Howard Hotson

Collaboration, Early Modern Letters Online, and Horizon 2020: The Creation of One Virtual Community to Reassemble Another

2014 Seminar Series / Monday 24 November, 2014

This concluding seminar will discuss prospects for the further development of the digital platform and union catalogue Early Modern Letters Online. From 2014 to 2018, a networking initiative entitled ‘Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1500–1800‘ will fund a structured discussion with partners from over two dozen countries on all the issues involved in collaboratively developing a version of EMLO on a pan-European basis. This network is funded by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), which as a whole is now being integrated into Horizon 2020, the new large-scale EU research funding scheme. One of H2020’s main foci is transnational digital infrastructure of precisely the kind which EMLO is piloting and the COST Action is proposing to refine. A third phase of Cultures of Knowledge funding from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation is currently under discussion, devoted to laying firm foundations for such larger-scale initiatives. The shared objective of all of these projects is to move beyond the collaborative population of a union catalogue to collaborative design, development, and funding of a pan-European version of EMLO on a component basis, all in the service of networking research, teaching, and outreach in this field. While the COST Action will pursue collaborative systems design on a large scale, CofK’s Phase III proposal will pilot collaborative systems development with selected partners, as well as continuing to expand EMLO’s active user community. The seminar will also provide an opportunity to showcase the progress made during Phase II (2013-14) in developing the core system and populating it with fresh data.