A book has just been published that celebrates the recent retirement of Professor Harold Short from King’s Department of Digital Humanities (DDH). Published by Ashgate publishers, and entitled “Collaborative Research in the Digital Humanities“, it is a festschrift honouring Harold Short and his work. As is characteristic of a festschrift, it contains chapters by many colleagues of Harold’s from around the world and reflects upon some of the remarkable aspects of collaborative research that have been enabled and revealed by the Digital Humanities.
The book is edited by two prominent scholars in the Digital Humanities field who are or have been members of DDH staff. In the book’s forward, Professors Marilyn Deegan and Willard McCarty note that “Harold was Director of the Centre [now DDH] for more than 20 years, where it grew from a service unit of four people to a full academic department of more than 40 staff, with taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and doctoral programme and numerous collaborative research projects”. They also remind us that he was chair of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing for 13 years (one of the best known academic societies for the digital humanities in the world), and a prime mover in the founding of the international Association of Digital Humanities Organizations.
King’s DDH remains in itself an substantial academic innovation and some would even say a beacon that reveals an important direction for the continued development of the Digital Humanities. It is the only fully academic department of the Digital Humanities world-wide, and the festschrift’s title draws our attention to one of the hallmarks of the department — its substantial and continuing involvement in many collaborative research ventures with researchers from more traditional humanities departments. This work has made DDH a significant partner in many innovative humanities online digital resources ranging from the online Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (www.pase.ac.uk), to the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (www.crsbi.ac.uk), and more than 30 other projects in-between.
All of Harold Short’s professional activities in the Digital Humanities have been characterised by an extraordinarily high level of professionalism, integrity, and personal collegiality. The book honours an individual who has played a key role in the development of the Digital Humanities both internationally and here at King’s. Its appearance will celebrate Harold Short’s very many remarkable achievements during his long and prominent career.