¡AZUCAR! New Grant to Expand 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, CCS director of data mining and associate dean for digital library innovations in the College of Arts and Sciences, will oversee the development of various software components that will add metadata extraction from the digital media (videos and graphics), provide community tags and a search mechanism, and make a publication tool available so scholars can 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.

“As the associate dean for digital library innovations, I have been looking into the use of data mining techniques for humanities research,” Ogihara said.”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.”

Lillian ManzorCTDA 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, 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 UM 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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