Dot Porter (University of Pennsylvania) has shared a post, “Libraries Supporting Digital Scholarship: The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies as an Object Lesson,” based on her recent keynote at the ACRL-Delaware Valley Chapter annual meeting. Porter writes: “I … realized that reuse of data is not new. In fact, it is ancient, and thinking in these terms puts SIMS [Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies] at the tail end of a long and storied history of scholarship.” Porter makes a strong case for “clean, accessible data” to benefit the entire scholarly community. She writes of SIMS, which she describes as “a research institute embedded in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts in the University of Pennsylvania Libraries“:
We certainly do scholarship, effectively, within the context of the library, and we do it ourselves: We are scholars, not service providers. However, I think it’s important to note that our scholarship, our research, our tools and our projects are not ends unto themselves. They will all serve to support more work, to allow other scholars to ask new questions, and hopefully to help them answer those questions.
Since we are not service providers, faculty and graduate students aren’t our clients, they are our collaborators, our equals, our partners. We are in this together!