Category Archives: Announcement

Meet Our New Team Members

Learn about the new digital scholarship team members who started this summer. We are so delighted they are with us!

Dave Thomas, Digital Scholarship Specialist

David Thomas has taught, presented, and published at the intersection of Ancient History and Digital Humanities, as well as Digital Scholarship more broadly. He holds M.A. degrees in History from Brown University and Northern Illinois University, and before coming to Boston College, he was an instructor of Digital Humanities and Ancient History at the University of South Florida. He was the sole developer of the Networks of Roman Eleusis project, which tracked and visualized information about hundreds of ancient inscriptions and individuals from an Athenian religious sanctuary. He has also published packages in Python, including a module that makes performing text analysis on Latin and Greek texts easier for students. He has worked in text analysis, network analysis, and other areas, but most of all, he is a full-stack web programmer who focuses on helping students and faculty build digital projects for the web in a sustainable way.

Lester Carver, Data Services Specialist

Lester Carver has a background in geospatial analysis, data management, discourse analysis, and data-based communications. They hold an M.S. degree in Geographic Information Science from Clark University. Lester has instructed on GIS tools and analysis as well as spatial database development and management. They worked on projects such as the Just Urban Future project, where they used nighttime satellite imagery to measure street lighting as a proxy for police surveillance around public housing developments. They also developed a web-map documenting scraped tweeting activity about the 2022 escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War over time. Before coming to Boston College, Lester worked at the US Forest Service and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute doing knowledge management and evaluation. They are most excited by projects that help users interact with and make meaning of data in accessible ways.

Evan Hamlin, Technology Support Specialist

Evan Hamlin splits his time between the O’Neill Library’s Digital Studio and Access Services, where he is responsible for managing and supporting technologies. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Communication from Stonehill College this past spring. While at Stonehill, he worked at the College’s IT help desk and did a media production internship, both of which have prepared him well for his many responsibilities at BC. His technology support experience includes troubleshooting, creating guides, and instructing users on new technologies. If you have questions about the O’Neill Library’s Digital Studio, including how to use the Podcasting Room, send him an email and he’ll be happy to help!

Ashlyn Stewart, Digital Scholarship Specialist

Ashlyn Stewart specializes in creating and maintaining digital archives and editions. She has a dual background both in digital humanities tools and methodologies and in nineteenth-century American literature, history, and culture. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), working on a dissertation about Harper’s Weekly. She holds a master’s degree in English with a minor in history and a concentration in Nineteenth-Century Studies as well as a graduate certificate in Digital Humanities from UNL.  Before joining the team at Boston College, she worked on the Walt Whitman and Charles W. Chesnutt Archives at the UNL Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and taught courses for the UNL English department. While she loves to work on projects anchored in American literature and history, Ashlyn also enjoys designing and implementing durable digital projects on any textual collection. 

Antonio LoPiano, Data Visualization Specialist

Antonio LoPiano has developed a suite of skills in digital approaches to scholarship through his own research into the archeology of the ancient Mediterranean, including mapping, 3D scanning, and creating virtual exhibits. He holds an MA in Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of Tennessee and is preparing to defend his Ph.D. dissertation on the urbanization of archaic Central Italy at Duke University. At Duke, Antonio assisted faculty on interdisciplinary research projects incorporating GIS and photogrammetry, such as the Mapping Occupied Krakow Project, as part of the Digital Art History and Visual Culture Research Lab. He also has a wealth of experience teaching students how to utilize these skills both in the classroom at Duke and in the field as a member of the Vulci 3000 Archaeological Project. Most recently, Antonio planned and executed a remote sensing survey project of his own at the ancient Etruscan City of Doganella and published a smartphone app that guides visitors to the archaeological park of Vulci through the ground penetrating radar collected there. He enjoys creating projects that enhance the impact of data, expand access, and facilitate scholarly collaboration.

New Digital Studio Equipment

This semester the Digital Studio (O’Neill Library, room 205) has been upgrading the equipment in the Podcasting Room and Sound Room, some of which is ready for use and some of which will be ready soon.

In the Podcasting Room, we now have:

Besides being higher quality than the Blue Yeti microphone (still available in the space), the Rode Procasters provide a more professional recording experience. Instructions on how to use the mics are available in our Multimedia Production Guide

We are also in the process of setting up a Padcaster Studio for use in the Podcasting Room. This easy to use video production system will allow the BC community to record things like interviews and presentations.  

In the Sound Room, we are currently installing new acoustic panels, which will improve recording quality. We are also going to be making a Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam available that will allow for higher quality video capture. We see this as being of particular value to faculty who want to record presentation videos for online or hybrid courses.

Please email us if you have any questions, including about equipment availability.

BCDS Faculty Summer Incubator

This summer BC Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Group is holding a week-long incubator that will guide twelve BC faculty members through an exploration of digital scholarship methods and tools from a conceptual and technical standpoint. Participants will receive a $200 stipend following fall project presentations.

  • When: June 6th-June 10th
  • Where: O’Neill Library (in-person unless COVID requires it to move online)
  • Application: Due February 25th (Go to the Application)


The incubator will cover a wide cross-section of digital scholarship methods (e.g., data visualization, mapping, digital exhibits) and tools (e.g., ArcGIS and Tableau). Broader topics will also be incorporated such as project evaluation, usability, and intellectual property. The incubator will culminate in the creation of faculty projects that will be presented early in the fall semester during which faculty will receive feedback from colleagues and librarians to help them further develop their work. A project may be a well-articulated plan for a researched-based DS project and a prototype that demonstrates aspects of how the project will work, or, it may be for a pedagogy-based endeavor that includes a lesson plan and a prototype that demonstrates the digital component(s) of the lesson. More information on projects will be provided at the beginning of the incubator. Throughout the summer, the DS Group will provide workshops that dive deeper into DS tools, consultations, and other types of support that will enable participants to complete their projects.  

Learning Outcomes

Through their participation, faculty will gain:  

  • Familiarity with the current DS landscape 
  • An understanding of how to identify DS methods and tools for specific research and/or pedagogical pursuits 
  • Foundational skills in common DS tools
  • Greater comfort with and confidence in incorporating DS methods and tools into their research and/or teaching 
  • The ability to conceptualize and evaluate DS projects

Questions? Contact Melanie Hubbard, DS librarian, at

New: On-Demand Workshops

In the past, the Digital Scholarship Group hosted a series of preprogrammed workshops every fall and spring semester. We have changed this approach to on-demand workshops offered per the request of BC faculty, students, and staff. To make the process easier, we have created the Digital Scholarship & Scholarly Communications Workshops and Information Sessions Menu, which lists out-of-the-box learning opportunities that can be requested on shorter notice. It may also help with brainstorming ideas for more customized workshops. The menu, currently in its first phase, will be further developed over time.

We welcome comments and questions about this new workshop initiative.

Digital Scholarship Online Workshops: Fall 2021

The workshop schedule for the 2021 Fall semester has been published. Go to the Digital Scholarship events page to find out more details and register today. Topics range from exploring some foundational tools in Excel and diving deeper into programs like Tableau, a data visualization tool, or Omeka, an open-source digital exhibit publishing platform.

Below are some examples from programs like Tableau and Omeka, as well as some examples of GIS projects that students have worked on in the past.


Figuring out the best ways to showcase different statistics and research can be difficult via traditional print-based media. Tableau exists to help scholars tell the full story of their data; by using interactive graphs, charts, and infographics, data can be contextualized in ways that are more intuitive, and users can showcase or highlight certain trends and patterns.

Below are a few examples of Tableau projects that have been developed from previous workshops.


Omeka is a a web-publishing platform that can be used to develop and present digital projects. It is a relatively basic program at its core, with extensions and flexibility that can help create the right project and user experience. The “Introducing Digital Projects” workshop on October 14 will cover the essentials of getting started with Omeka.


Geographical Information Systems can capture, analyze, and present geospatial data. GIS workshops will help to familiarize with concepts and tools used for mapping projects.

Each year the Digital Scholarship team awards a contest for a GIS project created at Boston College. Information on the contest and to see previous project, check out our GIS Day website and this project from last year’s winner below.

This poster highlights different aspects of the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred in the United States between May 2020 and January 2021.

Scholarship Opportunity: Bookbuilders of Boston 2021

Bookbuilders of Boston, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1937 to promote excellence and innovation in book publishing and manufacturing, makes annual grants to area universities and colleges, providing student scholarships for engagement in projects that build awareness and practical knowledge of various aspects of the publishing industry.

The Boston College Libraries are seeking a BC undergraduate or graduate student interested in exploring the Open Access landscape in academic publishing. The student will have the opportunity to work with the Digital Scholarship Group on projects that support Boston College open access journals

Projects will demonstrate how open publishing can help remove financial barriers by providing free access to scholarship from all over the world. At the BC Libraries, we add to this effort by indexing our scholarly journals, compiling statistics on the use of the Open Access Publishing Fund, gathering information regarding readership of the academic journals hosted here at Boston College, and creating promotional materials to encourage new publications.

Skills learned and developed will be applicable in careers in online publishing, digital marketing, editorial work, academics, and digital scholarship. The successful candidate will demonstrate an interest in open access and an affinity for marketing and promotion. Basic graphic design and web competency skills are a plus. Please see this 2020 Ejournals newsletter for an example of the type of project you may be working on.

The stipend for this work is $3,500 to be distributed over the course of the project, and it is expected that the candidate will invest up to 200 hours of time into the project overall. The project timeframe is flexible depending on the candidate’s availability, but will need to be completed no later than January 2022.

To apply, please send a one to two page statement outlining your interest and relevant background, skills and learning goals by February 28, 2021, to Sarah Melton ( Please include your full name, class year, and contact information on a separate cover sheet.

Digital Scholarship – Year in Review

There have been many changes since January 2020, but students, faculty, and staff have done a tremendous amount in terms of Digital Scholarship projects and publication! The Digital Scholarship Group is proud to share some of our accomplishments.

Check out the graphic below, put together by Data and Visualization Librarian Allison Xu, to see a snapshot of all of the projects we have worked on this year.

Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities

The Digital Scholarship team is partnering with the English and History departments to offer graduate students a Certificate in the Digital Humanities. Courses will be available to Masters and Doctoral students who are interested in learning more about how new technology is shaping the way we gather, share, and present information.

Graduate students already enrolled a program at Boston College will have the opportunity to pursue coursework in any of the following disciplines:

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Economics
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Romance Languages and Literatures
  • Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures
  • Sociology
  • Theology

Requirements for the certificate will come via three classes – an introductory course, a departmental course, and a capstone. The first step for interested graduate students is to contact your graduate advisor to receive approval for enrolling in the mandatory introductory course.  

On the whole, this certificate reflects the changing landscape in the humanities. As research in the humanities is utilized and consumed with the guidance of different technologies, it has become increasingly important for scholars to understand how to present research in the most accurate and evocative ways.  

As more and more technologies and systems become available and open for use, strategies around the most effective ways to conduct research are continually evolving – this certificate will provide context around the current ideas in digital scholarship, and pair that with hands-on experiences from around specific departments.

For more information, see the DH Certificate page hosted by the BC Department of History.

New Service: Ordering Premium-Quality Digital Images

As we all continue to adjust to the realities of this pandemic, the Boston College Libraries are focused on not only safely reopening, but also continuing to explore services for researchers and scholars to improve digital engagement with collections.

High resolution images of materials held by Burns Library may now be ordered through our new pilot scanning service, both by BC students and people outside the BC community.  This is an experimental approach to accessibility, and marks the first time the Libraries will be offering publication-quality images in addition to the established Burns reference scans on demand.

Requests will be made to order by Digital Repository Services staff using imaging equipment in our Digital Lab. While this is a major shift in the workflows of the Digital Repository team, the approach to provide publication-quality images will be an opportunity for our libraries to lead the way in creating secure workflows that meet the needs of an ever-changing community. We will be evaluating the efficiency and efficacy of this pilot service, and adjusting accordingly.

Please see below for a brief Q and A with our Digital Production Librarian Chris Mayo who has helped to conceptualize and create this new service.

How can you make a request for a specific image?

When you find Burns material in the catalog and click on “Request scans from Burns Library” there are new options available. Lower-resolution reference scans have always been free and will continue to be so, but you now have options to request high-resolution tiffs of five or fewer images from any item, or for an entire archival folder. Users who want images of specific pages of books will need to specify which pages when making their request.

How much will it cost to make a request for an image?

If five or fewer images are requested, the cost is $25. If an entire archival folder (consisting  of more than five images) is requested, the cost is $75. It’s free for users with BC email addresses.

We should probably also note that if you accidentally request images from something that has already been digitized, Burns staff will be able to see that while processing the request and will provide those files free of charge.

What types of images can I expect to find in this collection? Is it mostly photography, or hi-res prints?

We will be making images to order. People can place an image request for anything in the Burns collection, a copyright assessment will be made, and if we can produce an image, we will. So the types of materials will vary depending on the request, but images will always be delivered as high-resolution tiff files, made via photography with a digital camera.

Is this just for hi-resolution images? How can I find a low-resolution image of something if necessary?

Yes, this is for high resolution only, and we anticipate this mostly being a service for people who need publication-quality images for books or articles. Low-resolution images can be requested through the same interface, and will be produced by Burns reference staff rather than the Digital Lab. 

What are the best places to go to see what categories or types of images might be in the Burns repository?

Search the catalog and limit to Burns materials to see the titles that images may be requested from. 

Check out the Libraries’ existing digital collections online, and our Digital Scholarship projects, many of which integrate and highlight Burns digitized collections.

Raised map showing a bridge in Charleston

GIS Contest Winners

It is with great pleasure that the Boston College Libraries announce the winners of the 11th Annual Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Contest at Boston College. This year we added a new category for digital maps in addition to the traditional poster category.  A special thanks to the students who completed and submitted their work during this time of global crisis!

In the category for Poster by a graduate student:
-First place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card to: Xinyi Zeng, Geology, for “Anthropogenic Drivers for Actively Expanding Pearl River Delta from 1990 to 2019.”
-Second place award of a $50 Amazon Gift Card to: Ashley Parry, Sociology, for “Racial and Class Disparities in Access to Child Care: A Case Study of Boston.”

In the category for Digital Map by a graduate student:
First place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card to: Megan Kopp, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, for “Surficial geologic map and cross-section of the Ellisburg and Sandy Creek, New York quadrangles”

In the category for Digital Map by an undergraduate student:
-First place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card to:
Mary Su, International Studies/MCAS, for “Paying for Livelihood.”

Awards were based on map quality, use of GIS as a research tool and originality.  Special consideration was given to topics exploring diversity and inclusion.