On September 27th, Ethan Watrall, Associate Director of Matrix, was the keynote speaker for Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice. Network Detroit brought together universities and museums of Southeast Michigan to share and promote cutting-edge digital humanities projects in the region and involved undergraduates, graduate students and university faculty. Museum archivists, publishing executives, scholars and teachers reported on the state of digital humanities projects in their fields.
Watrall’s keynote presentation, “Towards a Model of Openness in Digital Cultural Heritage”highlights the importance of open access in the digital age. He discusses open scholarship and suggests a series of strategies for cultural heritage scholars and institutions to embrace a more open perspective.
“The issue of openness has swept into almost every corner of the scholarly world in recent years. Research, publication, teaching, public engagement, and even the very fabric of scholarly ethics - have all been touched by this discussion. Disciplines such as History, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Classics along with cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums are all wrestling with how openness within a digital space impacts their core identity and unique professional practice. Openness produces better scholarship, encourages discovery and collaboration, and facilitates transformative works. ”
Watrall was not the only Matrix member in attendance. Dean Rehberger, Director of Matrix, and Catherine Foley, Director of Digital Library and Archive Projects, spoke on the panel for “The Making of Digital Archives”. Rehberger discussed digital repositories and publishing with Kora while Foley talked about the American Black Journal Online Archive. Also, Marsha MacDowell and Amanda Sikarski were on the panel “Barnes, Quilts, Architectural Stained Glass in Michigan: University and Community Partnerships in Building and Using Digital Resources”.