Releasing the Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook

tl;dr There’s a new website called the Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook, made for people just beginning their journeys into digital humanities, but hopefully still helpful for folks early in their career. It’s a crowdsourced resource that Carnegie Mellon University and the A.W. Mellon Foundation are offering to the world. We hope you will contribute!

Announcing the DHLG

Releasing a new website into the world is always a bit scary. Will people like it? Will they use it? Will they contribute?

The DHLG Logo

I hope the Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook (DHLG) will help people. We made it for people who are still in their DH-curious phase, but I suspect it’ll also be helpful for folks in the first several years of their DH career.

The DHLG is an incomplete map of a territory that’s still actively growing. It doesn’t offer a definition of digital humanities; instead, it introduces by example. The site offers dozens of short videos describing DH projects, as well as lists of resources, a topical glossary, job advice, and other helpful entry-points.

We first designed the DHLG to serve our local community in Pittsburgh, for our new graduate students who aren’t yet sure if they’ll pursue DH. But a lot of this is nationally and internationally relevant, so although we built this for local needs, we’re presenting this as a gift to, well, everyone.


In that spirit, we built the DHLG using jekyll, on github, for the community to contribute to as they like, for as long as I’m around to curate contributions. We welcome new videos and topical definitions, and edits to anything and everything, especially the lists of resources like grants and journals and recurring conferences. If you think a new page or navigation structure will help the community, get in touch, and we’ll figure out a way to make it work.

I realize there’s a bit of a barrier to entry. Github is more difficult to edit than a wiki. I’m sorry. This was the best solution we could come up with that would be inexpensive, unlikely to break, widely editable, and easily curatable. If you want to add something and you don’t know github, reach out to me and I’ll try to help.

If you do know github and you want to share editorial duties with me, dealing with pull requests and the like, please do let me know. I can use the help!


The DHLG is already crowdsourced. A lot of the lists come directly from Alex Gil and Dennis Tenen’s DHNotes page at Columbia, which is a very similar effort. We’ve slightly updated some links, and added some new information, but we rely heavily on them and their initial collaborators.

The job resources section includes editorial advice written by Matthew Hannah (Purdue University), slightly modified on import. Lauren Tilton (University of Richmond) offered the initial list of DH organizations. Zoe LeBlanc (Princeton University) collaborated on curating the hiring interviews, which are not yet released but will be soon. Hannah Alpert-Abrams (Program Office in DH) wrote the entry on Black DH in the glossary.

What I’m trying to say is we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. Thank you everyone who has already contributed to the site. We certainly couldn’t have done it without you.

Who’s we? I steered the ship, and filled in all the cracks when necessary. Susan Grunewald (Pitt) wrote most of the original text and did the majority of content-related tasks, including fighting with markdown. Matt Lincoln (CMU) oversaw the technical development, which was implemented by the Agile Humanities Agency. From their team, Dean Irvine, Bill Kennedy, and Matt Milner were particularly helpful.

None of this would have been possible without the A.W. Mellon Foundation, who generously funded most DH that’s gone on at CMU over the last five years.

The DHLG is a gift from all of us to you. I hope it’s useful, and that you help us turn it from a Pittsburgh site that’s useful for others, into an internationally relevant resource for years to come.

One reply on “Releasing the Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook”

Leave a Reply