Half-day Workshop

An open repository for Digital Humanity Resources in Southern Africa 

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Juan Steyn
Digital Learning Manager
Faculty of Arts
North-West University

Anelda van der Walt
Director Talarify

Digital Humanities in Southern Africa

Humanities researchers, students, and librarians are increasingly starting to engage in projects with more complex computing components to harness the power of technology. Those who are interested in pursuing Digital Humanities projects often find themselves in unknown territory without a clear idea of a good starting point for acquiring new skills or finding potential collaborators. This workshop aims to address the need for a central starting point for newcomers to Digital Humanities in Southern Africa through the development of a repository where training resources are listed and where the Southern African DH community can meet to collaborate, discuss, and learn together.

Aim of workshop

The aim of the workshop is to create a community of people interested in DH capacity development. The aim will be achieved through the collaborative development of a central repository for capacity building resources, opportunities, and conversations. Although the focus for this workshop will be on the Southern African context, the discussions and outputs will be relevant to the national, regional, and international humanities communities.

Workshop format:

Participants will be asked to bring their laptops along to allow for active participation during the session. Alternatively they will be able to use facilities at the DHASA 2017 conference. During the workshop the participants will be able to contribute information directly to an online Github repository that will be available for contribution from 1 November 2016 at: https://github.com/DH-SouthernAfrica/Capacity-Building

The repository will capture information about:

  • Existing local and international training initiatives available to the community (such as Library Carpentry, Data Carpentry, Programming Historian initiatives)
  • Upcoming workshops in the region
  • Existing DH communities nationally and internationally
  • Training and capacity building needs listed by community member


Anyone interested in DH capacity building are invited to participate, including researchers and students, librarians, IT staff, and others. The physical site will be at the conference venue but virtual participation will be possible for remote participants who are interested in creating satellite sites or who wish to participate as individuals.

Specific aims include

  • Survey of existing training resources for DH which are available to the Southern African community (specifically looking for those available under open licenses or which are made available at limited costs)
  • Identify possible national and international communities to collaborate with
  • Further populate the newly created online repository
  • Identify one or two initiatives as case studies to discuss how those interested in acquiring new skills needed for DH projects might benefit from more formal collaboration

Outputs of the workshop include:

The main output of the workshop will be the online repository for DH capacity building. Materials will be published under open licenses where possible.