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   About Transcriptions Page NEH Final Performance Report


  1. Narrative of Activities
    1. Overview
    2. Curriculum Development
    3. Research
    4. Online Resources Development
    5. Technology Facilities Development
    6. Project Follow Up
    7. Fund Raising
    8. External Evaluation
  2. Summary of Changes from Originally Proposed Work Plan
  3. Self-Assessment
  4. Appendices:
    1. Sample Pages from Project Web Site
    2. List of Transcriptions courses
    3. Sample course syllabi
    4. External Reviewer Letter (in print version of this report only)

  • Date: Sept. 30, 2002
  • To: Grants Office, Room 310
          National Endowment for the Humanities
          1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
          Washington, D. C. 20506
  • From: Alan Liu, Principal Investigator (Grantee Institution: Univ. of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Re: Final Performance Report for Transcriptions Project, Grant # ED-20822-97

Transcriptions Funding Proposals

Online References for this Report:

  1. The Transcriptions Web site:
  2. Online version of this Final Performance Report with live links: proposals/performance_reports/NEH_Final_Report.asp
  3. Original Transcriptions NEH proposal, 1996: proposals/NEH-proposal.shtml
  4. NEH Interim Performance Reports: index.asp#performance

Narrative of Activities During Grant Period


The Transcriptions Project (Transcriptions: Literature and the Culture of Information) was originally given a NEH grant of $30,000 (along with federal matching funds of $15,000) for the three-year period from August 1998 to June 2001. Subsequently, the grant period was extended to June 2002 to allow Transcriptions to take full advantage of the private donation (and concomitant matching funds) it received late in the grant period. During the time of the project, three faculty participants left Transcriptions because of other commitments at UC Santa Barbara (Charles Bazerman, Carl Gutiérrez-Jones, Mark Rose), while two others arrived at UC Santa Barbara to join Transcriptions (Rita Raley, William Warner). The final group of faculty participants is as follows: Alan Liu (Principal Investigator), Christopher Newfield, Carol Pasternack, Rita Raley, William Warner. This group will continue to oversee the project in its follow-up phase after the NEH grant.

The following are the major activities conducted by Transcriptions during 1998-2002 (see also NEH Interim Performance Reports, index.asp#performance). The narrative of these activities includes comparisons to the original project proposal as well as to the scaled-back, revised work plan submitted to the NEH on May 27, 1997 (to adapt to the actual amount of NEH funding).

Curriculum Development

The original Transcriptions proposal called for the creation of new undergraduate and graduate courses on the relation between the humanities (especially literature) and information culture. These courses were to have followed two "tracks":

  1. one devoted to the contemporary social, economic, political, and cultural contexts "that now make information such a powerful paradigm,"
  2. the other focused upon the "history and theory of orality, literacy, manuscript culture, early print culture, the book, the archive and library, the technology of the canon (e.g., publishing history), literature as an academic discipline, copyright, etc.—i.e., the related contexts that have always made literature itself an "information technology."

This goal has been met with the creation of such undergraduate and graduate courses spanning the above-described tracks as "Hypertext Fiction and Poetry," "Business Culture," "Theory and Cultural History of 20th Century Media," "Scroll to Screen," or "Enlightenment Communications." (See catalogue of Transcriptions courses: The goal of creating a "core" survey course was also met through the development of the lower-division lecture course, English 25: The Culture of Information.

As specified in the project proposal, most of these courses have a full-featured Web site and require students to learn information-technology skills to conduct online research as well as to create online content (typically: a Web project). Students are supported in their technical learning by workshops, drop-in technical support hours with Transcriptions teaching assistants, and online help guides created for the project. (See Resources below.) In addition, graduate courses have been supplemented by a substantial number of research and teaching assistantships that allow students to work closely with faculty in research, teaching, colloquia, and technical development. (Typically, two to three graduate students serve each quarter as a research or teaching assistant. During the grant period, 19 graduate students have been Transcriptions assistants.)

The major qualitative change in curricular plans was the creation midway through the grant period of a new Literature and Culture of Information (LCI) specialization for undergraduate English Majors at UC Santa Barbara. The specialization, in which English majors take a minimum of four Transcriptions courses and participate in extracurricular activities that include colloquia, undergraduate research teams, and field trips to technology laboratories, gives more shape to the Transcriptions curriculum. Especially successful have been the LCI undergraduate research teams, each of which work under the supervision of a Transcriptions teaching assistant (and report to the full Transcriptions faculty and graduate-student team) to produce research articles, bibliographies, and interviews on topics relating to information culture. (For more information on the LCI, see; see also NEH Interim Performance Reports.)

In quantitative terms, the revised project work plan of 1997 had predicted the development of 13 course designs (called "modules" in the proposal) to be taught in 19 instances (10 undergraduate, 9 graduate). During the actual grant period, Transcriptions developed 16 such course designs and taught them in 20 instances (15 undergraduate, 5 graduate). (The increase in the proportion of undergraduate classes over that predicted in the work plan is owing to the creation of the LCI specializations, described above.) The average enrollment in classes numbered English 100-196 was 35. The average enrollment in English 197 (senior seminars) was 15. And the average enrollment in graduate classes (numbered 200 and above) was 8-15. English 25, the lower-division lecture course, averaged 40-45 students in each of the two years it has so far been taught. (Full list of Transcriptions courses:

Research Development

One of the major changes that has occurred since the original project proposal is the development of a stronger research focus to complement curricular activities. Based on faculty and graduate-student interests in the area of the humanities and information culture, this research was woven into project activities to support the Transcriptions curriculum through such extracurricular activities as colloquia or visits to class by experts, undergraduate research teams, etc. The main Transcriptions research activities are as follows:

  • Faculty Research: Transcriptions faculty conduct research that contributes to, showcases, or otherwise complements the Transcriptions project. This research includes forthcoming or in-progress books on the culture of information, the relation of the humanities to business culture, digital textuality, and network culture from the Enlightenment to the present. It also includes many talks given by Transcriptions faculty that showcase the project. Recent talks featuring Transcriptions include Alan Liu's presentations at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University, and the 2001 ACH-ALLC conference at NYU (streaming audio file);Rita Raley's talk on "The Object as Code" at the Technoptopias conference, Univ. of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2002 , and William Warner's talk on "After 9/11: Wiring Networks for Security and Liberty" at the Consortium of Humanities Chairs at Univ. of Minnesota in 2001. (See Faculty Research:; see also Talks/Essays About Transcriptions:
  • Graduate-Student Research: Graduate students participating in Transcriptions either as research/teaching assistants or as students in courses have created a majority of the research "Topics Pages" for the Transcriptions Web site (part of the original project proposal). Topics pages provide overviews, timelines, bibliographies, discussions of critical issues, and other resources on specific topics related to information culture. Examples of Topics Pages include Jennifer Jones's Virtual Realities & Imaginative Literature and Christopher Schedler's Native American Literature, Oral Tradition, Internet. (See Topics Pages: topics/index.asp) Graduate students have also helped create other Transcriptions research resources, including the Transcriptions Bookshelf and Guide to Electronic Literature (see below).
  • Undergraduate Research: Undergraduates enrolled in Transcriptions courses have also contributed research Topics Pages. In addition, undergraduates in the Literature & Culture of Information (LCI) research teams have created research projects on information culture for the project's LCI Magazine ( (See above for description of the LCI)
  • Colloquium Series: New to the project since its original proposal is the Transcriptions Colloquium Series, which each year brings speakers from various fields and professions into contact with Transcriptions faculty and students. Although formats for particular colloquia vary, the emphasis is on small, intimate workshops or seminars allowing for face-to-face discussion of key issues and works. Colloquia, for example, have included forums given by William Paulson, Richard Grusin, J. Hillis Miller, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, M. D. Coverley, Michael Heim, Lev Manovich, and Metacollege, Inc., as well as faculty and graduate students from various UCSB departments. (See Colloquium Series:
  • Transcriptions Bookshelf: The Bookshelf, which is new to the project since its original proposal, is a searchable database of reviews and annotations of works in a variety of media relevant to digital culture and new media. These reviews are written by Transcriptions faculty and students about works that they have been reading/viewing in connection with their research or teaching. Entries include, for example, reviews of Daniel Aronofsky's Pi, William Gibson's Agrippa, Lawrence Lessig's Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, and Marie-Laure Ryan's Cyberspace Textuality. (See full Bookshelf )
  • Guide to Electronic Literature: During the grant period, Transcriptions purchased the full library of hypertext and other electronic literature creative-writing works published by the Eastgate Systems company (publisher of the most influential, first-generation electronic fiction and poetry). Subsequently, Transcriptions graduate students created the Guide to Electronic Literature to help instructors and students use the Eastgate works (and, in the future, other works). The Guide includes descriptions as well as bibliographical information. (See Guide to Electronic Literature:

Online Resources Development

As planned in its project proposal, Transcriptions has developed online materials to support the use of digital technology, new media, and the Internet in humanities instruction and research. While some of these resources are specific to the project (e.g., tutorials for technology in the Transcriptions digital studio or the Coursebuilder system that allows UC Santa Barbara English Dept. faculty to publish course web sites), many are designed to be generally useful and to serve Transcription's larger mandate as a demonstration project. Transcriptions uses these resources to complement the hands-on guidance it also provides through workshops and drop-in technical support hours. The main online resources developed by Transcriptions are the following:

Technology Facilities Development

  • As planned in the project proposal, Transcriptions used its NEH grant and a specific $50,000 cost-sharing contribution from UC Santa Barbara's College of Letters & Science to create the Transcriptions Studio (see tech_facilities.asp#facilities). a combination research-and-development lab and seminar room located in the UCSB English Department (South Hall 2509). The completed studio holds computers at one end and a seminar table at the other so as to create a hybrid space of intellectual and practical use. Currently, the studio contains eight workstations (450-500 Mhz PCs with 19-inch and 21-inch monitors running Windows 2000), a digital projector, two high-performance laptops for mobile classroom and conference presentations, a Transcriptions Studioscanner, a printer, a mini-DVD camcorder and Web cam, and audio recording equipment. These machines are networked to a set of servers managed by the English Department (Web server, database server, LAN-server, and domain name server). The studio, which holds up to about 20 people, is a mixed-use space where faculty and students develop Web sites and classes or meetings are held. It is not unusual to see students working on the computers at one end of the room while a class or colloquium occurs at the other end.
  • In addition to what was planned in the project proposal, Transcriptions won a grant from the UC Santa Barbara Humanities and Fine Arts Division that allowed it to pool resources with the English Department to create a new Multi-Station Computer Classroom. (See This classroom significantly extends the instructional use of information technology. It holds up to 36 people and includes the following equipment:
    • In-place instructor's computer station and digital projector
    • Five networked laptops, each switchable to the digital projector
    • Ethernet ports for additional laptops (brought by students or conference participants)
    • Web cam and microphone equipment for meetings with remote guest speakers
    • VCR and DVD players

    Such a multi-station, networked, and scalable classroom gives Transcriptions an opportunity to design new kinds of instructional activities and assignments. Because of the limitations of previous classrooms and infrastructure (typically limited to one instructor's computer and digital projector), Transcriptions was in the past constrained in the way it used instructional information technology (IT)—such that, for example, the in-class display of student Web projects was segregated from the actual collaborative work needed to make such projects (which occurred in a separate computing lab facility) as well as from the online discussion of such projects (which occurred asynchronously by e-mail). Such compartmentalized IT made it difficult to synthesize the right mixture of IT practices. It also made it hard to consolidate IT practices with face-to-face class discussion.

    Transcriptions developed new pedagogical methods and tools for the multi-station classroom during summer 2002 and is currently preparing for a demo presentation in Oct. 2002. These methods and tools include:

    • Participatory use of IT during class discussion. Up to now, Transcriptions instructors have usually used IT in the classroom only to show students particular digital resources (the equivalent of saying to the class, "turn to page 121 in your book") or to allow a single student at a time to show a work or project. There has been no good way for listening students to participate actively in the use of IT so that they can say in response, "Look here instead" or "Look at it in this way (invoking a different configuration of the program, enacting a different algorithm upon the data set, etc.). Transcriptions hasis developed pedagogies that allow students to take an active role in showing/commenting on digital works during group discussion.

    • Collaborative, team-based Web-authoring assignments. Each quarter, Transcriptions/LCI gives workshops for students on Web-authoring basics and sets up times in labs so that students can work together on assignments. But such activities are not well suited to the standard IT-equipped classroom in which there is only a single computer and projector; nor is it well suited to campus labs where, though there are multiple stations, the configuration of the computers, choice of software, etc., are not controlled by the faculty and cannot be accessed for group activities at need (without advance scheduling). Transcriptions uses its new Multi-Station Computing Classroom to accommodate in-class team-working on student projects and in-class presentation/discussion of such projects.

    • Real-time "chat" visits with participating experts and other students around the world. One of the highest priorities of Transcriptions/LCI has been to develop pedagogies that can take advantage of a multi-station classroom to offer "real-time," in-class visits with people in remote locations—visits in which the usual problems of chat environments (e.g., a tendency toward fragmentation of discourse) can be offset by a live sense of community and the guidance of the instructor. There are two uses of such pedagogy that the project is implementing in particular:

      • Chats with experts on information technology and information culture, including faculty at other universities, researchers in engineering or science labs, and people from the government and business sectors of society. (Prof. Rita Raley conducted a proof-of-concept demonstration of a class chat visit in her English 165 course.)

      • Real-time interaction with courses at other universities in the U. S. and around the world.

    • In-class discussion of complex, multimedia works. One of the difficulties in teaching recent "new media" literature and art is that the works created by experimenters in digital or networked literature/art are very difficult to "show" in class. For example, a work on CD-ROM or an online work that is navigated through Flash or Javascript links cannot easily be shown because an instructor is unable to "link" to the appropriate page but must instead laboriously navigate to that page. Other new-media or online works require significant load-times. And some new-media literary/artistic works purposefully disable the normal navigational tools in a Web browser (e.g., the "back" button) or create abnormal digital experiences (e.g., art works that appear to take over a user's browser automatically or create non-standard interfaces that make it impossible for a user to tell another user where to click/go to see a particular page). Given these circumstances, Transcriptions and its Literature & Culture of Information specialization for undergraduates is creating pedagogies that utilize the multi-station capabilities of its new classroom to mount a repertory of sites and pages, each of which can be switched to the digital projector for display.

    • New uses of digital sound in courses. In keeping with the quick evolution of hypertext fiction and poetry to new media writing, teaching and research in Transcriptions/LCI investigates material, literary, and aesthetic artifacts whose properties include word, image, motion, and sound. In one course, for example, Professor Rita Raley links two modes of experimental writing (visual poetry and sound poetry) to digital new media, a focus that encouraged students to incorporate sound into their own Web-based final projects. To facilitate pedagogy in the areas of sound and recording media, Transcriptions has acquired a high-quality microphone and digital sound mastering software for its studio and will be developing accompanying pedagogical methods and resources (guides for student research and practice of digital sound, annotated examples of the way sound is used in contemporary digital poetry, bibliographies of resources, etc.).

Follow Up

The original project proposal stated that Transcriptions "in its concluding year . . . will convene a series of planning meetings dedicated to setting up a fully interdisciplinary 'Culture of Information' program at UCSB." Because of changing institutional circumstances, Transcriptions has in fact followed a different route toward a follow-up phase:

  • Intramural: Within the sphere of UC Santa Barbara, Transcriptions has created its Literature & the Culture of Information (LCI) specialization for undergraduates (see description above). This specialization comes with a continuing commitment from the UCSB English Dept. to support Transcriptions at the level of at least one teaching assistant each quarter (in addition to faculty instructional time), with additional assistance dependent on other funding sources. (See Fund Raising below.) The LCI provides a focus for continued research and curricular development in the Transcriptions project. In addition, Transcriptions is planning to create in the English
    Dept. a corresponding track for graduate students (a "field" in information culture).

  • Extramural: Outside the context of UC Santa Barbara, Transcriptions was the inspiration behind a successful proposal by William Warner (Transcriptions participant) to initiate a "multi-campus research group" in the the University of California system called the Digital Culture Project (DCP). Funded by the University of California President's Office and directed by Prof. Warner, the DCP is headquartered at UCSB in affiliation with Transcriptions. Its main goal is to weave together humanities and social science faculty and graduate students from across the UC system whose work bears upon digital technology and culture. Each year, the DCP sponsors conferences, graduate conferences, summer institutes, and a residential fellowship at UCSB. (See Digital Cultures Project: As exemplified by the presentation by Transcriptions project participants Robert Adlington, Jeremy Douglass, and Alan Liu at the 2001 DCP Summer Institute, the DCP provides Transcriptions with an opportunity to demonstrate its paradigm for humanities-based computing to a wide network of humanities researchers, instructors, and students both from the UC system and from other campuses.
  • .
  • Publications: Though the original project proposal did not predict that this would be the case, the print publication of faculty research will be another avenue of disseminating the Transcriptions paradigm of humanities technology. Project director Alan Liu's book, The Laws of Cool: The Culture of Information (forthcoming, Stanford Univ. Press) draws upon and features the Transcriptions project in its concluding part to make its argument about the pressing need for the humanities to engage with information culture, and vice versa.

Fund Raising

  • Intramural: Transcriptions has been very successful in using its NEH grant as a catalyst to secure substantial one-time and continuing cost-sharing funds from a variety of agencies at the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara. Highlights of funds raised from campus resources include:
    • $50,000 from the UCSB College of Letters & Science to help fund the creation of the Transcriptions Studio (see above), followed by an additional $16,300 for equipment and furnishings
    • Funding during each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2002 ($16,301, $12,000, $14,000, and $15,000, respectively) from the UCSB Instructional Improvement Program for developing new courses and pedagogy
    • $4,300 (plus additional teaching-assistant salaries channeled through the English Dept.) from the UCSB Division of Humanities & Fine Arts for development of Transcription's LCI specialization (see above).
    • Continuing yearly cost-sharing support from the UCSB English Department for faculty and teaching assistant salaries, hardware, software, supplies, and other costs.
  • Extramural: Transcriptions has engaged in a series of extramural fund-raising efforts. Activities during the grant period include the following:
    1. The project developed a database of UCSB English department alumni and mailed a letter requesting help with funding to approximately 600 of these contacts.
    2. Transcriptions faculty members Alan Liu and William Warner worked with the UCSB Development Office and the Dean of Humanities to present the project at a meeting of the UCSB Foundation, a private foundation that supports university activities.
    3. Transcriptions director Alan Liu presented the project to the Friends of the UCSB English Department, a private group of community members who help support the English Dept.
    4. Transcriptions director Alan Liu presented the project at a donor event series called the UCSB Chancellor's Community Breakfasts.
    5. Transcriptions faculty members Alan Liu and William Warner worked with the UCSB Development Office and the Dean of Humanities to present the project before a group of Santa Barbara area executives in the business, software, and media fields who help fund or organize sponsorship of campus engineering and other programs.
    6. Transcriptions worked with the UCSB Development Office and Dean of Humanities to secure a gift of $12,000 from a private donor, Richard Auhll, founder of the Circon corporation.

      Fund-raising activities #1 and #6 were successful in meeting the goal of $15,000 in gifts necessary to release Transcription's federal matching funds. However, other fund-raising activities were unproductive. For more detail on fund-raising activities, see NEH Interim Performance Reports: index.asp#performance

External Evaluation

The revised work plan for Transcriptions anticipated visits by three extramural scholars for the combined purpose of giving presentations at UCSB and evaluating the project. In actuality, Transcriptions was able to sponsor one such evaluation visit by J. Hillis Miller, a scholar whose international influence and recent book Black Holes (Stanford Univ. Press, 1999) on the relationship between humanities scholarship and information technology made him particularly well-suited to the task. Prof. Miller's evaluation letter of Jan. 27, 2000 is on file with the NEH (and is also appended to the print-version of this report).

The primary reason for curtailing additional extramural evaluation visits (which, according to the work plan, would have been from scholars geographically distant from the West Coast) was cost. Fully-reimbursed, extended visits by extramural scholars are very expensive as compared, for example, with visits by speakers in the Transcriptions Colloquium Series (to whom the project offered only small honoraria and had no obligation for travel or lodging expenses). Transcriptions thus cut back on long-distance, extended, fully-reimbursed extramural visits because it of its need to work within its scaled-back budget and also because the most substantial portion of its private funding (and its federal matching grants) did not materialize until the very end of its original three-year grant period.

Summary of Changes from Originally Proposed Work Plan

As detailed in the Narrative of Activities above, the major alterations from the work plan specified in the original project proposal (as amended in the revised work plan of May 1997) are as follows. (For the specifics and the rationale of changes, see the Narrative above):

  • Curriculum Development: Transcriptions launched its Literature & Culture of Information specialization for undergraduate English majors (see above). This step advanced the follow-up plans of the project.
  • Research Development: Through the creation of its Colloquium Series, LCI undergraduate research teams, Bookshelf, and other resources (see above), Transcriptions developed a much stronger research dimension than originally planned. Such research has evolved in a close support relationship with instructional activities; and it was additionally fueled by the hiring of new faculty (Prof. Rita Raley) specifically for a "digital humanities" position in the UCSB English Dept.
  • Online Resources Development: Transcriptions created two generations of its Web site as opposed to the single Web site originally planned (see above); and that Web site is stocked with a larger number of online resources (see above) than expected in the revised work plan. The one area in which online-resource development was deficient was the Topics Pages. Many excellent topics pages were created (see above). However, there was not sufficient funding to devote the dedicated faculty and graduate-student research time that would have been necessary to create the more systematic, interrelated array of Topics originally envisioned. (See outline of Topics pages in the project proposal:
  • Technology Development:Transcriptions successfully completed the construction of the Transcriptions Studio outlined in the project proposal (see above). In addition, however, Transcriptions contributed substantial funding and design consultation in the development of the new UCSB English Department Multi-Station Computer Classroom (see above).
  • Follow Up:The original work plan called for Transcriptions to conclude by convening faculty from other UCSB departments to discuss the creation of a cross-disciplinary program in information culture. For a variety of institutional reasons, this plan did not prove to be immediately practical. Instead, Transcriptions followed different routes (made available by funding opportunities) that allowed it to establish a continuing undergraduate Literature & Culture of Information specialization and a continuing affiliation with the University of California system's multi-campus Digital Cultures Project. (See above.)
  • Extramural Evaluation: As detailed previously, Transcriptions scaled back the number of extended visits by extramural visitors (see above).


In general, the project has achieved more than was proposed in its scaled-back, revised work plan of May 1997. It was more successful than anticipated at raising intramural funding to supplement the NEH grant;and this funding made it possible to create a larger number of course designs as well as to create a better Web site, more online resources, more technological resources, and a quicker, fuller route to a follow-up phase.

Transcriptions has had a major impact on its home humanities department, which not only hired a new faculty member in the field of digital humanities but restructured itself partly through the influence of Transcriptions into a department oriented around a cluster of "centers" each equipped with technology facilities and each supervising an undergraduate specialization: the Transcriptions Project, The Early Modern Center, and the American Cultures Center. (See UCSB English Department's description of its New Research and Teaching Centers: The facilities of the other centers are modeled after the Transcriptions Studio.

In addition, the stronger research dimension of the project has led to greater dissemination of the project through talks and publications by Transcriptions members as well as interaction with visiting speakers in the Transcriptions colloquium series. Together with the project web site, these dissemination activities help establish Transcriptions as not only a curriculum and research development initiative but a demonstration project.

There are two main areas in which Transcriptions has not been as productive as originally planned:

  • Extramural Fund-Raising: While Transcriptions was ultimately able to raise the funding necessary to release its federal matching grant, it was unable despite a series of fund-raising activities to secure any additional private gifts. This is partly owing to the relative difficulty in acquiring sponsorship from technology corporations and other donors more accustomed to giving to engineering, science, or other disciplines. But part of the fault must also be ascribed to the relative inexperience of the Transcriptions humanities faculty on the fund-raising circuit and, in particular, in the art of "asking for the check." There is little or no tradition in the humanities for fund-raising of this sort, and therefore little in the way of established precedent and support apparatus. By contrast with such other disciplines as the sciences, there is also no teaching relief or other recognition for humanities scholars involved in grant-writing and other fund-raising. In retrospect, participants in Transcriptions could have benefited from a crash course or workshop in humanities fund raising organized by the NEH.
  • Topics Pages on the Transcriptions Site: As noted above, many excellent Topics Pages for the project Web site were created, but the results on the whole fell short of the planned systematic, interrelated set of pages on the relation between the humanities and information culture. This is in part owing to lack of sufficient resources to dedicate more than a portion of graduate-student research assistance to the task of creating such pages (since the limited number of assistants also had to take care of more pressing needs in the areas of course support, technology workshops, drop-in technology help hours, etc.). But it is also owing to lack of faculty time to supervise and contribute to the topics pages. In this regard, the scaling back of the original project proposal to fit within the funds available in the actual NEH grant has been critical. The portion of the budget that was originally requested for faculty stipends was scaled back to zero, with the consequence that no faculty course relief or other time (except on a pro bono basis) was directly available to subsidize the considerable managerial activity that was needed to supervise project meetings, the work of research assistants, technical development, etc.). In hindsight, Transcriptions made an error in zeroing out its faculty support in favor of support for other facets of the project (technical development, online resources development, curricular development, research and teaching assistance, etc.). Transcriptions faculty did in fact contribute considerable amounts of time and energy, but they did so on top of regular teaching and administrative duties. The faculty would have been able to concentrate better on such difficult tasks as the Topics Pages had they been able to dedicate the time to those tasks. In general, this problem seems symptomatic of a structural difference between humanities disciplines and science or engineering disciplines. Transcriptions is an effort to create a grant-driven, lab-based, collaborative research and teaching project akin to those in the sciences. But the humanities are not currently structured in such a way as optimally to accommodate such activity.

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