News & Updates

Minutes from the 10th Annual Consortium Meeting in Bloomington, Indiana

Digital HPS Consortium Meeting, Fall 2013

Next Year's Meeting:
Fall 2014 Digital History and Philosophy of Science Consortium Meeting
Organized by? Olivier Bruneau, Scott Walter and others
Where? Nancy, France
When? Early September
Length? Possible two part meeting. First part open to European digital projects to serve as introduction to DHPS, combination of training with standards and methods. Second part more traditional meeting of the DHPS Consortium.

Appointed Positions:
Steering Committee and Chairs:
Co-chair: Urs Schoepflin (Max Planck Institute)
Co-chair: Scott Walter (The Poincaré Correspondence Project, University of Lorraine)
1. Alison Pearn (Cambridge University)
2. Rick Creath (Arizona State University)
3. David Kohn (Darwin Manuscript Project)
4. Kerry Magruder (Oklahoma University)
5. Scott Weingart (Indiana University)

Rotating position, chair will appoint someone to take notes every meeting.

Editors for website:
Jane Maienschein (Arizona State University)
Matt Person (Biodiversity Heritage Library, Marine Biological Laboratory)
Erica O’Neil (Arizona State University)

Working Groups:
Dissolved in response to inactivity in past years.

Action Items:
For presenters at this year’s conference:
1. Abstract of presentation at this conference, for publication to the website. Optional: May include powerpoint with summary slides, a youtube video of your presentation, or any other materials to accompany the talks.

General tasks discussed, to be appointed by Steering Committee:
1. Report about this meeting for publication: Alison Pearn volunteers to begin process. Option of including others and editing through google docs, with video or traditional conference call to collaborate.
2. Grant proposal for training: Bill and Wally to start process, with hopes of a collaborative, international, multi-institution training program on behalf of the Consortium.
3. Standards: Defining best practices of Consortium, using existing digital projects as exemplars. Catapult Center example proposed. Discussion of 2 separate issues: what are standards and where are standards, versus what sort of standards are people using and how can we learn from each other.
Erick Pierson, et al. at ASU will be presenting a panel at HSS in November, which can serve as a useful in person collaborative period to reflect on tasks assigned or challenges encountered.
4. Website aims: Create survey to query usability and where consortium members see future of website going. Increase social media presence. Create project page for the World History of Science Online (with Stephan Weldon), and ensure DHPS projects are represented in that listing. Set up RSS feed across established projects with blogs to aggregate updates (BHL, Darwin projects, etc.). Link to pieces published about DHPS. Yearly update of project information, possible RSS feed. Display “How to get involved” link with email sign-up prominent on front page.
5. Establish article series alternative to publication in traditional journals, something similar to the Stanford Literary Lab, which publishes pamphlets instead of journal articles, which are academically well received. Bill proposes that Indiana University volunteer to start off an article series.
6. Publish minutes of the DHPS meeting.

Going forward to Nancy:
1. Circulate potential white paper topic for discussion in Nancy: On current topic yet to be determined (advocacy for open access, etc.). Topic to be agreed upon ahead of time, discussed at meeting, and published later to present different views on a point. Takes advantage of immediacy of conference.
2. Publish minutes of the DHPS meeting to website after the meeting.
3. Consider outreach panels at different society meetings with points of intersection to DHPS. For instance, the History of Science Society 2013 meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Contact Erick Peirson if interested in participating (

2013 Digital HPS Consortium Meeting Finalized

The Digital HPS Consortium will hold its annual workshop and meeting September 6 and 7, 2013, at Indiana University Bloomington. Bill Newman and Wally Hooper will be hosting the event, and can be contacted with further questions regarding travel and logistics. The program itinerary is forthcoming, and if you would like to participate please contact Bill and Wally with an abstract for your proposal as soon as possible.

For detailed travel information, visit the meetings page: "Digital HPS Meeting 2013: Bloomington, IN"

We hope to see you all there!

Darwin Manuscripts Project Launches New Two-Year Project

The Darwin Manuscripts Project has been awarded a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 30,000 of Darwin's scientific manuscripts and letters. The "Foundations of Darwin's Science: A Digital Manuscripts Collection" will allow the Darwin Manuscripts Project to mount high resolution scans of the entire set of Darwin's scientific manuscripts that are directly concerned with evolutionary science. The collection includes all the creation of On the Origin of Species documents and all the documents of Darwin's post-Origin evolutionary science. Thus all Darwin's botany and all his work on human evolution are included. The Darwin Manuscripts Project already provides high quality edited transcriptions for many of these documents, so the scope of this effort is transformative to the historical significance, quality, and amount of Darwin manuscripts that will be publicly accessible. This digitization project will be carried out as a close collaboration between Cambridge University, the Darwin Correspondence Project, and the Darwin Manuscripts Project of the American Museum of Natural History.

Biodiversity Heritage Library to launch powerful new user interface

Historians of science, rejoice! The Biodiversity Heritage Library is set to launch a new user interface March 18th. The new look and feel of the website has been designed to enhance discovery and usability of the website. Check out the Guide to the New BHL for all the details.

Users searching through the 2 million records within the digital library will now be able to navigate within books by accessing multiple columns of pages, and creating their own custom PDF for export. Finding those resources will also be easier, as over 80,000 articles have been indexed already, with more being added daily. The new Advanced Search feature will allow for greater specificity, and basic browsing features have also been updated.

For all the details of the launch, check the Biodiversity Heritage Library Blog, and follow BHL's Twitter and Facebook.

Celebrate Darwin's Birthday

Celebrate Charles Darwin's birthday by exploring the beautiful digital collections of his scholarly work, written in his own hand.

Although Darwin was born more than 200 years ago on February 12th, 1809, his research on evolution by means of natural selection can still be traced through the more 16,000 pages scanned by the Darwin Manuscripts Project. The Darwin Manuscripts Project is publicly accessible as an online exhibit through the American Museum of Natural History. Browse the notebooks Darwin compiled during his journey upon The Beagle, and examine the high resolution digital images of his scientific research.

Browse the Biodiversity Heritage Library's online compendium of texts, the Charles Darwin's Library, which include scans of books from his personal library. Examine Darwin's hand-written notes in the margins of his personal collection, for a glimpse into Darwin's mind. A selection of the books are currently free for download on iTunes U, and scans can also be viewed via Flickr feed.

Skip the 200 year old birthday cake, roll up your sleeves, and celebrate Darwin's life by sifting through the manuscripts of a formidable scientific mind.

Upcoming Consortium Colloquium at Indiana University Bloomington

A Computational Research System for the History of Science and its Connections to Bioinformatics
Manfred Laubichler, Julia Damerow, & Erick Peirson of Arizona State University

Computational methods and perspectives can transform the history of science by enabling the pursuit of novel types of questions, expanding dramatically the scale of analysis (geographically and temporally) and offering novel forms of publication that greatly enhance access and transparency. In this talk we present a brief summary of a computational research system for the history of science, introduce some of the tools and use cases, discuss its implications for research, education and publication practices and its connections to the open access movement and similar transformations in the natural and social sciences emphasizing big data. One of the connections of this approach is with genomics and we will explore the isomorphic structure between different types of historically evolving information systems, such as genomes and science. We also argue that computational approaches help to reconnect the history of science to individual scientific disciplines.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Swain Hall West 007
4:30-6:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Catapult Center for Digital Humanities & Computational Analysis of Texts

HSS Newsletter: "Digital History and Philosophy of Science Consortium Meets at Cambridge"

The History of Science Society published a full synopsis of the September 2012 meeting of the Digital HPS Consortium. In the October 2012 newsletter, "Digital History and Philosophy of Science Consortium Meets at Cambridge" outlines the sessions presented at the event, which ranged in topic from discussions of open-access standards and crowd-sourced public participation, to more technical aspects of metadata and computational tools. The broader themes and goals of the meeting were also reflected, and new working groups and committee members are also outlined in the conference wrap up.

In addition to the summary of past conferences reflected in the History of Science Society newsletter, information regarding the most recent meetings of the consortium can be accessed under the Meetings tab.

Bloomington Indiana HPS Meeting 2013

Members of the Digital HPS consortium are convening at Indiana University Bloomington between February 18th and 20th. The spring 2013 meeting among Digital HPS consortium members will bring together researchers to discuss infrastructure development for future computational projects. Bill Newton and Wally Hooper of the Department for History and Philosophy of Science are hosting Manfred Laubichler and graduate students from Arizona State University in order to strengthen the collaboration between institutions.

A new web presence for Digital HPS!

At the most recent meeting of the Digital HPS Consortium, we decided to develop a new webpage to provide a more accessible clearing-house for information and resources, and to improve dissemination and growth of the dHPS community. To that end a team at Arizona State University Center for Biology and Society, led by PhD student Erica O'Neil, has created a new Drupal-based website at The new site show-cases projects, people, and institutions that participate in the Digital HPS Consortium, and the open source tools for dHPS research and publishing developed by those participants. The site also provides information about both past and upcoming meetings of the Consortium. In the coming weeks, additional resources -- such as manuals, tutorials, and other content -- contributed by Consortium Participants will be added to the site.

All Consortium participants are encouraged to send updated information, relevant content, and suggestions for site features to Erica O'Neil (