Who are We?

The Walter J. Ong, S.J., Center for Digital Humanities at Saint Louis University advances scholarship in the humanities by finding solutions to questions arising from the unique character of the digital environment.

The Center develops research resources, standards and tools to foster student learning and faculty and scholarly research. The Ong Center was established to honor the memory of Walter J. Ong, S.J., a distinguished scholar of literature and media theory who spent his career as a professor of English at SLU.

The digital humanities open up new avenues for exploring the human experience. Digital tools and methods can empower scholars to revisit existing problems from new perspectives and enable them to extend scholarship in previously impractical directions. For decades, those within the digital humanities field have been working to find standard and exchangeable ways to encode, transfer, and preserve the growing repository of the world’s digitized knowledge. The Walter J. Ong, S.J., Center for Digital Humanities aims to do just that.

We share knowledge by developing and enforcing interoperable standards and promoting education within and through the digital humanities. Our efforts have focused on interoperability through enabling machine encoding of objects, descriptions and assertions in a way which may cross languages and disciplines. Interoperability means data can be understood by anyone. Encoding allows for the most complete and accurate descriptions available and attribution and citation is built into contributions so that each new scholar enters into the history of their subject.

About Walter

Walter Jackson Ong was born Nov. 30, 1912, in Kansas City, Missouri. He earned an undergraduate degree from Rockhurst College and worked for two years before entering the Society of Jesus in 1935. He then studied philosophy and theology at Saint Louis University, receiving his master’s degree in English at SLU. He earned his doctorate at Harvard University before returning to SLU.</p> <p>

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Explore his work

The Walter J. Ong Collection Web Site serves as a portal to provide scholars, students, and researchers with information about the Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection, to host a digital repository of collection materials, and to serve as a comprehensive resource on the life and works of Walter J. Ong, S.J.

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What We have built

We’ve gone through some changes

2000, 2004

The Electronic Grosseteste - http://grosseteste.org/grosseteste/index.htm


The Virtual Basilica of St Francis of Assisi (CD-ROM)


Virtual York Minster (CD-ROM)


Electronic Norman Anonymous Project (web-based)


T-PEN: Transcription for Paleographical and Editorial Notation (web-based application).


Newberry T-PEN


RERUM - An open and free repository for all sorts of digital things.

Who We Serve

The Center seeks to serve the Humanities through serving the stakeholders in the humanities – students, scholars and institutions in the humanities. We achieve this through pedagogical support, digital tool development, provision of digital resources, and engagement with the DH communities to evolve digital standards supporting the digital Humanities. In so doing we seek to bridge disciplinary boundaries and open up the unique character of the digital environment to enrich the humanities.


We engage with students through courses, internships and assistantships. We seek always to promote an understanding of Digital Humanities and how students can engage with it. We bring students together to support interdisciplinary projects matching student developers to student scholars, informing each what value the other can bring to them. We also provide capstone projects to students in which we expose them to a guided real life work experience opportunity helping them be better prepared to succeed both at their capstone for graduation and afterwards in their chosen field.


We strive to engage scholars (locally, nationally, and internationally) at their level of comfort with technology creating applications and solutions that allow them to get to the heart of their research and teaching. Enabling them to leverage digital technology to explore and do more with their scholarship, and enhancing the learning experience rather than be buried under the technology. We look to educate faculty about what we can bring to them and to learn from them of the value of their work. This allows us to create better products and build better solutions for them and the other stakeholders.  


In our collaborations with institutions around the globe we seek to enable those institutions to both share the research materials they hold with the world but also to do meaningful work with those materials enriching the institutional resources and the scholarship they generate.

Our Staff

All (
Associate (
Developer (
Digital Humanities Manager (
Director (
Full Stack (
Graduate Assistant (
Solution Architect (
Meg Smith
Bryan Haberberger
Thomas Finan
John McEwan
Style Settings