"Spatial Technologies and the Humanities:" Scholarly Communication Institute 7 Report

Dear colleagues --

"Spatial Technologies and the Humanities," the report from the 2009 Scholarly Communication Institute (SCI) at the University of Virginia, is now available at:


The focus of this year’s institute was on spatial technologies and methodologies—the specific modes of working they favor, the scholarly practices they enhance, and the infrastructure they demand to achieve scale and significance.

Written by the Institute’s director, Abby Smith Rumsey, the report explores how uses of digital spatial technologies by humanities scholars are affecting the production of knowledge. It also addresses the technical and organizational infrastructures that should be in place to support the growth of spatial knowledge, identifying critical gaps between the existing scholarly communication infrastructure and that required to sustain the new scholarship. The report concludes by identifying specific actions to be taken by professional societies and humanities centers, by university administrators and CIOs, by scholars and publishers, and by funders to catalyze the growth of spatial humanities.

With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Scholarly Communication Institute began in 2003 to provide an opportunity for scholars and leaders in scholarly disciplines and societies, academic librarians, information technologists, and higher education administrators to design, test, and implement strategies that advance the humanities through innovative information technologies. The Institute convenes each summer at the University of Virginia Library.

Scholarly Communication Institutes 1-4 focused on the promotion of digital scholarship and its supporting infrastructure in digital humanities (SCI 1 and 3); and in selected academic disciplines (Practical Ethics in SCI 2 and Architectural History in SCI 4). SCI 5 took a broad look at visual studies; and SCI 6 focused on humanities centers as sites of innovation, collaboration, and interdisciplinary exploration. For more background on the Scholarly Communication Institute, see http://uvasci.org/.

I am happy to answer questions about the Institute, and we also invite public comment on "Spatial Technologies and the Humanities" at:


Best regards,
Bethany Nowviskie

Bethany Nowviskie, MA Ed, Ph.D
Director, Digital Research & Scholarship, UVA Library
Associate Director, Scholarly Communication Institute

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