Catalyzed by a $1.39 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI) represents a major university-wide commitment to the digital humanities, underwritten by the Office of the Provost, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Information Technology Services, and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

CDHI leverages and expands the role of the UNC Digital Innovation Lab (DIL). Launched by the College of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and administratively housed in the Department of American Studies, the DIL is devoted to (1) digital humanities work as public goods: digital projects, products, tools, and applications that are of special social and cultural value, can be produced for free public use (or at a minimal marginal cost), are scalable, reusable and repurposable, and serve multiple audiences/end-users within and outside of the University; (2) facilitating humanistic research and community engagement with large-scale data sources; and (3)  developing, testing, and documenting best-practice models for the digital humanities that integrate community engagement, digital technologies, and inter-disciplinary inquiry. The DIL will align its work and priorities in support of the CDHI, providing opportunities for faculty and graduate students to participate and learn from ongoing DIL projects, to enhance and extend the reach of digital projects into the classroom and beyond the university, and to develop new interdisciplinary collaborations.