Facing the challenge of digital sustainability as humanities researchers

by Joanna Tucker

11 Oct 2022
Journal of the British Academy, volume 10 (2022)
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Abstract: Humanities researchers are increasingly united in their concerns about the long-term sustainability of digital resources. Much of our work is now reliant upon the use of resources such as databases, online research tools and digital editions. Libraries and archives are undertaking programmes of ‘mass digitisation’, making our primary sources available to view as digital images on the web. This article presents a view of the current landscape as well as thoughts for the future of digital research for scholars in the humanities. It considers four aspects of sustainability (technological, financial, environmental and ‘human’), and offers a new working definition for digital sustainability in this context. This centres on sustainability not just as a technical concern but as a multifaceted activity within which humanities researchers can play a crucial role.

Keywords: Sustainability, Digital Humanities, environmental sustainability, digitisation, digital editions, databases.

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