building an open source community, and make first steps toward securing the project’s long-term sustainability.

One Week | One Tool is inspired by both longstanding and cutting-edge models of rapid community development. For centuries rural communities throughout the United States have come together for “barn raisings” when one of their number required the diverse set of skills and enormous effort required to build a barn—skills and effort no one member of the community alone could possess. In recent years, Internet entrepreneurs have likewise joined forces for crash “startup” or “blitz weekends” that bring diverse groups of developers, designers, marketers, and financiers together to launch a new technology company in the span of just two days. One Week | One Tool will build on these old and new traditions of community development and the natural collaborative strengths of the digital humanities community to produce something useful for humanities work and to help balance learning and doing in digital humanities training.

Who should apply?

Scholars, students, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers, designers, hackers, bloggers, sys admins, outreach coordinators, community builders, project managers, fundraisers, and anyone else with an interest in building scholarly software. No specific qualifications (e.g. a higher degree or particular skill set) are required. But we are looking to assemble a cohesive group of twelve talented and accomplished people who together will possess the entire range of skills necessary to conceive, manage, build, and disseminate a tools project. Given the importance of intra-team dynamics and self-initiative to the success of any open source project—especially at its inception—we will also be looking for evidence of teamwork, patience, flexibility, and resourcefulness (such as a history of picking up a programming language on one’s own) in assessing applications for One Week | One Tool. Accepted participants will receive travel, lodging, per diem, a small stipend, and a practical education in open source scholarly software development from the organizers of THATCamp and the makers of Zotero and Omeka.

How do I apply?

By March 15, 2010, please send a two-page C.V. and a brief email to info@oneweekonetool (subject line: One Week Application) addressing the following: 1) what skills/experiences/interests you think are most important to building a successful tool; 2) which of these skills/experiences/interests you will bring to the barn raising; and 3) what you think you will get out of attending that will help you in future pursuits. We apologize in advance that space is limited to 12 participants.

#oneweek #buildsomething


This is brilliant!!!


Isn't it? :) Should be fun.