Current projects

DCAPS is currently engaged in the following projects, a hybrid of Library, faculty, and staff collaborations to build dynamic digital collections. For more information about a specific project, contact us at

A red ribbon denotes an Arts & Sciences grant project. You may also see a complete list of recent A&S projects on our Arts & Sciences awards page.

Updated March 2014

Anthropological Collections

Fred Gleach, Anthropology
Collaborator: Eilis Monahan, Graduate Student, Near Eastern Studies

Description [+]

The Anthropology Collections (Department of Anthropology) include objects covering much of the range of human history and activities. The objects are used both for teaching and research purposes but are not regularly accessible due to facility and staffing limitations. The project will focus on a set of sub-collections for digitization to improve accessibility for students and faculty, increase awareness and use of the overall collections, and lay the framework for future education and research developments.

Archive of Field Recordings

Bonna Boettcher, Music Library

Description [+]

The Archive of Field Recordings comprises around 193 hours of audio recordings made in Indonesia, on some 210 reels of quarter-inch tape. The majority of the recordings are of gamelan music from Central Java; a smaller number, accounting for about 30 hours, are from Lombok. The recordings from Central Java were made by some of the first researchers to reach a high level of competence in learning to play gamelan, realizing the ideal of “bi-musicality” advocated by Mantle Hood. Most of the recordings were made between 1975 and 1977; a smaller number were made by Marty Hatch in 1970 and 1971. The choice of what and whom to record was thus very well informed, and the researchers had established relationships with the leading musicians of the time. The smaller portion of the archive is significant in a different way, documenting the music and rituals of the Sasak people of the island of Lombok, who have received comparatively little scholarly attention. The recordings were made by Judith Ecklund in the 1970s in conjunction with the research for her dissertation in anthropology, which she completed at Cornell in 1977.  Both collections are owned by the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance.

Cornell Gem and Amulet Collection

Caitlín Barrett and Verity Platt, Classics/Art History

Description [+]

The project will involve creating a digital repository of the A.D. White Collection of over 2000 plaster casts and impressions of engraved gems and amulets from Classical antiquity. These casts have been used for teaching more than a dozen lecture courses and seminars. Digitization of Cornell’s gem collection would be a natural continuation of projects spearheaded by Professor Alexandridis and Danielle Mericle, who have been digitizing and cataloging the university’s casts of ancient sculptures and its collection of Greco- Roman coins (funded by Arts & Sciences Grants). Digitization of the collection will make it much easier to assign research projects on the material to students, creating a fantastic classroom resource to use alongside the objects themselves.

Digital Tamang

Kathryn March, Anthropology

Description [+]

The goal is developing a Digital Tamang Study Center by creating an online archive for both original and secondary source materials, organized in such a way that it is accessible to members of the local Tamang village community. Initial contents will include field research material, based upon 37 years of research among the Tamang of central highland Nepal. The project will address important cultural heritage issues pertaining to privacy and rights of access by identifying public access materials and those which remain restricted to Tamang community.

Divine Comedy Image Archive, Fiske Dante Collection

Karen Pinkus, Italian and Comparative Literature
Collaborators: Marilyn Migiel, Italian Literature; William Kennedy, Comparative Literature; Patrick Stevens, Cornell University Library

Web Site | Description [+]

The Divine Comedy, the chief epic poem in Italian literature, may be described as compulsory study for any student specializing in Italian literature. Italian Studies programs will be the initial beneficiaries of the DCIA, but interdisciplinary approaches such as art history, visual studies and the history of the book will also find the DCIA a significant resource. The Divine Comedy Image Archive will offer scholars a large and diverse repository of images accessible for research and publication and will be accompanied with English/Italian descriptions and transcriptions.

Hip Hop Collection/Conzo Archive

Steve Pond, Music and Travis Gosa, Africana
Collaborator: Katherine Reagan, Cornell University Library

Web Site | Description [+]

Founded in 2007, Cornell’s hip hop collection is now the largest archive on early hip hop culture in the United States. A key foundational element of the collection is an assemblage of photographic prints by Bronx photographer Joe Conzo, Jr., taken between 1977 and 1984. Conzo is one of the few photographers known to have captured the early years of hip hop on film. Online access to the collection will be of interest to multiple disciplines, including art, art history, dance, music, American Studies, Africana. One of the project goals is to provide learning and teaching materials for a new Cornell course on hip hop.

History and Theory of Digital Art in Video

Maria Fernandez, Art History

Web Site | Description [+]

The aim of this project is twofold: 1) to digitize and archive a collection of fragile videotapes that are essential for teaching the history and theory of digital art, and 2) web-archive important yet ephemeral websites by artists that are integral to understanding contemporary internet art. The videotapes include works by pioneers in the field, and already showing serious color and signal deterioration. The video players that are used to play them are now obsolete. Similarly, the websites represent seminal work in the field, and yet are frequently lost due to the temporal nature of the internet. Because this is a relatively recent field in the history of art, there are no significant collections of the material for teaching purposes. The insecurity of access to these materials presents serious obstacles to teaching courses on the history of digital media art taught in many departments at Cornell. Consequently this collection would be of interest to scholars and students in many disciplines including art, architecture, comparative literature, technology of science studies, romance studies, Asian- American studies, government, and music.

James Gross Lecture and Oral History Interview Series on the National Labor Relations Board

Cheryl Beredo, Catherwood Library, Kheel Center

Description [+]

We are working to digitize 273 audio cassette recordings made by ILR Professor James Gross of lectures by — and interviews with — those people most knowledgeable about the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), many of whom are no longer living. In writing what is considered the authoritative history of the organization, Gross conducted interviews with NLRB staff and others who worked with the board, and organized conferences and lectures on the NLRB. These recordings document specific episodes in the history of the organization and capture what is missing in legal and government records.

John Reps Collection: Bastides

John W. Reps, Department of City and Regional Planning

Description [+]

We are beginning development on an interacti​ve portal to explore the architectural evolution of Bastides in the South of France. Professor Emeritus John W. Reps explored urban landscapes and developments worldwide. His spirit of discovery and the breadth of his travels made him not only a pioneering scholar in American urban planning history, but also a quintessential urban explorer.​

Kluge Online

David Bathrick, German Studies/Theater
Collaborators: Dr. Rainer Stollmann, University of Bremen (Germany); University of Bremen Library; Dr. Michael Jennings, Princeton University

Web Site | Description [+]

We will significantly expand the existing Muller-Kluge online collection, which is one of the most visited collections hosted by the Library. The website consist of interviews between West German filmmaker Alexander Kluge and the East German playwright Heiner Muller. The new site will will incorporate Kluge interviews with Hans Magnus Enzenberger and Oskar Negt. This initiative also involves a partnership and will enable Cornell to have access to Princeton’s Kluge Research Collection.

Lowentheil Collection of African-American Photographs

Cheryl Finley, Art History
Collaborator: Katherine Reagan, Cornell University Library

Description [+]

This collection of African-American photographs stands to make a major impact on the study of African American visual culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as they reveal volumes about black life and struggles in uncommonly rare photographs. Through digitization this resource will be widely available to scholars of African American Studies, Art History, American Studies and the History of Photography. These materials complement already existing Cornell collections, including the May Anti-Slavery, Hip Hop, Noyes and Rudin materials.

Maps of Southeast Asia

Tamara Loos, History
Collaborators: Gregory Green, Cornell University Library; Boris Michev, Cornell University Library

Description [+]

The goal of the project is provide online access to the early maps of Southeast Asia, which are very unique and quite well known. Currently they are available only for onsite use. The maps are of great value to courses covering the history of Southeast Asia, both at Cornell and elsewhere, providing online access will be a service to the academic community researching the region.

Monumentum Ancyranum Squeezes

Eric Rebillard and Ben Anderson, Classics/Art History

Web Site | Description [+]

The goal of the project is to preserve and make broadly accessible a collection of important and fragile squeezes (paper impressions) that were created in Ankara (Turkey) during the Cornell Expedition to the Assyro-Babylonian Orient in 1907. This will be a valuable online resource in the study of Roman history and epigraphy, made available to a large audience through digitization (and preventing deterioration of the original items that comes from unnecessary handling of the objects). It will furthermore represent an extension of past projects funded by the Arts and Sciences Grants, in particular the documentation of the Cornell Cast Collection and the Cornell Numismatic Collection.