TAPAS Project Wins IMLS National Leadership Grant

Providence, RI – TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (TAPAS), a digital humanities collaboration between the libraries of Brown University and Wheaton College, has been awarded a $250,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to begin on December 1, 2011 and run for three years. The goal of TAPAS is to create a shared repository and a suite of publishing and preservation services for humanities scholars who are creating digital research materials using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines.

TEI encoding offers both scholars and readers significantly richer options for annotating, searching, linking, and using digital texts. However, creating, preserving, and providing access to a TEI-encoded text can be very costly, and requires technologies and expertise that are not widely available, especially at smaller institutions. TAPAS is a community-driven, contributory project, committed to open access and open-source tools and approaches for publishing and archiving. It will enable scholars to share data and interface tools with one another and with the public. The resulting archive will permit broad access and support third-party interface development.

As Andrew Ashton, Director of Digital Technologies, Brown University Library stated “TAPAS addresses the immediate needs of humanities scholars by storing and publishing their work, but it also provides a new venue for scholars working with TEI to share, discuss, and collaborate around that work.” TAPAS will add a new dimension to Brown’s text encoding initiatives, pairing Brown’s technical expertise in digital repositories with emerging developments in web publishing and data representation.  By exploring the intersection of digital collections with web frameworks such as Drupal, the TAPAS group expects to develop a substantial body of highly transferable tools and knowledge. In July, the TAPAS project received an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to fund initial user interface design. This new IMLS grant will enable large-scale infrastructure development to make TAPAS a reality.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit imls.gov