Open Stacks: Making DH Labor Visible

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In this post, I discuss how digital labor is organized in what I call a “stack”: the often invisible technological, social, and physical structures within which scholarship is produced and disseminated. I discuss the DH stack through three different frames: first, the technology stack of globalized computing; second, the social stack that manifests as institutional infrastructure; and finally, the physical library stacks that are a synecdoche for the information architecture that arranges scholarship. The post explores what these three frames–technological, social, and physical–could offer in terms of different ways to understand and reveal DH labor in the academy. At a time of political crisis, when the core values of libraries and access to knowledge are being challenged, we need to take responsibility for showing what we do. DH librarians, whose highly collaborative work is dedicated to social justice and public engagement, may be one particularly vital community of practice for exposing the changing conditions that create knowledge. How do we make labor in the “stack” visible?