The news story below is from the UF George A. Smathers Libraries news blog and the Center for Latin American Studies on one of the new grants received for a digitization and digital humanities (digital scholarship) project to create an online Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture.
University of Florida’s Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the George A. Smathers Libraries Receive $240,804 National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Award: Online resource will create an Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture
University of Florida and Duke University researchers and librarians have spearheaded a collaborative partnership project which has been awarded $240,804 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This is the second largest award in Florida (and one of only five major grants awarded in the state) and one of 244 nationally this year. The Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture: Collaborative Research and Scholarship on Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora grant, led by project director Benjamin Hebblethwaite (UF) and co-director Laurent Dubois (Duke University) will improve the understanding of a central Haitian and Haitian-American spiritual tradition, the Vodou religion, by gathering audiovisual and textual sources of communities, by interpreting collected materials, by expanding holdings through a self-submission tool, and by diffusing knowledge via an open access digital library hosted within the existing Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC; www.dloc.com). This three-year project will create a freely accessible multimedia digital library that uses audiovisual technologies to curate, elucidate and facilitate the advanced search of the rich primary materials of a central Haitian and Haitian-American spiritual tradition in order to promote discovery and educate a broad public.
Partnering with the researchers are the UF George A. Smathers Libraries, which are the technical host for Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). In addition to dLOC’s 29 international partners, the Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture includes collaboration from researchers at Duke University, University of Notre Dame, the Schrijversvakschool in the Netherlands, the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, and City Lore, among others.
In support of the grant application, Marilyn Graf of the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University, wrote: “The availability of this large body of work in a single location will dramatically improve access to these rare materials, a likely benefit to scholars in the fields of religion, ethnomusicology, history, anthropology, linguistics and African Diaspora studies.”
Albert Valdman, Rudy Professor Emeritus of French & Italian and Linguistics and the Director of the Creole Institute at Indiana University, added: “Ben Hebblethwaite directs by far the largest program in Haitian Studies in the United States, with a major emphasis on the teaching of the culture and language of Haiti, including to second generation members of the Haitian diaspora.”
Note: Ben Hebblethweite will speak on “Impacting Haitian Creole: A Language in Evolution” for the Authors@UF series on Tuesday, October 16 at 2:00 pm in the Latin American Collection Reference Room, 4th floor of Smathers Library.