Creating Port: Research Commons

July 17, 2013, 15:30 | Centennial Room, Nebraska Union

Virginia Tech Libraries recently created a digital research lab and collaboration space, Port: Research Commons. Experimental and crossing library departments, Port offers geospatial, data visualization, text analysis, data management, and graphic design software. Additionally, Port supports digital research for a variety of disciplines at Virginia Tech through one-to-one consultations with library and campus experts, small workshops, and speakers’ series.

Within a semester Port has become a hub of intellectual inquiry spanning from graphic design and statistics to data management. This poster highlights the dynamic digital humanities activities and collaborations happening in the space and the process of launching Port: Research Commons.

The poster will detail early library efforts to support digital research and highlight how earlier initiatives laid the foundation for the successful beginnings of Port. It will outline current programming and projects, focusing on the collaborations vital to Port’s success.

Situating Port within the growing landscape of library research commons, the poster explores the library, specifically research commons, as hub for the myriad of disciplines working on digital research and scholarship.

In addition to serving as a critical space for a broad range of learning and eResearch related needs, Port is a gathering space for faculty, graduate students, and librarians working within digital humanities. Port has become a space used in unique ways to support digital humanities initiatives stemming from the Library’s new Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, while also serving as a space incubating collaborations between other campus groups and library programs, including the library’s new learning initiatives. Library outreach efforts to departments around campus are supported by software and inviting collaboration space.

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, in collaboration with Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, CATH, is working on moving the TEI project, Lord Byron and His Times, to the library for hosting. Bringing together the college librarian for humanities and digital humanities, library ITS, and Dr. David Radcliff, Port is the meeting space for assessing the current TEI information architecture and moving it to a more scalable architecture. In this poster, we’ll highlight the important use of this space for technology explorations related to CATH’s Lord Bryon project as well as use of the space for other digital humanities projects where the library is involved as collaborator or project lead.

Our poster provides the history, current projects, such as Lord Bryon and His Times and the DH Working Group, and explores library research commons as vital support for digital research on campus.