Made possible by a major Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is a collaboration among the University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities, Libraries, and Office of Information Technology. Since its founding in 1999, MITH has become internationally recognized as one of the leading centers of its kind, distinguished by the cultural diversity so central to its identity. Located in McKeldin Library at the heart of the campus, MITH is the University’s primary intellectual hub for scholars and practitioners of digital humanities, electronic literature, and cyberculture, as well as the home of the Electronic Literature Organization.
During the trial year 2008, the Electronic Literature Organization is collaborating with the Library of Congress in the selection, archiving, and preservation of several hundred web addresses featuring works of electronic literature (www.archive-it.org). The project, under the direction of ELO President Joseph Tabbi, is at once historical and developmental: each address is to be preserved ‘in perpetuity’ through periodic updates. At the same time, the descriptions, tags, and robust sample of works gathered by the ELO should provide, over time, a profile of the e-lit field.
Founded in 1996, Turbulence (http://turbulence.org) has commissioned over 150 networked art projects and, since 2004, has chronicled emerging network practice via its Networked Performance blog (http://turbulence.org/blog). Turbulence co-presented “Re-Writing” with the ELO at the Boston Cyberarts Festival (2005), and supports the ELO community by sponsoring readings, commissioning e-lit, and blogging new projects and current events.
“Literature on the net/Net Literature” (Litnet) is a subproject of the Cultural Studies Research Centre “Media Upheavals” at the University of Siegen, Germany. The Research Centre examines the prerequisites and structures of the media upheavals at the beginning of the 20th century and in the crossover to the 21st century. Litnet aims at analyzing the ongoing changes of literary communication and aesthetics in programmable and networked media, particularly on the Internet. Under a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, Professor Peter Gendolla and his team provide a database of digital/net literature and research literature (academic books, anthologies and articles) at http://www.litnet.uni-siegen.de/. Litnet archived several thousand sites of e-lit criticism that will be incorporated into the ELO Directory during the year 2008.
Combining elements of graphic design, database programming, and scholarly editing, ebr (www.electronicbookreview.com) has been in continuous publication since 1994. A journal of critical writing produced and published by writers for writers, ebr tracks literature’s becoming electronic. In the Spring of 2008, the ELO awarded ebr a commission to review, tag, and describe incoming selections for the Electronic Literature Directory (http://directory.eliterature.org/).