Established in 2015 as an outgrowth of the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London (KCL), KDL’s current priorities are to: increase the capacity of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities (A&H) to use digital research tools/methods, and produce digital research outputs; establish itself as a world-leading centre for digital production, analysis, archiving, and consultancy in the A&H. In the longer term KDL will support a range of functions in collaboration with research and industry partners: provision and maintenance of a common infrastructure incorporating a shared set of tools and technologies based on open standards, to provide economies of scale; sustaining, enhancing and repurposing digital resources, research data and tools already created by digital humanities (DH) research projects at KCL; development of expertise in emergent technologies of benefit to A&H teaching and research; development of collaborative research proposals and projects, in particular projects that involve the creation, publication and hosting of digital resources, collections and tools; provision of expert consultancy e.g. on specific digital methods and technologies, data curation; design and execution of expert training courses on specific digital methods, tools and technologies; development of closer ties with industry.
KDL has developed and documented a robust Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) for new projects, from initial contact through application, deployment and release. Based on an industry standard Agile DSDM model, this process ensures that projects are properly assessed and planned, speaking to KDL’s commitment to putting DH research on a long-term sustainable footing. A full description of this SDLC is available on our website: https://www.kdl.kcl.ac.uk/blog/sdlc-for-rse/.
KDL currently hosts 242 live website URLs, consisting of 151 dynamic websites and 91 static sites. They provide access to a unique and diverse set of data, analysis and visualisations across, and increasingly beyond, A&H research. KDL is currently undergoing an options assessment for the next 5 year infrastructure cycle, to increase its long term sustainability and ensure alignment with KCL IT, library and archives teams. We aim to employ industry best practice with a particular focus on network and application security. This, in conjunction with the extremely experienced KDL development team, will provide continuity to the resources KDL intends to host on an ongoing basis, reduce risk, and position KDL as one of a handful of premier digital A&H research infrastructure worldwide.