GO::DH at DH2014

As many of you know DH2014 took place in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier this month. During the days of the conference many GO::DH members got together (in some cases met for the first time) and were hard at work talking about everything that was done last year, making sure that our group’s infrastructure is up to speed and facilitates exchanges among all of us, implementing ongoing initiatives, and pushing forward new ones. All in all, our days there promise to keep us even busier that we have been and to continue our efforts moving towards a more global DH. Below is a summary of the conversations, sessions, and projects that took place during those days.

GO::DH panel

On July 9th, a pretty big crowd got together to hear about the first 18 months of GO::DH. Presentations by Alex Gil, Roopika Risam, Paul Spence, and Elena González-Blanco led everyone through some of the main concerns that the SIG has been working to address, among others, the problems of thinking about DH so that it encompasses a wide variety of projects around the world; issues of inequality in digital infrastructure and adopting principles of minimal computing; the different accents and languages of DH; the need to be self-critical as a DH practitioner/evaluator; and finally, highlighting the work done at AroundDH and at DH communities gaining global prominence as is the case of the Iberian peninsula.

DH Whisperers, Multilingualism Toolkit, and Translation Commons

We are happy to report that the “I whisper___” GO::DH initiative that took place during DH2014 was widely successful. For a detailed account you can read Élika Ortega’s post about it. Suffice it to say that the warm welcome received by the initiative has resonated and GO::DH has been asked to prepare a “translation and language best practices toolkit” proposing mechanisms that can be used to translate both formally and informally. We will be crowdsourcing this effort through our Translations Commons in the very near future.


As previously announced, James O’Sullivan has joined the GO::DH ranks as our web editor. During DH2014 there were some conversations with him about redesigning our web presence a bit. More importantly, however, the new website features will make sure that the infrastructure can facilitate the working groups’ efforts and support new ones as they take shape. Furthermore, regarding issues of sustainability, we are negotiating with Chris Meister to migrate our site to ADHO servers, and doing that we can change the mailing list to @globaloutlook.org in order to ensure long term brand consistency and ease transitions as they happen.


Last but not least, conversations with various members moved forward towards the formation of self-organized networks according to self-determined regions. In other words, networks will be groups of people interested in ensuring a certain topic isn’t ignored in our efforts, and willing to provide input. The ideas behind the networks are several: a) to establish stronger relationships with DH communities around the world; b) to increase the diversity in the group at large (but also in the Executive Committee) in order to help push the conversation towards the global we claim for ourselves; c) to develop initiatives that more consistently move towards inclusion; and d) to better fulfill our mission learning from knowledge and experiences from all over the world.

Up to now, there are three groups that have started coming together, the South Asian network led by Padmini Murray; the Portuguese speaking network that’s coming out of AHDig already in place between Brazil and Portugal promoted by María Clara Paixão de Souza; and the African networks (based on the South/West/East Africa model which has worked for other organizations). Because much work is already being done in Cape Town, it will be South African network (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, etc.) that will start out the strongest. Øyvind Eide agreed informally to help out those efforts.


As you can see, after a very busy week in Lausanne, we all have our hands full. There is work for everyone who wants to raise their hand and propose a new working group, help out with the translation toolkit draft, organizing a network. So you are all invited to take part in any of the initiatives outlined here, or come up with a new one.