Entering the Drupal Age


In 2019, the Wired Humanities Projects marks twenty-two years of service at the University of Oregon! We continue to make ever more robust a number of already accessible digital collections, such as our online Honoring Tribal Legacies project that involves elevating indigenous perspectives about the Lewis and Clark Expedition in U.S. history; the Nahuatl Dictionary (with more than 100K users from 140+ countries, Mexico first and the U.S. second); the Mapas Project (about indigenous authored pictorial manuscripts of Mexico); the Early Nahuatl Library (largely alphabetic manuscripts in the Aztec language with transcriptions, translations, and interpretations all searchable).  The latter three are now on new platforms (Drupal) and are therefore more stable, but the functionality has changed. Huge thanks go to Ginny White and Len Hatfield for helping keep WHP on platforms with longevity.

Several older collections, such as the Age of Exploration maps (featuring the interpretations of cartographic historian Dr. James Walker); Presente! Art and the Disappeared, wherein we analyze works of art from Latin America that strive to make the “disappeared” present in our hearts and minds; and the Text in the Textiles, examining the embedded meaning in textile arts, are also in line for migration to the Drupal platform.  But they are not yet available.  Thank you for your patience.

We have just obtained a fifth round of funding from the National Park Service (NPS) for the Honoring Tribal Legacies project. Here is an early introductory video about HTL.  A new video (2019), by Justin Deegan (of the Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara), is now also available.  The collaboration with NPS is one of many; such partnerships are outlined in this video.

This summer we had funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a Summer Institute to take 25 schoolteachers on part of the Lewis and Clark Trail to discover Native cultures and their histories.

Another new development in funding comes in the form of a subcontract from Benjamin Johnson (University of Massachusetts) for getting started on our Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs. This will be an online searchable database of atomized glyphs with intensive annotation, metadata, and attestations in compound glyphs. Collaborating institutions include the Bodleian Library at Oxford University and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, guardians of Mexican codices that will be key to the project. Besides creating a tool for epigraphic decipherment of glyphs, we will be creating a Unicode proposal and a collection of symbols for use in didactic materials. Gordon Whittaker (Germany) and Ed Trager (U.S.) are important collaborators.

We are enormously proud to say that we have had the pleasure of thirteen NEH grants over the years, mostly stemming from our own grant writing, but also a few sub-contracts on grants at other universities.  One recent NEH-funded sub-contract for WHP, with the digital scholarship center at the University of Texas libraries, involved the perfecting of Optical Character Recognition for reading unknown fonts of the first books ever printed in the Americas, in a project called Primeros Libros, mostly from the sixteenth century. WHP’s contribution has been to review and help train the OCR’ing of diplomatic and normalized transcriptions of Nahuatl.

We are proud that in our scholarship and in our daily work we honor diversity and inclusion, creating materials that enhance teaching and research about American Indian and Mesoamerican cultures and their histories, all too often overlooked in U.S. classrooms.  We have also had the honor of having a majority of our student employees and interns from underrepresented ethnicities.

WHP’s New Home: CEQP

We are thrilled to announce that the Wired Humanities Projects research group is resides in the Center for Equity Promotion in the College of Education at the University of Oregon.  This move represents our continuing strength in creating digital resources of significance to underserved student and scholarly communities, particular with regard to Latin@s and American Indians.

NEH Summer Institute in Oaxaca, Mexico

Papel Picado, Oaxaca (Photo by S. Wood)

WHP concluded its most recent (fifth!) NEH summer institute in 2015. We are pleased to announce that we are continuing the dissemination of the exciting curricula from our NEH Summer Institutes in Oaxaca (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015). These are open-access teaching materials that can be downloaded and modified to fit the classrooms of teachers anywhere.

Please visit our institute website for more information.

Another Oaxaca Summer Institute!

We have just learned that we have been granted funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for another Summer Institute for school teachers (K-12) on “Mesoamerican Cultures and their Histories: Spotlight on Oaxaca!”  We will soon announce the finalization of our exact dates and locations in Oaxaca, and we will be opening up the competition for the 30 places in the program for NEH summer scholars — teachers from around the United States who wish to enhance their curriculum with content about Mexican indigenous peoples and their histories from pre-contact times into the modern day.

Yucatec Maya Project Funded!

We are thrilled to announce that Wired Humanities will have a sub-contract for expanding our Yucatec Maya open-access dictionary thanks to a grant recently awarded to Professor Paul Worley at the University of North Dakota.  Paul works with Native intellectuals who are creators of contemporary Mayan oral literature. He wishes to work with us to create a dictionary modeled after our Nahuatl dictionary, bridging historical and modern language samples to support the interpretation of cultural heritage materials of the past, present, and future.

We also wish to acknowledge the contributions of historical Yucatec Mayan language material from the work of Matthew Restall and additional historical and modern examples compiled by David Bolles.  We are so pleased to see this project, started with the significant input of former UO student, Kaitlan Smith, moving forward again!  Thank you, Paul Worley, for stepping up and giving us this opportunity.

Tsikbal Ich Maya Project (from Worley's blog)

Zapotec Dictionary Funding!

We are delighted to announce that Wired Humanities has been awarded funding for two years to create an open-access Zapotec Dictionary. This support is a part of the Department of Education grant received by Latin American Studies and the Center for Latin@ and Latin American Studies at the University of Oregon. We have taken our winning formula for the Nahuatl Dictionary, cloned it, and modified it, and are now filling it with Zapotec data (to include Zapotec of the Valleys, of the Sierra, and of the Isthmus).  Many thanks to our database technician, Ginny White, and to our new and continuing student staff.

Zeferino Mendoza (photo by Richard Hanson)

We also wish to express our appreciation for the participation of Zeferino Mendoza, a teacher and native speaker of Teotitlan del Valle, for contributing content to this project, and to Michel Oudijk (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and Gabriela Pérez-Báez (Smithsonian Institution) for their collaboration in expanding our historical and contemporary language samples.

ENL Moving Forward


Thanks to support from Justyna Olko’s Nahua Culture Change grant, underwritten by the European Research Council, work is now progressing on the Early Nahuatl Library. This represents a collaboration of numerous scholars who will be transcribing and translating largely textual manuscripts in Nahuatl from different time periods and locations around New Spain and early national Mexico. If you visit this page, please begin with the Alphabetic Listing, where you will find our first insertion. More manuscripts are soon to follow!

A Shift in Services

After fifteen years of serving the University of Oregon as the sole Digital Humanities unit on campus, WHP is being replaced (as of October 2012) by a new and more broadly defined Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) housed in the UO Libraries.  The new DSC will take over services offered to faculty across campus and across the disciplines, not just in the Humanities. We will provide a link here to the new DSC website as soon as it is up and running.  The UO Libraries will also be making announcements soon about the new DSC.

Meanwhile, some of WHP’s more recent projects will be carried forward and reshaped by the new DSC, some of our projects will simply be archived, and some, particularly those relating to research on Mesoamerica, will continue to grow independently of the new DSC. We do not have immediate plans to change the URLs for our Mesoamerican projects. For further information about the latter please contact Stephanie Wood, swood (at) uoregon (dot) edu.

European Research Council Grant

Our collaborator, Professor Justyna Olko of the University of Warsaw, Poland, has just received news that she is the recipient of a grant for 1.3 million Euros for her “Nahua Culture Contact” project.  Her work dovetails with the online Nahuatl dictionary and the Early Nahuatl Library at WHP.  This grant will also support our continued collaboration with the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación en Etnología, Zacatecas (IDIEZ), which works with Nahuatl language preservation and revitalization.  The IDIEZ director, John Sullivan, is a co-editor of our open-access Nahuatl dictionary.  We are so thrilled that all this work is being honored by the most prestigious grant a scholar can obtain in Europe. Here’s a link to a news piece in Polish about the ERC award.

CEED Planted (Funded) by CLLAS

WHP has recently been honored with a grant from the Center for Latin@ and Latin American Studies for the support of a pilot project, “Culture, Exchange, Education, and Diversity” (CEED) / “Cultura, Intercambio, Educación, y Diversidad” (CIED). CEED/CIED represents an interdisciplinary and international collaboration between the Alfredo Harp Helú Foundation (FAHH) in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Wired Humanities Projects (WHP) at the University of Oregon. Stephanie Wood of WHP and Richard Hanson of El Proyecto Trilingüe (underwritten by FAHH) are teaming up to connect native speakers of indigenous languages in Oaxaca with their counterparts in Woodburn, Oregon, including either immigrants from Oaxaca or their descendants. We aim to stimulate conversations among targeted youth around selected themes and employing social media, in part to foster language use and build indigenous-language literacy (with an inclusive, open orthography) and in part to accumulate a corpus of research materials. With the permission of participants, conversations will be made available to researchers wishing to study migration issues by utilizing first-hand accounts and to researchers wanting to document endangered languages, building open-source, open-access dictionaries that will bolster language preservation and fuel revitalization. We also hope to recruit school teachers who might wish to join us in the project or draw from the corpus for developing relevant curricula for language instruction.  Central to this project are collaborators Alina Padilla-Miller, a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Communications, who will assist with the social media dimension; Diana Salazar, a UO undergraduate with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Planning and Public Policy major who is an Oregonian with Oaxacan heritage, and who will help recruit participants in Woodburn; and, Daniel Ramírez, whose parents are also Mixtec speakers and who is developing a related senior project at Woodburn High School.