Reinventing our work

Digital Studies at Pitt-Greensburg


Link to these slides:

Elisa Beshero-Bondar (@epyllia)
director, Pitt-Greensburg Center for the Digital Text

member, TEI Technical Council

Faculty-led initiative


  •  Tiny (~1500 to 1800 students)
  • Divisions, not departments
    • Humanities
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Natural Sciences
  • "teaching campus" -- also an underfunded cross-disciplinary research hub
  • "state-related" at the tiny regional = Survival mode and always under pressure
  • In between the divisions: where "Digital Studies" fits for us


  • Frankenstein Variorum
  • West Overton Project:

    • Pitt-Greensburg connects West Overton with Pitt Library System

  • Digital Mitford Project

    • cross-institutional editing team

    • Pitt-Greensburg hosts annual coding school and editors' summit

  • Amadis in Translation

    • Pitt-Greensburg faculty connect with graduate student at U. of Santiago de Compostella, present/publish virtually together in Hong Kong

Pitt-Greensburg Faculty as Cornerstone / Initiator /  Connector  

Students become the teachers and directors. . .

Becca Parker and Mitford Coding School instructor team

How we're building it. . .

  • fund by teaching  
  • big donors welcome (but not expected)
  • teach by doing
  • annual activity spurs the project

Thanks for the idea to our Pitt-Greensburg campus president, Sharon P. Smith!

Editors' Summit

Coding School

1. to produce the first comprehensive scholarly edition of the works and letters of Mary Russell Mitford, and

2. to share knowledge of TEI XML and other related humanities computing practices with all serious scholars interested in contributing to the project.

* Mitford's Our Village = her most popular publication, a series of sketches about community interactions in an English country village



Digital Mitford project goals

Project Hub!

  • Student-Led
  • Student-faculty collaboration
  •  Multi-institutional parternships
  • "Powerhouse": always making more...  



Pitt-Greensburg and ULS Partnership with West Overton Village & Museums: Photogrammetry, GIS, and Virtual Tours     



"Sibling courses": between the Obdurodon and the Newt...

a long-running DH dialogue of the "main" and the "regional"

Undergraduate-Led Projects...and Presentations

Dickinson by Fascicles: 

Repurposing a web 1.0 project:

Michele Ierardi's Translating Emily  (1997)  

Story of the up-translation:

Thanks to the Emily Dickinson Archive for help w/ missing MS images:


up-conversion in stages

  • printed editions to hypertext (1997)
  • hypertext to TEI P5 critical apparatus  
  • shared goal: encoding and reading interface that
    • reproduces Dickinson's notation of optional variants + treats each as equivalent
    • collates (and compares) alterations imposed by print editions

Reflections on DH at a Regional Comprehensive

  • "teaching generalist" => "computational generalist"
    • We don't have or expect a support network to help with our DH "tech"
    • "roll our own" systems because we must
  • Small regional => high potential energy to be a DH nucleus
    • Survival mode => motivation to learn cost-effective, sustainable methods
    • Flexibility / expectation to work across disciplines
    • Comparative irrelevance of "turf" faciliates collaboration
  • Networks:
    • Imperative for surviving and thriving
    • Cross-disciplinary
    • Multi-institutional

Find me on GitHub...

...with special thanks to my former student Becca Parker!

Reinventing our work together: The practice of "Digital Studies" at Pitt-Greensburg

By Elisa Beshero-Bondar

Reinventing our work together: The practice of "Digital Studies" at Pitt-Greensburg

presentation materials for introducing Digital Studies and the Center for the Digital Text at Pitt-Greensburg

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