In 2013 Alexandra Gillespie and postdoctoral fellow Alexandra Bolintineanu began to hold weekly meetings as a way to facilitate contact with graduate students and RAs involved in Professor Gillespie’s various digital projects. These meetings were designed to keep projects and students’ own research on time and on budget; and to provide a safe and positive space for troubleshooting problems, and celebrating accomplishments.
Since early 2014, Gillespie and her team––now designated the “Old Books New Science Lab”––have increasingly depended on this team environment for their work. The OBNS group is one of several at UofT that depart from one traditional model of humanist scholarship––solitary work in libraries and archives. Instead, OBNS’s work is radically multi-disciplinary, multi-generational, team-based, and collaborative. Whether team members are deciphering sixteenth-century marginal notes by combining their expertise as paleographers, literary historians, and historians of science; charting software architecture; or participating in workshops with microbiome scientists and book conservators––they do this work together.