CATH represents an expansion of the Center for Textual & Editorial Studies (CTES), founded in the Department of English at Virginia Tech in 1992. The Center's initial purpose was to bring together colleagues whose particular research and teaching interests lay in the areas of textual-critical and editorial theory, methodology, and practice. Another interest shared by many members was the integration of technology with these other primary areas of interest.
In 1995, Dean Robert Bates, of the College of Arts & Sciences, recognized CTES as a College Center. While located in Carol Newman Library, Room 216 (1996-August 2000), the Center helped to provide the resources, technology, and expertise to enable undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty throughout the University to study, edit, and produce texts in traditional and electronic format.
In Fall 1996, a new initiative was launched by members of the College of Arts & Sciences to increase the scope of CTES, in part as a response to the impending construction of the Advanced Communications & Information Technology Center (ACITC), now known as Torgersen Hall. CTES was renamed the Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities (CATH). From 2000-2005, CATH occupied laboratory, meeting and teaching space in Torgersen Hall. In 2003, a University restructuring initiative resulted in a new college, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS), which is now CATH's home college and, along with the Departments of English and Communications, our primary source of support.
In February 2005, we relocated to Shanks Hall and in June 2007 became an English Department Center. In 2007 the center published a second database project, English Poetry 1579-1830.
Emily Davis, a graduate student working with CATH was awarded the ETD Thesis Award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools for her XML edition of The Dictionary of Love.
The Gravell Watermark Archive was migrated to a new database and website, and CATH published its first projects in TEI markup. Work is presently underway on a digital edition of the Index of Medieval English Verse.
CATH attracts individuals engaged in humanities-based research, teaching, and/or outreach projects requiring intensive application of cutting-edge technology and robust infrastructural support. The Center demonstrates the benefits of interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations. Interaction of this sort has resulted in significant cross-fertilizations, drawing together a variety of units across the University, such as the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture, the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning, Digital Library and Archives, and many departments. By providing a facility where such exchanges and cross-fertilizations can occur, CATH aims to enhance the three-fold mission of humanities faculty, students, and community members to excel in research, teaching, and community service and outreach. CATH provides web-hosting services, MOO servers, experimental learning environments, composition and grammar training and testing (the English Department's Grammar Gym;
"Write, Invent, Think"; Whiz Quiz), and threaded discussion and e-mail list support to units across the University, as well as major scholarly groups around the world.