Alice’s role is to raise the profile of the St Andrews Library in the field of Digital Humanities, and to work with the Special Collections Division to initiate and manage a range of digitization projects.
Since taking up this post in 2013 she has worked with the Library’s small team of research software engineers to launch the St Andrews Digital Collections platform and to convert our Biographical Register of Alumni into a searchable database. Her team are currently making progress with a project to digitize and transcribe some of their large collection of eighteenth-century Library borrowing registers.
Alice’s role also involves managing and coordinating the work of St Andrews’ research software engineers, who provide campus-wide support for staff and students involved in digital humanities projects. A number of these projects receive public funding. The team builds websites, creates custom databases and document archives, sets up wikis, produces data visualizations, and provides a range of software solutions tailored to researchers’ needs. The team also assists with the technical aspects of funding applications. Many of the projects to which we have contributed are listed on the Digital Humanities Projects at St Andrews page.
Although they have almost nothing to do with Digital Humanities, Alice has also published three books: Paradise Pursued: the Novels of Rose Macaulay (Associated University Presses, 1995); New Directions for Academic Liaison Librarians (Chandos, 2012); and The Meaning of the Library: a Cultural History (Princeton University Press, 2015).
Digital Humanities is still a relatively new area within UK libraries, so a UK Digital Humanities “community” for librarians hasn’t really been established yet. This LIBER working group is therefore extremely welcome as it provides an environment in which I can have conversations with colleagues encountering similar issues to my own, and a framework within which these things can be supportively discussed.