Perusing the applications for the Digital Projects for the Public grant, and the Digital Humanities Advancement grant I found the similarities between them illuminating. In some sections the wording are exactly the same. But the differences are striking. Striking in what each of the grants is intended to take care of, and what they are not able to take care of.
In order to be awarded the DHAG you have to be focused on a digital project that creates or enhances “experimental, computationally-based methods or techniques that contribute to the humanities … examines the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture and its impact on society.” Now this sounds fine, but then you look at what you can’t use the grant for… No digitizing records, unless you’re pioneering a new method for digitizing, no converting a scholarly journal, no undertaking political, religious, or social actions. But that’s all well and good. We can’t expect the National Endowment for the Humanities to just pay out money to just anything for any one. This one feels like “let’s tie STEM to the Humanities and see what we can shake out.”
The DPPG is supposed to fund digital projects that are supposed to “attract a broad, general, nonspecialist audience, either online or in person at venues such as museums, libraries or other cultural institutions.” These grants can be used to conduct research, storyboard, and design. But again these funds can’t be used to archive things, purchase art, artifacts or collections, or renovating production facilities. But one could spend the money to create a game concerning the American Civil War, or first person tours of Mayan sites, or the app we are “thinking of making” for River Street.
In both cases they are supposed to be used to protect our cultural heritage, which is what I understand we are supposed to be discussing next week…