ModNets and Connecting Digital Collections

The decreasing costs of digital curation and the spread of online collections have been a huge boon both to academic scholars and the public, now able to explore the collections of museums, libraries, archives, and other institutions across the world for their research or their own curiosity. Yet many of these collections fall victim to an issue known as "data silo-ism"; they become repositories isolated from wider networks of similar material. Scholars likely to benefit from the collections have no way of discovering them, and the hard work and resources put into the site remain underutilized.

Organizations such as the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, and Chicago Collections attempt to solve this issue by existing as a single search portal leading to many collections which, individually, might remain unknown to researchers. Other institutions take the initiative themselves and develop an API, allowing other sites to connect and share resources.

Modernist Networks, or ModNets, is one such site providing an entry point to hundreds of digital collections of material relating to Modernist Studies. Developed by Loyola University Chicago's Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, ModNets connects digital projects and helps to foster best practices for research materials of interest to modernist studies. Through a single portal, researchers can search across peer-reviewed modernist collections.