Melissa Dinsman (University of Notre Dame) and Elizabeth Rodrigues (Temple University)
“Reading New York” is a collaborative digital research and teaching tool that has already failed twice and sparked a blog about DH failings. Now in its third iteration and on its second title, “Reading New York” has begun to gain momentum all thanks to collaboration within and across institutions. Put simply, “Reading New York” is an augmented text that, when complete, will enable students (college and high school) and the general public to read (with more comprehension) early twentieth-century literature through the help of mapping, images, sound, and film. Moreover, through the collected metadata, this project will serve as a research tool for scholars who are interested in literature, history, visual studies, sound, film, and material culture. During this “work-in-progress” session, we will discuss the early failures of this DH project; show the status of the pilot, which takes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “May Day” as its sample text; and explain the process by which support was garnered from faculty, students, the library, and colleagues from other institutions. As part of the “work-in-progress” format, we look forward to discussing problems facing this project as it moves ahead into the grant-writing phase. Central concerns include platform flexibility, copyright laws, crowd-sourcing viability, and growing beyond New York. We will also discuss how our inter-institutional collaboration processes currently function, and what we hope this will look like a year from now.