Walter j. Ong S.J. center for digital humanities

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.


an open IIIF/OAC compliant backbone for your data.

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01 learning

The W.J. Ong S.J. Center for Digital Humanities seeks to advance scholarship and learning in the humanities by creating solutions to answer the needs of the user arising from the unique character of the digital environment.

02 research

The Center develops research resources, fully engages with standards and builds tools fostering student learning and faculty and scholarly research.

03 service

The Center strives to support a creative trans-disciplinary environment where experimentation and innovation are applied to research, pedagogy and service.


what we do

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.

tool building

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.


thoughts from the ongisphere

Experimenting with Client-side Line Detection

Does not compute Using an "old" iPad on a plane to review transcription data was a clarifying task. For all the advances in research technologies, even simple tasks, such as viewing manuscript images on an institution's website can crash a…

Rerum Enters Public Alpha

Come one, come all. What is this Rerum of which we Tweet? Rerum is an open and free repository for all sorts of digital things. Digital anchors for real world objects and encoded assertions from real world people are stored…

Authentication and Attribution in RERUM

Any new web service or application must take a considered look at authorization, authentication, and attribution—authorization, to make changes to data; authentication, to ensure those making changes are known; and attribution, to apply proper credit for contributions. The prevailing practice…



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how we share


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.



Thomas Finan

associate professor of history

John McEwan

associate director
assistant professor of digital humanities

Donal Hegarty

digital humanities manager

Patrick Cuba

solution architect

Bryan Haberberger

software stack developer

Margaret Smith

Graduate Assistant

how can we help you

contact us

office suite 324 Pius Xii Memorial Library Saint Louis University 3650 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone 314 997 4248
email digitalhumanities@slu.edu