Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

10/1/2009 - 4/30/2011

Funding Totals

$47,870.00 (approved)
$47,870.00 (awarded)

Electronic Literature Directory: Collaborative Knowledge Management for the Literary Humanities

FAIN: HD-50778-09

Electronic Literature Organization (Cambridge, MA 02139-4301)
Joseph Tabbi (Project Director: April 2009 to July 2012)

The development of a descriptive metadata vocabulary and the redesign of the Electronic Literature Directory website using open source content management and social networking software.

In 1999, the Electronic Literature Organization developed a comprehensive directory of electronic literature that has guided readers to thousands of works of electronic literature and helped to develop an international humanities discipline. But as the nature and complexion of the field has changed and matured, the directory has become both technologically and conceptually outdated. A decade after the release of the first incarnation of the directory, the authors and scholars at the Electronic Literature Organization will rebuild the Electronic Literature Directory using an open source, collaborative knowledge management platform and Semantic Web-based tools. The completely reconstructed directory will make records of works of electronic literature more accessible to the public, a team of editors will develop a metatag vocabulary and revise descriptions of listed works, and the finished product will show works in the context of critical scholarship about electronic literature.

Media Coverage

On Reading 300 Works of Electronic Literature (Media Coverage)
Author(s): joseph tabbi (plus 36 respondents)
Publication: On The Human
Date: 7/30/2009
Abstract: Invited description of the project that brought responses from 36 colleagues similarly engaged in the relocation of literary studies within digital environments. many of these respondents would become primary members of the Consortium on Electronic Literature (, an expansion of the (funded) Electronic Literature Directory to collaborative databases in multiple geographic regions, each with their own aesthetic and scholarly focus
URL: http://

Consortium on Electronic Literature (CELL) (Review)
Author(s): joseph tabbi (working with ten partner sites), Sandy Baldwin
Publication: website
Date: 5/5/2015
Abstract: in meetings at Brown University, University of Bergen (Norway), and University of Western Sydney (Australia), hosted in part by the NEH, and partly by member organizations, researchers recognized that various literary databases were now emerging, many of them along the lines of the pioneering Electronic Literature Directory (funded by the NEH Digital Humanities startup). we determined to work together toward a consistent search engine (put together with the aid of a 2014 Implementation Grant given to Electronic Literature Organization board member Sandy Baldwin in collaboration with NT2 in Montreal). the editorial team has been overseen by Joseph Tabbi, and the project is described in Tabbi's 'manifesto' on the site

Handbook on Electronic Literature (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Joseph Tabbi (and 12 contributing essayists)
Date: 6/6/2017
Abstract: Book under contract with Bloomsbury Press (London): a collection of essays many of them by active members of the (funded) Electronic Literature Directory and the larger Consortium on Electronic Literature

Electronic Literature Organization conferences (2015, 2016 (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Johannah Rodgers (plus numerous panelists)
Publication: Rountable (Bergen 2015) ad Reflections (Viktoria 2016)
Date: 5/7/2015
Abstract: The ELO conference in Bergen (Summer 2015) featured a roundtable discussion on the Electronic Literature Directory and the emergent Consortium on Electronic Literature. Johannah Rogers attended and circulated among active CELL members, notes on each of these meetings that are helping to direct current research and which will be worked into future grant applications