About Us


DEILA, the DICKINSON ELECTRONIC INITIATIVE IN THE LIBERAL ARTS, provides a "home" for existing and developing digital scholarly projects at Dickinson College. Through coordination, consolidation, and encouragement across the research interests of the faculty, DEILA seeks to exploit Dickinson's strengths as a leading liberal arts innovator. The goal is to place the College in the lead amongst its peers in the exploration of the emerging technological applications of research and publication and access in the digital realm.

Many faculty researchers know of successful digital publication at the Library of Congress, the University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina. These projects, and a growing number of others hosted in large institutions, enjoy remarkable success in terms of access and in terms of attracting significant outside funding from the largest of donors. Dickinson cannot, of course, operate on an equal basis with such programs, but we do have our own significant advantages. Our innovations in collaborative research with undergraduates, the openness of our Archives and Special Collections to students, along with our freedom and willingness to support the exploration of new directions in academe border on the unique. Projects planned and already underway under the aegis of DEILA indicate the splendid potential for Dickinson's leadership among small colleges in this arena.


DEILA will explore and help put into practice ways in which new technology makes possible new avenues of exploration, creation, access, and dissemination of the latest in ground-breaking research in the liberal arts.

DEILA will serve as a repository for expertise and encouragement and as a base for innovative student collaborative involvement in and across fields. It will build on our experience to provide models and facilitate individual or collaborative research suitable for the interactive dissemination to the broader world of academe.

DEILA will provide up to date information on standards of practice in digital preservation and access in faculty research and publication. Experience will be pooled and a common signature encouraged so as to maintain the highest level of academic integrity in all projects.

DEILA will provide an online portal that will present a consistent and attractive face to the academic projects completed and underway. This will be done without in any way restricting the individual creative development of any particular effort. Depending on the projects, we expect to engage the College with constituencies at home and world-wide, ranging from students and scholars at all levels to those engaged in self-directed "life-long learning."

DEILA will provide a single and relatively informed faculty voice in consultations with technical support and administrative offices. Such contact and conversation will seek to prevent duplication of effort and experiment while streamlining support.

March 2005