DH Hub Team

The DH Hub team is made up of a dedicated DH Officer, an academic champion, and colleagues from the Library’s Research Engagement team, Digital Technology Services, Research Services and UMASCS (University Museums, Archives & Special Collections Services). This diverse team demonstrates the strong relationships that exist between different professional services departments, and between professional services departments and academic colleagues. Such relationships facilitate ambitious research within the University.

You can read more about the individual members of our team and how we may be able to support your research, below.

Dawn Kanter – Digital Humanities Officer

Dawn’s role is to coordinate the Hub’s activities in order to support Digital Humanities projects within the University i.e. projects that use digital methods to address humanities research questions, or those using critical traditions in the humanities to examine digital technologies. In conjunction with other members of the team, Dawn can help researchers to develop ideas for such projects and to find ways of effectively delivering them. Her own background is in museums and cultural heritage as well as in Digital Humanities. She is the initial contact for general enquiries to the Hub.

General DH Enquiries

If you:

  • wish to clarify the support the DH Hub offers, or whether your project/idea/query falls under the scope of what is supported;
  • would like to know about DH training, whether this is for general professional development or an enquiry about the specific skills that would be required to achieve a project outcome;
  • are interested in applying Digital Humanities to your work but don’t know where to start, or want to discuss ways your work might be enhanced by digital techniques;
  • would like to know if there is anyone else in the university working on something relevant to your project; or
  • have a specific enquiry about an existing project and don’t know who is the right contact for it;

Contact Dawn Kanter, Digital Humanities Officer

Mara Oliva – Digital Humanities Academic Champion

As the Academic Champion, Mara promotes an understanding of Digital Humanities as a discipline within the University, and the integration of cultures and principles from Digital Humanities into wider research practice. She leads the Community of Practice, and can provide mentoring and subject-specific advice for digital research projects. Mara is an Associate Professor in History and Lecturer in Modern American History; her own research concerns the political history of the US in the 20th century, with particular focus on the interface between domestic and foreign policy.

Rachel Lewis – Research Development Manager (Heritage & Creativity)

Rachel supports researchers across the Heritage & Creativity theme to develop research projects and applications for external research grant funding. She can advise on all elements of a grant application, including helping to locate suitable funding calls, providing non-expert review, and ensuring projects are properly costed. Rachel is the first port of call for grant applications, and within the DH Hub she oversees the organisation of the team’s support for those with a digital element.

Developing a Research Project

If you:

  • are already developing a research project proposal;
  • have an idea for which you are targeting a specific funding call;
  • have an enquiry about any follow-up for a project which already has RETF funding;
  • have confirmed or interested external collaborators;
  • need help finding suitable funding calls; or
  • need help determining the costs of potential elements of a project (including ‘hard’ digital costs such as data storage, digitisation, archiving, as well as staff salary or buyout costs, travel, and other research expenses);

Contact Rachel Lewis, Research Development Manager

Robert Darby – Research Data Manager

Robert manages the University’s Research Data Service. He provides research data management support and training, assists with the preparation of data management plans in applications for funding, and advises on the use of services for data storage, computation, and archiving. He manages the University’s data repository, the Research Data Archive, which can be used to preserve and provide long-term access to research data.

Robert’s role in the Hub includes providing research data management support for proposals and projects, and overseeing the development of sustainable service provision. He also supports the University’s Open Research initiative, which works to promote the adoption of open practices in research. Many of the fundamental principles of Open Research are shared with Digital Humanities, such as accessibility, transparency, reproducibility, and collaboration.

Research Data Management and Open Research

If you:

  • need to prepare a data management plan for a grant application – this must be reviewed by the Research Data Manager before submission;
  • have questions about the management, preservation and sharing of research data;
  • wish to deposit data in the University’s Research Data Archive; or
  • would like to find out more about Open Research;

Contact the Research Data Service

Paul Heaton – Academic Computing Software Engineer

As an Academic Computing Software Engineer, Paul provides specialist support for teaching and research, arranging the provision and setup of digital research infrastructure and services (including software and storage), and training in research programming and use of computing resources. As part of the Hub team’s support for research projects, he can advise on the technical requirements and solutions, specify digital skills requirements and deliver or identify the appropriate training required. Paul’s role in the DH Hub overlaps with his work to establish a more prominent profile for Research Software Engineering at UoR.

Guy Baxter – Associate Director of Archive Services – University Museums, Archives & Special Collections

Guy has led the archive service at the University of Reading since 2008, achieving UK Accredited status and contributing to several interdisciplinary research projects and developments including Staging Beckett and Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin’s Personal Cinema. He convenes the Museums and Collections department’s Digital Working Group, aiming to reflect and enable the digital shift in collections and scholarship. Guy’s broad professional and research interests are in copyright and compliance, cross-domain and interdisciplinary working, photograph collections, performing arts and events data standards (and intangible cultural heritage more broadly), and preservation management. Within the DH Hub, Guy advises on projects that involve overlap between collections-based research and Digital Humanities, helping to plan for and cost access to and/or preservation of digital artefacts and collections for a research project.

Chrissie Willis-Phillips – Associate Director (Scholarship and Planning)

As one of three Associate Directors in the Library, Chrissie has overall responsibility for Research Engagement, Research Data Management, Collections Services, as well as the DH Hub. Chrissie is particularly interested in process improvement and in initiatives to enhance integrations and automations for content acquisition and delivery, as well as supporting and developing services in support of all aspects of research and scholarship. She is also a member of several external organisations including Research Libraries UK and the National Acquisitions Group. She oversees the sustainable integration of the DH Hub into the Library’s support provision for researchers.

Roberta Gilchrist – Research Dean, Heritage & Creativity

Roberta is Research Dean for Heritage & Creativity, one of the University of Reading’s four research themes, in which role she sponsors the Digital Humanities Project. Roberta has championed Digital Humanities at the University for the past 6 years, securing funding for the current project to establish the Hub, as well as previous scoping activities. Alongside her work as Dean, Roberta is a Professor of Archaeology. She has published extensively on medieval sacred heritage, religion and gender, monasticism, magic, death and burial, health and the life course, as well as key archaeological studies on Norwich Cathedral and Glastonbury Abbey (the latter informing the reconstruction project Digital Glastonbury Abbey). Read Roberta’s blog on her decision to establish a DH Hub at Reading here.