News for Pennsyslvania Libraries

May 6-8 convening will be webcast online

Washington, DC—Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will support a convening from Wednesday, May 6, to Friday, May 8, to explore the potential for crowdsourcing to broaden the reach of a diverse array of institutions. Lead organizers include Dartmouth College and the University of Maryland-College Park, with additional support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The meeting, “Engaging the Public: Best Practices in Crowdsourcing across the Disciplines,” will bring together by invitation over 60 stakeholders from the humanities, sciences, and cultural heritage domains to share their experiences managing digital projects that invite contributions from virtual volunteers. As a capstone to a series of IMLS-funded workshops, this event will help shape the Crowd Consortium for Libraries and Archives (CCLA), a forum that enables a national conversation about the most pressing needs and challenges regarding crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain.

The event is also part of the NEH’s agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.

IMLS and NEH encourage interested members of the public to participate in this event through the live webcast, which will be accessible here for selected presentations, as well as the #crowdcon Twitter conversation. Find the workshop agenda here.

Meeting participants include well-known humanities scholars, scientific researchers, and experts from a range of libraries, archives, and museums:

  • Project director Mary Flanagan, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities and director of Tiltfactor Lab at Dartmouth College. Flanagan will give the opening keynote on Wednesday, May 6 at 5:00 p.m.
  • University of Maryland co-project directors Neil Fraistat, Professor of English and Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, and Andrea Wiggins, Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies
  • Chris Lintott, Professor of Astrophysics and Citizen Science at Oxford University and co-founder of the citizen science initiative Zooniverse
  • Ben Vershbow, Director of NYPL Labs at the New York Public Library, known for projects such as “What’s on the Menu?” an effort to crowdsource the transcription of historical menu collections

Representatives from over 10 different funding organizations, including NEH, IMLS, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Twitter hashtag:#crowdcon

About the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) 
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at