A Conversation with the Organizers of Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO)


  • Zoe LeBlanc University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Andrew Janco University of Pennsylvania
  • Alex Wermer-Colan Temple University
  • Quinn Dombrowski Stanford University
  • Anna Kijas Tufts University
  • Sebastian Majstorovic Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
  • Dena Strong University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Erica Peaslee ALM, Centurion Solutions, LLC




Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine this February, a global community of volunteers has endeavored to help preserve Ukraine’s online cultural heritage. While this community comprises over 1300 volunteers, many of them work as librarians or in cultural preservation, including two of the leaders of this group, Quinn Dombrowski and Anna Kijas. Dombrowski and Kijas, along with Sebastian Majstorovic, have been instrumental in coordinating this community of experts across time zones together and also spearheading what the Washington Post described as “a lifeline for cultural officials in Ukraine.” To capture both their experiences, as well as how librarianship has informed SUCHO, we convened a roundtable with the organizers, as well as two of the most active volunteers Dena Strong and Erica Peaslee, who also work in GLAM.

Author Biographies

Zoe LeBlanc, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Zoe LeBlanc joined the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois as an assistant professor in August 2021. Before coming to Illinois, she served as a postdoctoral associate and Weld Fellow at the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University. LeBlanc previously worked as a digital humanities developer at the Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia (UVA), where she was responsible for building web applications for mapping and data visualization in the humanities. At UVA and Princeton, she has taught a wide range of topics, including the history of digital humanities and foundations of humanities data analysis. LeBlanc currently serves on the editorial board of the Programming Historian and the executive committee of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.

Alex Wermer-Colan, Temple University

Dr. Alex Wermer-Colan is the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Temple University Libraries’ Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio. Alex holds an M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Alex leads project development, class visits, consultations, and workshops on computational approaches to cultural analytics and new media arts. To contact Alex, email alex.wermer-colan@temple.edu and on Twitter @alexwermercolan.

Quinn Dombrowski, Stanford University

Quinn Dombrowski is the Academic Technology Specialist in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and in the Library, at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2018, Quinn’s many DH adventures included supporting the high-performance computing cluster at UC Berkeley, running the DiRT tool directory with support from the Mellon Foundation, writing books on Drupal for Humanists and University of Chicago library graffiti, and working on the program staff of Project Bamboo, a failed digital humanities cyberinfrastructure initiative.

Anna Kijas, Tufts University

Anna E. Kijas is Head of Lilly Music Library at Tufts University. Her academic training includes master’s degrees in library and information science from Simmons College, music with a concentration in musicology from Tufts University, as well as a bachelor of arts in music literature and performance from Northeastern University.

Sebastian Majstorovic, Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage

Sebastian Majstorovic advises institutions and researchers on Digital History methods and multimedia storytelling. Professional background in software development and media production.