RECOMMENDED: Fostering Community Engagement through Datathon Events: The Archives Unleashed Experience

In the latest issue (2021 15.1) of Digital Humanities Quarterly, authors Samantha Fritz (Department of History, University of Waterloo), Ian Milligan (Department of History, University of Waterloo), Nick Ruest (Library, York University), and Jimmy Lin (David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo) reflect on their work on Archives Unleashed. In “Fostering Community Engagement through Datathon Events: The Archives Unleashed Experience,” they share their work developing an open-source digital humanities project. From the abstract:

This article explores the impact that a series of Archives Unleashed datathon events have had on community engagement both within the web archiving field, and more specifically, on the professional practices of attendees. We present results from surveyed datathon participants, in addition to related evidence from our events, to discuss how our participants saw the datathons as dramatically impacting both their professional practices as well as the broader web archiving community. Drawing on and adapting two leading community engagement models, we combine them to introduce a new understanding of how to build and engage users in an open-source digital humanities project. Our model illustrates both the activities undertaken by our project as well as the related impact they have on the field. The model can be broadly applied to other digital humanities projects seeking to engage their communities.

The article details their model of community engagement, consisting of six stages: Scope, Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate, and Empower. This article will be of use to dh+lib readers looking to undertake community engaged projects.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Brooke A Becker, Lisa Bonifacic, Colleen Farry, Tierney Gleason, Jennifer Matthews, Robin Miller, Katie Mills, Cassie Tanks (Editors-at-large for the week), Pamella Lach (Editor for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Alasdair Ekpenyong, and Linsey Ford (dh+lib Review Editors).