The Project

In 2011, the Liaison Librarian for Dance and the Data Services Specialist met with the Division of Dance faculty. During this initial meeting, the Dance faculty expressed an interest in preserving and sharing their creative output with others. Over time an opportunity arose to not only display the research of the Division of Dance but to also construct a Purdue Libraries “digital humanities template”: an immersive web presence to be used across multiple disciplines within Purdue University.

In early 2012, construction of a digital dance history began. The project involved multiple stakeholders across the Libraries as well as faculty from the Division of Dance. The aim of the project was two-fold: first, to create an online retrospective showcasing the cultural history of concert dance at Purdue from 1931-2011; second, to research the process of creating digital humanities projects within Purdue University Libraries. In order to complete this task, a sampling of concert dance history and research was integrated into a website.

The site was launched in June 2012 after four months of collaboration and development. The result, “Curiosity + Collaboration = Choreographic Expression,” includes a mixed media archival collection, original video compositions, and faculty interviews. The project resulted in a better understanding of digital humanities utilization within Purdue Libraries. More importantly, the immersive online presence promotes the history and scholarly research of the Division of Dance on a global scale.

Outcomes and Future Exploration

One of the roles of Purdue Libraries is the intake, preservation, and dissemination of faculty research to the global community. This project fulfilled that promise by engaging faculty and their research in digital humanities activities. Purdue Libraries hopes to continue development of digital humanities projects such as this one across disciplines. In doing so, the Libraries aim to simultaneously provide outreach and present scholarly research for a variety of University faculty.


Questions, Comments?

If you have any questions or comments about the project, or are a Purdue faculty member interested in collaborating with Purdue Libraries, please contact digital archivist Neal Harmeyer at