Below is a sample of active projects designed to give you a sense of the nature of our work with UTSC faculty and students, who we are proud to support.

Animal Empire

This project is developing a collection of ephemeral from North American Zoos as institutions, including their goals, methods, mandates and most significantly, their role in creating knowledge about geographical areas. Workstudy students over 2014/15 are developing an online version of a zoo game using the open-source Unity game engine. The goal is for this game to guide visitors through the collection and analysis provided by scholar Dr. Dan Bender.

Bioline International

Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. By providing a platform for the worldwide distribution of peer-reviewed journals BI helps to reduce the global knowledge divide by making bioscience information generated in these countries. The Digital Scholarship unit manages the workflow for publishing the journal articles in the Bioline framework, which is maintained and hosted by the Reference Center on Environmental Information (CRIA) based in Brazil.

Culinaria Research Project

Culinaria is a multidisciplinary food studies initiative that blends research excellence with community engagement and student (graduate and undergraduate) research experience. The Digital Scholarship Unit supports the project platform and the Mapping Scarborough Foodways project.

Dragoman Renaissance Research Project

The Dragoman’s Renaissance explores the personal and professional trajectories and textual practices of dragomans (diplomatic interpreters) employed by the Venetian consulate in seventeenth-century Istanbul. It aims to offer new insights into the role of this important yet under-studied group in mediating sociopolitical and ethnolinguistic relations between the Ottoman and Venetian empires at a crucial point in their long entangled history, and, more broadly, in the genealogies of Orientalism in the early modern Mediterranean. Methodologically, the project seeks to model and facilitate (though the sharing of Open Access datasets and the development of Open Source code) new modalities of collaborative research on trans-imperial practices (such as diplomatic translation and interpreting) whose analysis calls for a range of linguistic competences and disciplinary and historiographical perspectives that often elude any individual researcher.

Eastern Himalaya Research Network

EHRN is an international network of scholars and community organizations focused on historically nuanced cultural studies of the Eastern Himalayas and their borderlands.

Gunda Gunde Manuscript Project

This project aims to optimize and preserve a digitized manuscript collection of the 15th-century Ethiopian monastery at Gunda Gunde (Tigray Province). The processing work consists in taking native RAW images and producing archival quality tiffs and appropriate metadata for storage in our repository, as well as indexing and providing a discovery interface for the collection. Please note that some folios may inadvertently appear out of order. Should you find any errors, please send us an email: digitalscholarship [at] utsc [dot] utoronto [dot] ca.

Islandora Oral Histories Solution Pack

In partnership with History's Chris Berkowitz, Unit application developer Lingling Jiang is working with Pinedrop's Edward Garrett to develop a generalized solution for storing annotations and transcriptions in Islandora. This Islandora "solution pack" will be contributed back to the open-source project. The Digital Scholarship Unit is committed to publishing code wherever possible and is an active member of the Islandora Roadmap committee, Islandora Documentation Interest Group, and Islandora release team.

Learning in Neural Circuts

A platform being developed to support the lab work of Professor Blake Richards and his graduate students in the Biological Sciences. The software being developed will be openly released to others as a tool for stewardship of specimen-based data and research outputs.

Mediating Israel

Through Mediating Israel, Alejandro Paz examines how translation-based, English-language Israeli news websites are changing the production and circulation of news about Israel and about Israel’s role in the Middle East. The project also involved Math and Computer Science professor Anya Tafliovich who is leading her third year computer science students through the development of a web-crawling and archiving engine to produce visualizations of media interactions, and liaison librarian Lola Rudin, who, with library graduate assistants is working to build a pre-digital baseline for the data.

Nearby Studies

This initiative, "builds on and expands existing university-community collaborations among UTSC faculty and community organizations in Scarborough and will give student and faculty researchers the opportunity to engage directly with community members in retelling the story of Scarborough from within. The SOHP will house a searchable, community-accessible audio/video oral history database available to researchers." The Nearby Studies platform is currently only available to students in relevant courses across Women's Studies, History, and Sociology and acts as a platform for course assignments.

Open Inorganic Chemistry

This open access inorganic Chemistry textbook, by Chemistry professor Alen Hadzovic, is currently being used by UTSC undergraduate students. Beyond hosting the textbook, the unit is working to help Alen display more complex molecule visualizations using Jmol and Flot libraries that can help students better understand core concepts.


Serai is a free and open online collaboratory for scholarship on premodern encounters across ethnolinguistic and religious divides, combining regional expertise with a keen interest in the transformative potential of digital scholarship.