UW Professor Awarded NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant

The National Endowment of the Humanities has recently awarded a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to “The Svoboda Diaries Project: From Digital Text to ‘New Book,’” a project directed by Walter Andrews, UW Professor of Ottoman and Turkish Literature. This one-year grant will support the development of a new publishing model for on-demand publication of scholarly editions, using a collection of personal diaries from 19th century Iraq. 

The Svoboda Iraq Diaries Project seeks to rescue this endangered collection of personal diaries, which constitute a valuable textual resource for the seriously understudied cultural, social, and economic history of 19th century Iraq, and make it available to scholars and the public in both web-based digital form and in a print publication.

The Svoboda Iraq Diaries Project extends the work of the Ottoman Texts Archive Project (OTAP), a joint endeavor of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at UW and the Bilkent University Halil İnalcık Center for Ottoman Studies in Ankara, Turkey. Since 1986 OTAP has been developing digital technologies for the preservation, dissemination, and analysis of Ottoman Turkish texts. Over time it has expanded its mission to include texts with relation to the Ottoman Empire or Ottoman culture in other primary Middle Eastern languages (such as Arabic and Persian) and to engage both graduate and undergraduate students in digital humanities research.