History of CDH

Launched in 2014, the Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) is an interdisciplinary research center and academic unit in the Princeton University Library (PUL). The center grew out of a collaborative project, the Princeton Digital Humanities Initiative, and was inaugurated in the Fall of 2014 as the first and only academic unit in the Library. Since 2011, Digital Humanities at Princeton has thus grown from a small initiative led by a handful of faculty members, graduate students, staff members and librarians, initially meeting in the private dining room of Mathey College, to a vibrant and internationally recognized research center housed in Firestone Library. The CDH moved into its current space on the B Floor of Firestone Library in the Summer of 2016.

Over the years the center has created world-class projects, trained faculty and students in cutting-edge scholarly methods, developed open-source software, and fostered a scholarly community that spans academic disciplines and professional practices. The community was strengthened by the creation of two dedicated spaces for promoting interdisciplinary conversations: the Reading Group, convening several times each semester, and the Collaboratory, a weekly event organised by the Graduate Student Caucus, a network of graduate students involved in DH cooperative projects.

Since the very beginning the center has benefited from the proximity to PUL’s world-class collections and to colleagues who are experts in curation, collection development, and library technology. Our collaborations with Rare Books and Special Collections, humanities subject specialists, digital imaging experts, and conservators have been crucial in bringing our projects to light. In the spirit of Princeton’s motto to “act in the service of humanity,” since 2017 the CDH has been committed also to designing programs around Public Digital Humanities and to developing innovative public-facing research.