An Act for the Encouragement of Learning.


Unclosure: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning was created by the University of Virginia’s 2018-2019 Praxis cohort. The Praxis Program is housed within UVa’s Scholars’ Lab, one of the university’s hubs of digital humanities. Each year, the Scholars’ Lab funds six doctoral students from across the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences to serve as Praxis Fellows for the academic year. During the fall semester, Fellows receive immersive training in digital methods and tools as well as in collaborative project management. During the spring semester, Fellows conceive, design, build, and publish a digital project. This year, the Scholars’ Lab charged the Praxis team with creating a digital project “reintroducing” the public domain.

The 2018–2019 Praxis Fellows are:

The Praxis Program is a project of the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library.

First and foremost, we thank the Scholars’ Lab staff and the broader UVA Library for their technical, financial, research, and personal support throughout this project. Special thanks in particular to

  • Brandon Walsh for leading the program, and for mentoring us through the charter, pedagogy, and project-design modules that prepared us to collaborate on this project
  • Shane Lin for his programming instruction, and for his collaboration on building and troubleshooting the website
  • Brandon Butler for educating us about copyright and the public domain
  • Jeremy Boggs for his guidance on project design and website design alike
  • Zoe LeBlanc for her programming instruction
  • Drew Macqueen for his collaboration and assistance in building the storymap
  • Ronda Grizzle for her advice on project management, collaboration, and charter development
  • Amanda Visconti for her leadership as well as for sharing her expertise on conducting DH research as a graduate student
  • Everyone who contributed to our fall curriculum, including Arin Bennett, Alison Booth, Chris Gist, Laura Miller, Will Rourk, and Ammon Shepherd

This project also benefited greatly from the thoughtful feedback we received throughout the process. Our deepest thanks to

We also thank those who assisted with each intervention. In addition to those mentioned above, we extend our gratitude to

  • Sue Donovan, for consulting on the New Hampshire typeface
  • Stella Mattioli and Hiromi Kaneda, for their assistance with the Italian translation
  • Paula Archey (School Librarian, Western Albemarle High School) and students Brayden Crickenberger, Giselle Garbaccio, and Ella Duncan for their collaboration on the sound project*

*Denotes a project that the Praxis Fellows presented at “Decolonizing the Digital Humanities: Indigenous Arts, Histories, and Knowledges from the Material to the Screen” (Charlottesville, VA. April 6, 2019), but decided not to publish on this site. Please consult the about page for a discussion about this decision.

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