DTC 560 Blog 1/17 – Collaboration

We’ve been discussing different types of collaboration and the ways that projects can be set up, managed and sustained based on collaboration, partnerships and shared responsibilities. Using a project that you are either working on currently or one you would like to work on, create a collaboration document for your project. Your document must include a vision statement (what the larger goals of the project are), a code of ethics (expectations for behavior), a scope of work (what needs to be done), a set of roles and responsibilities (ie: project director, graphic designer, etc), and a timeline for production that includes various iterations, analysis, updates and launch date.

(Proposed project)

The Interactive Emblem: A Return to the Icon as Visual Mode

Vision Statement:

The twice-funded Emblematica Online project has done important work in digitizing renaissance emblem books for future scholarship. This work, however, deprives the icon in each emblem of its power to signify visually, instead transcribing attributes of the icon into language and metadata for purposes of digital archiving and curation. Our project seeks to demonstrate what an online portal for the discovery and study of emblem books–as well as other illustrated historical texts–might accomplish if it were not to compromise by remediating the icon into a linguistic form.

Code of Ethics:

  1. All collaborators will be granted full participation and a vote in regular business meetings, regardless of position.
  2. All kinds of work on a project are equally deserving of credit (though the amount of work and expression of credit may differ). And all collaborators should be empowered to take credit for their work.
  3. All collaborators will each be featured on the final website, along with a link to their professional website and contact information, arranged in a grid format according to position.
  4. If the project is funded, all collaborators will receive equal hourly compensation for their work up to a weekly maximum, regardless of position or type of work. The exception is Project Directors, who will receive a set stipend.
  5. All collaborators will treat each other with respect. Feedback should be constructive and kind.
  6. All collaborators must meet the deadlines set at regular business meetings. Failure to meet more than two major deadlines will result in one’s removal from the project.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Project Director(s) facilitate communication and set goals, adhering to the vision statement for the project. Directors call business meetings, handle grant funding, and elaborate the theoretical underpinnings of all project work.
  • Web developer(s) provide the end-user experience for the project. This includes hosting the archive and designing its interface.
  • Programmers code the archive and interactive emblem experiences.
  • Researchers choose appropriate emblems for the project, negotiate rights to scans, gather all scholarly resources available on said emblems, and place them in the drop box for digitization.

Mock Timeline

1/30/18 – Initial business meeting. From this point on, business meetings happen in the last week of every month.

2/20/18 – Archive alpha work begins.

6/1/18 – Archive alpha functional. Researchers hired to begin populating archive alpha.

6/15/18 – Archive beta work begins.

8/15/18 – Archive beta functional. Researchers trained in UI, transfer emblems from alpha to beta. Quality testing begins.

10/15/18 – Researchers finish populating the archive. Join quality testing.

12/15/18 – Official launch.

3 thoughts on “DTC 560 Blog 1/17 – Collaboration

  1. curtisharty

    I really like you code of ethics and how it mirrors in many ways the Collaborator’s Bill of Rights. I hadn’t really thought about the disbursement of funds for a project like this, but I like the equity that is built in. I mostly focused on equity of credit for the work but pay is equally important.

    I think I understand the vision of the project, but I am curious of how it might look just for my own edification. One of the things I am really interested in and why I took this course was to see ways that DH can change the scope of traditional knowledge acquisition. So it’d be cool to see how this project could change knowledge acquisition and presentation.


    1. RD Snyder

      The project would essentially entail coding the illustrations from emblems (so woodblock prints or engravings) for web display in an archive. Instead of using language to interact with the meaning of the emblem, the user would be able to hover over distinct elements of the icon which are rooted iconographically in the history of the time. So, for example, if an emblem contains an angel, you could hover over the angel with your cursor to see similar depictions of angels in other sources like Ripa’s Iconologia. For an angel that may not be intensely interesting, but with things that are less known, like the ouroboros, it could provide ways to visually cross-reference these fascinating visual cues that make up the illustrations in highly symbolic emblem books.


  2. Richard,

    The whole document is awesome- I really admire your writing and thinking processes. I especially like how theoretically simple it is: symbols and icons should be able to communicate without alphabetic mediation…Duh! Is this sort of project really aimed at an academic/researching audience? The way it read to me it seemed to be, though what the project is aimed to do also seems like it would be interesting and engaging for a broader audience, potentially. I can see a bit more why you’ve been posting all the passages from Barthes and about semiotics. We need to talk about all this more so I can learn more stuffs about it- I really like all that but have only been introduced. The other thought I had while reading about your project was when I was exploring artwork with my friend’s VR system. I don’t know much about that technology, but wonder if it’d be possible to use in some way in your project since the VR/AR options are getting more available and would take symbols/icons/visuals to another level. Probably not possible, but it’d be cool if it isn’t way off from what you’re envisioning already.



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