Creating a more unified digital scholarship experience at Emory

Photo of Wayne Morse

Wayne Morse is Co-Director of the Emory Center of Digital Scholarship.

This June represents the second year for the Emory Center of Digital Scholarship (ECDS) and I am happy to share highlights of the work completed as well as ongoing initiatives that demonstrate what a unified approach to digital scholarship can achieve.

ECDS’ mission is “to make a more unified experience for Emory’s faculty, staff and students towards reshaping and creating a new institutional model for 21st century digital scholarship.” The term “digital scholarship” includes digital aspects of research, publishing, and pedagogy (teaching and learning).

In support of this mission, the center brings together IT professionals, librarians, faculty, and graduate students to work in partnership with multiple groups across LITS. Leveraging their project ideas while focusing on Emory’s collections and mission, ECDS’ work is focused in two primary areas – public scholarship and outreach.

Public Scholarship

The goal of public scholarship is to make scholarly research and teaching more accessible to all types of interested parties and be open to the public. ECDS encourages contributions from students, faculty and interested stakeholders to assist in the development of digital projects. The center builds online resources that represent new forms of digital scholarship. An example of this work is the crowd sourcing of data for a virtual recreation of 1930 downtown Atlanta (

Additional projects that have launched over the last year include: The Battle of Atlanta tour app (, providing a multi-media guided tour of the battle fields tailored for mobile devices; the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases project (, a site combining the excellent work of over 50 Emory undergraduates taught by professors Hank Klibanoff and Brett Gadsden resulting in a scholarly resource that gives a historical look into civil rights, and that helps to teach a new generation about the often hidden struggles of the time; and the Atlanta Studies website (, an open access, digital publication committed to finding new and innovative ways to communicate and collaborate about the history of Atlanta, featuring an article about the home where Margaret Mitchell completed Gone With the Wind.

Screen shot of a web page

The Atlanta Studies website.

ECDS is involved in another aspect of public scholarship by partnering with the Laney Graduate School to offer a Certificate in Digital Scholarship and Media Studies (DSMS) to a broader audience. Emory’s four-course DSMS certificate program offers students a way to enhance their knowledge, teaching skills, and career prospects in digital scholarship. Just recently, thanks to Dr. Allen Tullos, Professor of History at Emory College and the center’s Co-Director, librarians can receive the certificate after completing the necessary requirements. Soon, Emory staff will also be eligible for the certificate. Interest in the program is rapidly expanding from 5 students a year ago to 16 students this semester.


ECDS continues to partner with faculty for teaching their courses, with a focus on helping to integrate technology in innovative ways. Over the past two years, the center’s experts have been a part of over 40 classes assisting with digital storytelling, web page development, social networking applications, and video production. This semester, ECDS provided expertise in statistical analysis and data research for more than a dozen classes. A steady stream of faculty, graduate student researchers, and undergraduate honors students rely on librarians within the center to assist with their digital scholarship.

Two events hosted each year by ECDS highlight how faculty use technology to advance their work. “Connect with Teaching” and “Connect with Research” provide the opportunity for the Emory community to meet faculty and learn about the innovative ways they use various technologies and associated methodologies. Each event includes a panel discussion and an opportunity for one-on-one time with the experts to discuss ideas and share insights.

ECDS’ outreach also includes preparation for the move to online teaching. The Emory Foundations of Online Teaching (EFOT) course, created and taught by the center’s certified online teaching instructors, gives Emory instructors the opportunity to learn about the online teaching environment and how they can move their classes online. This is the third year ECDS is offering this program, with over a dozen faculty having completed the program thus far. Recently, in partnership with the Laney Graduate School, the EFOT course is being offered to graduate student instructors to help prepare them for the possibility of teaching in on online environment.

How to Reach Us

We welcome you to stop by ECDS and set-up a consultation, talk to our staff, librarians, and graduate student specialists about ideas you might have in the area of digital scholarship. We welcome a range of ideas, from very individualized research to public scholarship to pedagogy. Our goal is to create a more unified digital scholarship experience by bringing together expertise from across LITS. Visit us online at, or email us at ecds [at] emory [dot] edu.

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