American Council of Learned Societies
Occasional Paper No. 41

Computing and the Humanities:
Summary of a Roundtable Meeting

Appendix A.


The Computer Science and Telecommunication Board (CSTB)

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board's charter is broad: to ensure that the United States makes every effort to develop and use the major national resources represented in computer science, computer technology, and telecommunications. CSTB considers technical and policy issues pertaining to computer science, telecommunications, and associated technologies. The functions of the Board include:

  • monitoring and promoting the health of the computer science, computing technology, and telecommunications fields, including attention as appropriate to the issues of human resources and information infrastructure;

  • initiating studies involving computer science, computing technology, and telecommunications as critical resources and sources of national economic strength;

  • responding to requests from the government, non-profit organizations, and private industry for expert input on computer science, computing technology, and telecommunications issues; and to requests from the government for expert input on computer and telecommunications systems planning, utilization, and modernization.

CSTB actively disseminates the results of its completed projects to those in a position to help implement their recommendations or otherwise make use of their insights. It provides a forum for the exchange of information on computer science, computing technology, and telecommunications.

Further information may be found at the CSTB Website.

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)

The Coalition for Networked Information is an organization for institutions concerned with realizing the promise of high performance networks and computers for the advancement of scholarship and the enrichment of intellectual productivity. The Coalition was formed in 1990 by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Educom, and CAUSE. CNI pursues its mission through the aid of its membership; a 200-member task force made up of higher education institutions; publishers; network service providers; computer hardware, software, and systems companies; library networks and organizations; and public and state libraries.

Further information may be found at the CNI Website.

The National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH)

The National Initiative For a Networked Cultural Heritage is a diverse coalition of cultural organizations dedicated to ensuring the greatest participation of all parts of the cultural community in the digital environment. Its vision of networked cultural heritage is of an integrated, distributed body of cultural material, seamlessly interoperable across many media, of the highest possible quality and fidelity, and easily usable and searchable by creators, scholars, the general public and by teachers and learners of all ages. NINCH's mission is to advocate for the inclusion of the cultural sector in all policy deliberations on the future of the information infrastructure and to educate policymakers, coalition members, and the general public about the critical importance of translating the vision of a connected, distributed, and accessible collection of cultural knowledge into a working reality.

Further information may be found at the NINCH Website .

The Two Ravens Institute

The Two Ravens Institute provides a forum of convergence for scholars, teachers, students, writers, and others representing a number of academic and cultural perspectives to explore the transformational changes of networked technology on the contemporary social fabric. The perspectives the Institute adopts represent a merging of humanistic, social science, and scientific methodologies in order to better understand, and therefore predict, the effects of the digital revolution. Fundamental assumptions of the Institute include the belief that the growing digital networks will best serve teaching and research only if those networks are ultimately susceptible to human choice, experimentation, and creative application. The Two Ravens Institute undertakes:

  • to refocus currently polarized and simplistic discussions about technology as it relates to culture, education, and the individual in terms that recognize the complexity and ambiguity of these issues;

  • to invigorate these discussions with perspectives normally associated with the humanities perspectives largely absent from current discourse; and

  • to foster an intellectual environment wherein individuals can assume greater responsibility for a strong and continuing democracy.

I. Introduction and Background
II. Toward a Common Language: Methods and Context
III. Software and Standards Development
IV. Economic and Institutional Issues
V. Next Steps: Talk First to Select Actions Better

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