MassMine NEH Digital Humanities (DH) Grant Awarded!

Full press release below and online with the full grant proposal!
Sid Dobrin
Professor of English
Director/Editor TRACE Innovation Initiative
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Florida
(352) 294-2868
University of Florida’s Department of English, George A. Smathers Libraries, and Research Computing Receive $60,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Award
Gainesville, FL, March 23, 2015 – University of Florida researchers have spearheaded a collaborative project which has been awarded $60,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant for “MassMine: Collecting and Archiving Big Data for Social Media Humanities Researchers.” The project will support development of an open-source toolkit and training materials that would allow humanities researchers to collect and analyze large-scale, publicly available data drawn from social media sites.
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a substantial start up grant to the University of Florida for MassMine (, a project of the Trace Innovation Initiative ( in the University of Florida (UF) Department of English in partnership with the UF Smathers Libraries and UF’s Research Computing. MassMine is open source software developed for the needs of humanities research by providing a set of easy to use tools for creating social media data archives, querying and mining the archives, and revealing the processes and technologies for enabling generation of new methods and new questions. For example, researchers are using MassMine to track the ways in which news about sink holes circulate through social media sites like Twitter. MassMine is being developed in response to a lack of sufficient access to social media data, tools for data mining, and tools for processing data for analysis for researchers in the humanities. UF Department of English Professor Sid Dobrin is the project’s Director and Laurie Taylor, UF Digital Scholarship Librarian, is the project’s Co-Director along with Matt Gitzendanner, UF Biological Data Scientist and Research Computing Training Coordinator; UF Department of English PhD student Aaron Beveridge and Ohio State University PhD Recipient in Cognitive Psychology Nicholas Van Horn developed the MassMine application. MassMine’s version 1.0 release will enable new approaches to small and big data for humanists by creating access to data with tools for data mining, processing, and analysis.
MassMine is a project within a larger technology initiative from the UF Department of English. MassMine is a central component of the TRACE Innovation Initiative which is also currently developing applications for augmented reality criticisms, a digital game lab, new approaches to 3-D printing research, a video-based idea sharing clearinghouse, comics-based visual interpretations of academic subjects, as well as a peer reviewed journal. The first issue of the TRACE Journal will address the intersections between animal studies and media studies.


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