Following the Liberal Arts Colleges and Digital Scholarship Services Pre-conference at the 2013 DLF forum, a working group was charged with writing a manifesto to guide digital scholarship efforts at liberal arts colleges. This text was drafted by the individuals listed below, distributed to all participants, then revised based on comments received.

Manifesto on Digital Scholarship at Liberal Arts Colleges

Laurie Allen, Coordinator for Digital Scholarship & Services, Haverford College
Rebekah Irwin, Director of Special Collections, Archives & Digital Scholarship, Middlebury College
Eric Luhrs, Head of Digital Scholarship, Lafayette College
Chelcie Rowell, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Wake Forest University
Kelcy Shepherd, Head of Digital Programs, Amherst College

Librarians and technologists at liberal arts colleges are well-positioned to create and collaborate on generative digital scholarship. Our colleges benefit from several strengths: close working relationships among faculty, students, librarians, and technologists; a history of faculty-student collaboration; limited systems legacy; and fewer administrative layers. The small size of our individual schools may limit technical capacity in some areas, but we will share successes and challenges, emphasize openness and collaboration, and ensure that the community, as a whole, advances together. As librarians and technologists engaged in digital scholarship at liberal arts institutions, we are committed to these principles:

Our work is driven by scholarly questions and aided by technology. Not the other way around.

Digital research that produces generative scholarship, and which leads to new data, interpretations, and questions even as projects are being developed and used, creates especially rich opportunities for learning and teaching in liberal arts colleges.

Digital scholarship, with its opportunity for multidisciplinarity, meaningful collaboration, and focus on productive experimentation and exploration can embody what is richest in the liberal arts environment.

Developing students as research partners and project collaborators is central to our mission, and should be pursued wherever possible.

Central to a strong digital scholarship program is investment in management, preservation, and access to digital assets.

To encourage sustainable development as well as free and open use and reuse of scholarly materials, we promote Open Access to scholarship, Open source software development, open metadata, and reusable data.


Digital Scholarship, Open Access


Written by a working group created after the Liberal Arts Colleges and Digital Scholarship Pre-conference in 2013, the authors of theĀ "Manifesto on Digital Scholarship at Liberal Arts Colleges" support open access and intends to promote and create generative digital scholarship.







January 22, 2014




Digital Humanities


Digital Humanities