Technologies are artificial, but — paradox again —
artificiality is natural to human beings

Walter J. Ong S.J. - Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word

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.

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.

an open IIIF/OAC compliant backbone for your data.


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our mission

There are three principle threads to our work. Learning, Research and Service.


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.


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


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

Thoughts from the Ongisphere

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IIIF Cookbook: Data Recipes For Humans

development, IIIF, instructionalJune 22, 20200 Comments

As with any standards committee or best practices group, there is a subgroup tasked with providing examples for the

Want To Work with Us?

The W.J. Ong S.J. Center for Digital Humanities collaborates with Saint Louis University faculty and students as well as scholars at other universities, and institutions around the world to develop digital humanities projects. If you have a humanities project you would like to bring into the digital environment or a project that might benefit from a digital humanities approach, please contact us.

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