The Walter J. Ong, S.J., Center for Digital Humanities at Saint Louis University advances scholarship in the humanities by finding solutions to questions arising from the unique character of the digital environment.
The Center develops research resources, standards and tools to foster student learning and faculty and scholarly research. The Ong Center was established to honor the memory of
Walter J. Ong, S.J., a distinguished scholar of literature and media theory who spent his career as a professor of English at SLU.
As a research center at a Jesuit Catholic university, the Center for Digital Humanities at Saint Louis University participates in the five hundred year old academic tradition of the Society of Jesus that seeks to discover new ways of understanding truth by exploring, engaging, and investigating the boundaries and frontiers of technology, knowledge and human existence.
As an internationally active center for research in the digital humanities, we seek to leverage technology to solve intractable obstacles to effective research in the humanities, sharing knowledge by developing and enforcing interoperable standards, and promoting education within and through the digital humanities. The developers in the CDH work closely with researchers in several fields and across a wide range of experience and technical expertise. The result is that each project is tailored to its creators, users, and audience, but remains accessible to all who may wish to engage with it.
Digital tools and methods can empower scholars to revisit existing problems from new perspectives and enable them to extend scholarship in previously impractical directions. The center's staff members serve as hub for sharing expertise in digital technology and are a available for consultation.
The OngCDH has built pedagogical tools for paleography in several languages and is developing coursework and resources at Saint Louis University to train the next generation of humanities scholars.
The emergence of computation in humanities research continues to proliferate new data and analyses at an accelerating rate. For decades those within the field have been working to find standard and exchangeable ways to encode, transfer, and preserve the growing repository of the world's digitized knowledge. Our efforts have focused on reaching beyond the field, to enable machine encoding of objects, descriptions, and assertions in a way which may cross languages and disciplines.
Interoperability means data can be understood by anyone who has need of it, encoding allows for the most complete and accurate descriptions available, and attribution and citation is built into contributions so that each new scholar enters into the history of their subject, and academic conversations are open and durable.