CFP: Workshop at DH2014, Lausanne, 8 July 2014

Are we there yet? Functionalities, synergies and pitfalls of major digital humanities infrastructures

DH2014 Workshop: Maximum Number of Participants: 30 (flexible)
Date: Tuesday, July 8th 2014, 13.00-16.00

  • Agiatis Benardou, Research Associate, Digital Curation Unit, IMIS-Athena Research Centre, Athens, Greece
  • Erik Champion, Professor of Cultural Visualisation at Media Culture and Creative Arts, Humanities Faculty of Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Lorna Hughes, University of Wales Professor and Chair in Digital Collections, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom

This workshop aims to bring together leading scholars involved in major digital scholarly infrastructure projects such as DARIAH, NeDiMAH, Europeana Cloud, ARIADNE, 3D ICONS, EHRI, DASISH, LARM, CLARIN, DiRT and DHCommons, in dialogue with practising digital humanists. Topics to be addressed include cultural heritage and digital media infrastructures, tools and services; the creation and curation of humanities digital resources; social and institutional issues of Digital Humanities infrastructures; and finally, lessons learnt from the role of digital humanities in pedagogy and academic curricula. It will provide an opportunity for humanists to find out about cutting edge developments on major digital infrastructure initiatives in Europe and beyond, and to make their views matter on future developments in this field.
The workshop aims to go beyond a description of project presentations. It will seek to provide an analytical framework that could contribute to a critical understanding of the current state of digital infrastructures vis-à-vis the potential of digital archives, tools and services for humanities scholarship, by addressing the following questions:
1. What are the objectives of each digital infrastructure project, and what are its intended users?
2. What are the functionalities and outcomes it aims to provide, and how do they serve the overarching goal of supporting and transforming humanities research?
3. To what extent were the needs of humanities researchers considered, and how is the digital humanities research community involved in the project?
4. Are there potential synergies, and actual collaboration, with other infrastructure projects? Conversely, are there any overlaps?
5. What are the main lessons learned from the life of the project so far? What are the pitfalls and potential failures, and what improvements could be achieved?

The half-day workshop is expected to be of interest both to those involved in digital research infrastructure work, and to digital humanists who may benefit from the use and contribute to shaping the plans for future developments of digital infrastructures, tools and services.
Proposals should consist of an abstract of up to 500 words and a short bio which should be submitted by e-mail to:
The submission deadline is April 30th 2014.
The proposals will be evaluated and selected by a program committee of international experts. The length allocated to each contribution (10-15 minutes) will be decided by the program committee, depending on the number of contributions and the strength of the proposals.
Notifications regarding the acceptance of proposals will be sent out by May 14th, 2014

book proposal being reviewed by publishers

Summary of proposal:

Our aim is to provide a single point of entry into the world of leading cultural heritage infrastructures and associated tools in Europe. As far as we know there is no easily accessible edited book of this nature that both focuses on key research projects and answers the major questions of the three editors.

The countries represented include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, United Kingdom, and related chapters from Canada and Australia. We are particularly pleased to include two proposed chapters from Professor Julian Richards of York University (Figure 1), and Professor Sean Ross, Dean of the iSchool, University of Toronto. They were the invited speakers, and have decades of experience in this field.

Figure 1: Invited Talk, Julian Richards, York University.

DIGHUMLAB Denmark, and the Digital Curation Unit Athens, ran a two-day workshop at the National Museum of Denmark, in Copenhagen, June 26-27, 2013 (Figures 1-4). There were approximately two-dozen presentations from around a dozen research organisations and European infrastructures, two invited international speakers (Professor Seamus Ross and Professor Julian Richards), and a final panel, which explored how research infrastructures dealing in digital cultural heritage could work more closely together. Various groups and future projects were kick-started from this workshop, including the ERCG (Europeana Researchers Coordination Group), which was set up to align the strategies of research infrastructures in the Social Sciences and Humanities (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Final Panel: Research infrastructures policy panel

Central topics of the workshop were

  • Presentation of digital heritage tools and infrastructures (database, knowledge representation, analysis).
  • GIS, 3D graphic reconstruction, high-end imaging.
  • Ontology related to archives and database storage for material and visual culture, etc. and how best to share data and tools across European countries and partners.
  • Database and infrastructure support for fieldwork (cf. issues of data collecting and representation, excavation and survey data management, recording “information at the trowel’s edge” to coin Ian Hodder, how to best process survey and long series datasets etc.).
  • Discussion on further collaboration and how to influence EU policy in digital heritage-cultural heritage matters.

The mandate of the workshop was as follows:
“The workshop is open to all but we in particular invite participants drawn in the first instance from the DARIAH, ARIADNE, CENDARI and NeDiMAH and other EU cultural heritage networks. We envisage it will foster the growth of a community of practice in the field of digital heritage and digital humanities, leading to closer cooperation between participants and helping attendees develop tools and methods that can be used by the wider community.”
Figure 3: The Venue, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.

We had a very strong turnout of participants, including keynote presentations by Prof. Seamus Ross, the University of Toronto iSchool’s Dean and Prof. Julian Richards, Professor at York University and Director of the Archaeology Data Service, and introducing innovative work from institutions and projects including: the Serious Games Interactive, the National Museum of Copenhagen, the Europeana Cloud project, DARIAH, DASISH, LARM, EHRI, ARIADNE, V-must (Virtual Museum Transnational Network), NEDIMAH, the Digital Curation Unit-Athena R.C., the Digital Repository of Ireland, and the Gunnerus Library in Trondheim (previously library of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters – DKNVS). We received about a dozen pre-workshop papers, and we are impressed with the quality and range of the work presented.

On this basis, we propose turning some of these papers into an edited volume, organized around the following themes:

  • Scholarly information practices in cultural heritage.
  • Requirements for digital tools and services.
  • Corpora and digital collections.
  • Digital infrastructures, architecture and tools.
  • Digital cultural heritage, public communication and user experience, and
  • Policy issues in cultural heritage infrastructure research and development.

Presentations may be published

Dear presenters, we have interest from a major publisher in producing an edited book from the workshop. Please get in touch with the workshop organisers (Erik, Costis and Agiatis) if you have not been contacted and you would like to contribute. We need to know approximate length, number of images (if any), if you would allow us to include your current submission into the proposal, and when you can submit a full book chapter. We hope to get the proposal formally reviewed and accepted by August or September and to send book chapters in to the publisher in 2014.

Dinner tonight-havnegrillen dinner at 19:00 (7pm)

I am sorry that though lunch is provided, dinner is up to you (at your own cost).

That said, we would be delighted if you would like to join us at our table of 20 tonight for dinner our restaurant will be at havnegrillen

address NORDRE TOLDBOD 24, 1259 KØBENHAVN (Copenhagen) at 19:00 (7:00 PM)

their summer menu
their email KONTAKT HAVNEGRILLEN:Havnegrill /
The restaurant lies north of the National Museum, and would be quite a distance to walk, about 35 minutes according to google maps:
So we will get water bus tickets for everyone who is on tonight’s dinner list.
We will meet at the Royal Library by 18:00 (6 PM) to take the 18:10 water bus (boat) there.

AND We will order the tickets.

Walking to the restaurant
A big map is here though if you would like to walk there

I believe we have around 17 or more who said yes to dinner on the doodle poll.
(if you are not on our list please see Lene or myself).

We will check with the restaurant to see if they accept credit cards.

kind regards