Digital Humanities: Project Funding versus Continuity of Research. Some Remarks on the Problem from the Polish Perspective

The subject mentioned in the title generally poses a difficulty in the humanities. This is the case as, firstly, every project needs a closure and research in many fields of the humanities needs continuity. Secondly, it is impossible to build a new team for every new project.

In digital humanities, where projects are more complicated, involving not only researchers and traditional publishers, but also programmers and graphic designers, it becomes a very important problem.

The paper is going to present some ways of dealing with this problem from the Polish perspective in general. Among other aspects, it will introduce the usual ways of project funding and the status of digital humanities in Poland.

More importantly, it will discuss specific solutions to specific problems encountered during our work on some projects in the New Panorama of Polish Literature (NPLP.PL), a digital platform in the Institute of Literary Research, one of the most important Polish research institutions in the humanities (including scholarly editing and compiling dictionaries).

We care a lot not only about the quality of the content we publish online, but also about the form of publication – that is why we work not only with researchers, editors, and programmers, but also with typographers, professional graphic designers, photographers, cartographers and specialists in copyrights. It gives our platform the quality we want but makes project management (and project funding) more difficult.

The paper is going to discuss different categories of projects we work on in the New Panorama of Polish Literature:

  • when all the content is ready at the beginning, and we have to create an adequate form,

  • when the project is divided into two separate phases: creating the content and preparing the digital collection,

  • when creating the content and building the digital collection are so closely connected that they influence each other all the time,

  • when the content needs regular updates.