Welcome to Matrix

Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences works with museums, libraries, archives, and heritage sites to digitize, preserve, and provide access to collections of cultural and historical materials. We collaborate with scholars, educators, institutions, and community members to create tools and digital experiences that engage researchers, students, and the public in questions about the past and our shared culture. We build software and services that enable the analysis and interpretation of historical and cultural data in new and innovative ways. We work with students, scholars, communities, and institutions to build critical digital skills, capacity, and infrastructure.

Recent News

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Matrix involved in Alliance for African Partnership conference in Dakar, Senegal

Recently, from February 21 to March 2, Michael Green represented Matrix on a trip to Dakar, Senegal with the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP). The goals of the trip included building interdisciplinary, inter-institutional communication, collaboration, and partnerships, and Michael helped facilitate meetings between existing Matrix partners and representatives from the AAP. The trip presented excellent opportunities to meet with partners and plan projects, and to share the digital capacities, objects, and websites Matrix has made with institutional partners in the past.

The trip included visits to
ImagiNation Afrika (partners Karima Grant, Fatimata Dieng), the West African Research Center (partners Ousmane Sene, Marianne Yade, Abdoulye Niang), Institut Fondamental D’Afrique Noire-Université Cheikh Anta Diop (IFAN-UCAD), partners Ibrahima Thiaw, Adama Athie), a grantee site in Niakhene, and the Theodore Monod Museum. At each place Michael and the AAP team got to see ongoing projects, discuss potential future projects, and build collaborations that could help each institution in the future. Along the way, he helped with everything from scheduling site visits and transportation to assisting with audiovisual concerns and presentations.

One of the most exciting aspects of the trip, Michael says, was its substantive interdisciplinary dialogues: “it was great being able to come to the same table and discuss something close to our hearts.” A lot can be accomplished across great distances with international partnerships, but getting to be in the same place and interact face to face helps create mutual understanding and support. Amazing things are happening in Senegal, and Matrix is honored to partner with institutions there and elsewhere to further innovative and transformative work.

Michael’s favorite part of the trip was the opportunity to share meals with folks from partner projects and AAP. Communal meals of thiéboudienne (a fish and rice dinner) and attaya (a tea) were the perfect complements to exciting days of discussing, brainstorming, and collaborating.

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Matrix scholars visit Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in India for cultural exchange

In 2017, Matrix collaborated with the MSU Museum to continue building exciting partnership activities with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) in Pune, India. The MSU Museum launched a formal staff exchange program with BORI in September 2016 that focuses on Indian and Indian American history and culture, and as part of this exchange Dr. Dean Rehberger, Director of MATRIX; Dr.Walter Hawthorne, Chair of the MSU History Department; Dr. Marsha MacDowell, Curator, MSU Museum and Professor of Art, Art History, and Design; and Dr. C. Kurt Dewhurst, Director of Arts and Culture, University Outreach & Engagement and Curator, MSU Museum and Prof. of English, visited BORI in September 2017.

During the visit, they conducted research in Goa, India, and Pune, India, and delivered several talks, titled “Matrix, Archives, and the Digital Humanities,” "Digital Humanities, Museums, and Online Presence," and "Digital Humanities Research and Teaching." The primary focus of the visit was discussing new opportunities for the exchange program, and new projects involving BORI and MSU Museum collections and digital humanities methodologies.

Following the visit to India, the MSU Museum hosted two colleagues from BORI in October 2017 for intensive consultations with museum and other MSU faculty, staff, and administrators. The visiting colleagues were Dr. Amruta Natu, Curator and Collection Manager, and Dr. Sudheer Vaishampayan, Head of Technology. Part of the visit included discussing a course of learning experiences pertaining to American museums and archives as part of the exchange program. During the visit the MSU Museum also hosted the annual Taste of India event program with current and prospective donors. The event included food prepared by local community cooks, Indian dance and music presentations by MSU students (under the direction of Dr. Sitara Thobani, MSU Residential College of Arts and Humanities), and short presentations by visiting staff from BORI.