SLIS Professor's Cultural Heritage Research Program Awarded Significant Funding

University of Alberta Professor Ali Shiri's Cultural Heritage Research Program in Canada and collaboration in the US awarded significant SSHRC Insight and IMLS funding.

11 September 2019

University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) faculty member Dr. Ali Shiri has been awarded $239,614 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's (SSHRC) Insight Grant for 2019-2023 for his research project titled: Inuvialuit Voices: Cultural Heritage Preservation and Access through Digital Storytelling in Digital Libraries. The objective of this study is to investigate, develop, and evaluate a real-time, audio-recording digital storytelling and commenting user interface for the Inuvialuit Digital Library in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) in order to facilitate live capturing of Inuit community input and stories while interacting with the Digital Library. Project objectives include: establish a novel community-driven participatory design methodology for developing an audio-recording digital storytelling user interface; design, prototype, and develop a user interface with Inuvialuktun features, such as storytelling functionalities that can be captured in real time; explore the enhancement of cultural heritage materials within the Inuvialuit Digital Library; and, conduct a community-driven usability evaluation of the real-time digital storytelling system. The award notification can be found on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) website.

Dr. Shiri is also a co-investigator of a project just funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Digital Infrastructures Program with six US researchers, including Santi Thompson (Principal investigator, University of Houston); Elizabeth Joan Kelly (Co-investigator, Loyola University - New Orleans), Ayla Stein Kenfield (Co-investigator, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign), Kinza Masood, (Co-investigator, Mountain West Digital Library), Caroline Muglia (Co-investigator, University of Southern California), and Liz Woolcott (Co-investigator, Utah State University). The project, funded for $249,998, is titled Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT). The objective of the project is to create a toolkit to facilitate assessing reuse of digital content held in digital libraries and repositories and will contain resources, recommended practices, and use cases for sustainably measuring and evaluating the reuse of digital assets held by cultural heritage and knowledge organizations.