In partnership with departments across Duke and practitioners across the Research Triangle, Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services (DSPS) offers a variety of open workshops and symposia focused on digital projects, methods, tools, and best practices. Subscribe to our listserv for upcoming DSPS events or follow us on Twitter @DukeDSPS (Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services) / @MurthyDigital (Murthy Digital Studio).

Spring 2020 event series:

Questions about training possibilities for yourself or your project team, or want to suggest topics for future programs? Contact askdigital (at) 

Digital Brown Bags (spring 2020)

The Benefits of Documentation – for Undergraduates, Teams, and Collaborative Projects

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 / 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Murthy Digital Studio (Bostock 121)

Many undergraduates are eager to participate in team research but haven’t developed strong documentation and metadata organization skills. In this Digital Brown Bag, undergraduate Sandra Luksic (Philosophy and Political Science major and Project Vox team member) describes the value of good documentation in collaborative projects and how documentation became relevant and appealing to them as a research novice. They talk about embracing flexibility and uncertainty in documentation, framing information maintenance in the context of human relationships, and learning by doing.

"Why Don't You Just Make a Map?" When Digital Projects Are Part of the Writing Process

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 / 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Murthy Digital Studio (Bostock 121)

Just make a map. Seems simple enough, right? That’s what Ashton Merck thought when, while writing her third dissertation chapter, she decided to create a series of maps and charts in an attempt to answer two of her research questions. And then the resulting visualizations changed the argument of her chapter.

In this Digital Brown Bag talk Ashton (History doctoral candidatet) describes the work involved in this deceptively simple data visualization project as a jumping-off point for a bigger conversation about the possibilities and pitfalls associated with constructing original datasets as part of a larger project, or even as part of the research and writing process. What happens when seemingly simple research questions get out of hand? How will you know whether the labor of gathering the information will even be worth it in the end? When and how should you make peace with your “messy,” incomplete data? What are the limits of OCR and automation in constructing datasets? And will anyone accept your findings as valid?

“Maps and Views, Spaces and Places": Mapping Pre-Modern Images

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 / 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Murthy Digital Studio (Bostock 121)

What if we could climb into historical views of cities and experience the places they represent? How could we design digital methods and tools that reconstruct pre-modern views of cities in 3D even if the images don’t correspond to modern ideas about mathematical perspective or gridded Cartesian space? In this Digital Brown Bag talk, Phil Stern (History) and Ed Triplett (Art History) will discuss their NEH-funded project "The Sandcastle Workflow" - a methodology that attempts to deconstruct and reconstruct pre-modern maps within a software environment that suits their malleable conceptions of space. Stern and Triplett will show several examples which demonstrate why it is difficult to analyze these pre-modern views spatially, challenges that their upcoming Bass Connections and Data+ projects will also engage with. Stern and Triplett will also compare the affordances of modern world analysis systems such as GIS with creative "world-building" systems like game engines.

Conducting bibliometric research with tidyJSTOR

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 / 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Murthy Digital Studio (Bostock 121)

JSTOR Data for Research allows researchers to text mine content in JSTOR’s extensive archive of scholarly literature;  journal articles, primary sources, and books; textual content (metadata or OCR-ed full text) can be assembled into a downloadable dataset for analysis with one’s own tools. Arthur Netto, a Ph.D. student at the University of São Paulo and fellow of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University, started using R bibliometric tools to make NGRAM plots of JSTOR data, but found he needed – and then created – more functions for analyzing the content. He wrapped everything into a single R package – tidyJSTOR – and uploaded the package to Github in order to disseminate it and receive comments on code and functions.
At this Digital Brown Bag talk, Arthur will talk about the research questions motivating his use of JSTOR’s Data for Research, the potential and limitations of existing R bibliometric tools, and the additional features he’s built into tidyJSTOR. As a self-taught R user and self-taught user of bibliometrics, he’s also eager to hear others’ approaches and suggestions. If you’d like to check out tidyJSTOR before the talk, please do! You can access the tool and the tutorial here:

Connecting Digital Projects—on a Deadline, at a Distance—with Scalability in Mind

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 / 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Murthy Digital Studio (Bostock 121)

Join us for a conversation with Sylvia Miller, Senior Program Manager at the Franklin Humanities Institute and Duke University Press’s project liaison for the Carlyle Letters Online (CLO), to hear about a new online John Ruskin Archive that will connect to the CLO via the fascinating Ruskin-Carlyle correspondence. While the CLO  has a long history of editorial and technological development, the new project has only a short time to launch a scalable prototype.
The theme of this session will be the challenges of balancing project-specific goals with scalability to enable the future aspirations of the Victorian Lives & Letters Consortium. With a one-year grant from the Delmas Foundation and student developers at the University of South Carolina who will finish work at the end of the Spring semester, the project team has to move fast and make pragmatic decisions.  Sylvia will share behind-the-scenes project-management strategies, and she looks forward to ideas and feedback from you.

Schedule in development - more dates forthcoming

Munch & Mull (spring 2020)

Munch & Mull is an informal brown-bag discussion about topics at the intersections of scholarly publishing, academic libraries, and the digital humanities. Sessions take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.  All Duke Libraries staff are welcome to attend.  To stay up-to-date on M&M topics, presenters, and news, consider subscribing to the Munch & Mull mailing list at .  (This is a low-traffic list that generally receives 2-3 messages per month.) 

Spring schedule forthcoming...

Workshops (spring 2020)

Deconstructing Digital Scholarship (RCR Workshop)

Thursday, February 12, 2020 / 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Edge Workshop Room (Bostock 127)

This workshop will help graduate students across the disciplines, but primarily in the humanities and social sciences, evaluate digital scholarly publications on the web.  Students will acquire skills that will allow them to evaluate scholarly aspects of digital scholarly publications, appropriately cite those publications in their work, and understand how to credit the work of other contributors in their own digital works.  Students will explore digital scholarly publications through hands-on activities and discuss and reflect on best practices.  This workshop will be led by Liz Milewicz, co-director of the ScholarWorks Center, and Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head of the Humanities Section at Duke University Libraries. 2.0 RCR credit hours. Priority seating for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences. 


Digital Scholarship Open House

Thursday, February 13, 2020 / 12:00-1:00 PM
The Edge Workshop Room (Bostock 127)

At its annual open house Duke University Libraries’ Digital Scholarship & Publishing Services department showcases some of its work over the past year. This year’s slate of speakers and projects offers a view into what it means to create public-oriented digital scholarship -- from considering the interests of collaborators in how the scholarship is shared, to ensuring the scholarship reaches audiences most likely to benefit from it, to using audience feedback and needs to drive future work. Whether you are just interested in learning more about digital scholarship, publishing, and public scholarship, or planning to start your own publishing project, join us for lunch and conversation with this cross-disciplinary panel as they discuss the motivations behind their projects, the people and work involved in realizing it, and the insights and skills gained along the way.

  • Joella Bitter (Doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology, Department of Cultural Anthropology)
  • David Johnston (Associate Professor of the Practice of Marine Conservation Ecology, Nicholas School of the Environment)
  • Elizabeth Schrader (Doctoral candidate in Early Christianity, Department of Religion)
  • Nicholas Smolenski (Doctoral student in Musicology and Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Department of Music)

Sponsored by Duke Libraries’ Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services, with special thanks to the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications and ScholarWorks: A Center for Scholarly Publishing at Duke University Libraries.


Duke Libraries Digital Scholarship & Publishing Services department collaborates with researchers in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, at any level of study, to plan and build digital research projects. We supply consultation on technical matters, project management, and best practices for a wide range of technologically-engaged research. We also encourage learning and experimentation in digital scholarship through exploratory projects, programs of hands-on instruction, graduate student internships, and resources and programming in The Edge / Murthy Digital Studio.