Mellon Foundation Grant to Expand UM Libraries’ Cuban Theater Digital Archive



The University of Miami Libraries has received a two-year $260,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support software development that will expand the functionality of the Cuban Theater Digital Archives. Dr. Mitsunori Oghihara, Associate Dean for Digital Library Innovation and Center for Computational Science Director of Data Mining will oversee the development of various software components that will add metadata extraction from the digital media (videos and graphics), add community tags and a search mechanism, and make a publication tool available that allows scholars to more easily access archived materials for research.

“The Cuban Theater Digital Archive is a model digital humanities project, which fosters interdisciplinary collaborations,“ said William D. Walker, Dean and University Librarian. “As we celebrate the Year of the Humanities and Arts at UM, it is especially rewarding to be able to advance this model project.”

“This innovative digital humanities project provides an important resource for scholars and students and helps to advance understanding of the role that performing arts play in our culture,” said Leonidas Bachas, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Mitsunori Oghihara, Associate Dean for Digital Library Innovation and Center for Computational Science Director of Data Mining will oversee the development of various software components that will add metadata extraction from the digital media (videos and graphics), add community tags and a search mechanism, and make a publication tool available that allows scholars to more easily access archived materials for research.

“I am very excited about being part of this project. Making this invaluable archive of Cuban theatrical productions more accessible with streamlined data processing and an advanced search mechanism will enhance its value to scholars,” said Mitsunori Ogihara, Associate Dean for Digital Library Innovation and Center for Computational Science Director of Data Mining.

CTDA was established by Lillian Manzor, associate professor of modern languages and literatures and Latin American Studies and the UM Libraries as the result of a 2005 Digital Library Fellowship. Previous awards have included a six-month research and planning initiative followed by a larger award to rebuild the technical and organizational infrastructure.

Available online at http://cubantheater.org/, the CTDA serves as a resource for research, teaching and learning in Cuban theater and performance and as a community repository for important Cuban theatrical materials.  It is also a forum to foster scholarly communication in this field. CTDA is managed as a digital humanities partnership between the University of Miami Libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences, in cooperation with Cuba’s National Council for the Performing Arts and the Center for Stage Design Studies.

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