In late March, DARIAH organised the third DARIAH beyond Europe event
in conjunction with the second annual Humanities, Arts and Culture Data
Summit at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. This landmark
event, which was organised in collaboration with the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) and the Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH), brought together more than 100 people interested in the future of humanities, arts and cultural research powered by data.
This included experienced and emerging researchers, research support communities, national initiatives such as Trove, the Australian Data Archive (ADA) and Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), and representatives of the Australian Government. Also present were visiting scholars and representatives from DARIAH who shared their experiences from Europe and their understanding of the rich landscape of data-driven humanities, arts and culture research in Australia.
This three-day event included several panel discussions and presentations on topics such as the sustainability of digital projects, cross-fertilisation of research and knowledge exchange on infrastructures in Australia and Europe.
This 3-day conference will highlight
ongoing work in the European Digital Research Infrastructure for Arts
and Humanities (DARIAH) and how these projects and initiatives could
potentially intersect with DH initiatives in the Australian academic
This is the last DARIAH Beyond Europe dissemination workshop: the first workshop took place at Stanford University in September 2018 and the second workshop in October 2018 at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. The aim of this initiative is to promote DARIAH tools and services, to initiate collaborations, and above all to exchange knowledge and experience in digital scholarship on an international level.
After the first “DARIAH Beyond Europe” workshop in mid-September, there were two easy next steps for the “cowboys” on the US side who wanted to “do something” with DARIAH: add to the DH Course Registry and find one or more working groups to join. The course registry is a topic for another blog post, but I was curious to see what reception I’d get, as a somewhat random American emailing the coordinators of an existing working group.
The first working group I contacted was “Defining cloud infrastructure services for DH”, hoping to draw upon my experience working in research computing at UC Berkeley. As luck would have it, I picked the one group that was no longer active, as it had been part of a limited-term grant that had wrapped up. It was the perfect illustration of the greatest challenge of infrastructure-building: we direct our energy and attention to tackling big challenges of service development, provisioning, dissemination, and stability, and it’s so easy to lose track of the small, prosaic things like keeping all pages of a website current.
Francesca Morselli, the DARIAH-EU Integration Officer and coordinator of the working groups, was very kind to get in touch with me and explain the situation with the cloud infrastructure group. She facilitated an introduction to the “Mediaevalist’s Sources (MESO)” working group, and one of the co-leads of the group, Emiliano Degl’Innocenti, was planning to be in San Francisco at the end of October for the DigitalHERITAGE 2018 conference.
While the Medievalist’s Sources working group has been on standby for the last few years, funding from DARIAH, supplemented by additional funds from a number of related research projects, has allowed the group to start making progress on a number of bigger-picture goals. These include developing a registry of medieval sources; fostering a community around common tools, methods, and standards relevant for medievalists; and working within the larger DARIAH context to generalize and promote tools originally developed for medievalists for a larger group of scholars. The approach they’ve taken to registry development is informed by the state of the medieval field with regard to publication of text: which is to say, they’re web-scraping text archive sites, extracting new or updated information, and having scholars vet that information and map it to the appropriate RDF triple for inclusion in the directory. It’s a realistic solution, if an unsatisfying one. I hope that the working group can help better practices gain traction, and I’ll be working with medieval projects at Stanford, including Prof. Kathryn Starkey’s Global Medieval Sourcebook (which will relaunch this month), to make their texts and metadata as easily reusable as possible by the international medievalist community.
Collaboration inevitably requires some overhead, and Emiliano and I talked some about what model might be most effective. I suspect this will be a question for many of the DARIAH working groups where “cowboys” from beyond Europe show up: does everyone work together, making compromises and accommodations for time zones, local constraints, and cultural contexts, or do we refactor working groups into “chapters” clustered by nation, time zone, or interests?
I’m looking forward to working through the thorny issues — be they medievalist or bureaucratic in nature — with the MESO working group.
Quinn Dombrowski supports digital humanities in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University.
Emiliano Degl’Innocenti supports the integration and interoperability of CH and DH Research Infrastructures at CNR-DSU, Italy.
The DARIAH Beyond Europe (DBE) event, held on October 2-4, in Washington was the second of the series of workshops dedicated to international cooperation and knowledge exchange. The workshop, hosted by the Library of Congress (LoC), brought together digital humanists from the US east coast and Europe to exchange ideas and discuss the state of play in the two continents. The event was part of the Horizon 2020 funded project DESIR.
“Research infrastructures and libraries are natural allies in the
business of sharing knowledge,” said DARIAH Director Toma Tasovac. “The
workshop at the Library of Congress was a great opportunity for us not
only to showcase DARIAH and our research infrastructure landscape – a
uniquely European phenomenon – but also to explore possible roads of
cooperation with our American colleagues.”
The event was structured around three knowledge exchange sessions: Digital Newspapers & Text Analysis, Infrastructural Challenges for Public Humanities and Using web archives in humanities research.
Abigail Potter, Senior Innovation Specialist with the Library of
Congress Digital Innovation Lab moderated the first session. From the
European point of view, Mikko Tolonen, Assistant Professor at the
Department of Digital Humanities, University of Helsinki, gave an
overview of the current state of digital newspaper work in Europe, while
Antoine Doucet, Professor of Computer Science at the University of La
Rochelle and Principal Investigator of the ground-breaking Horizon 2020
funded project, NewsEye, which aims
at developing tools and methods for effective exploration of digital
newspapers by means of new technologies. Deborah Thomas, Program Manager
at the LoC, presented the National Digital Newspaper Program, a project
started in 2003 to create and maintain a digital archive of significant
historic newspapers published in the US, which led to the launch of the
website Chronicling America which now contains more than 14 millions
pages online. The first day ended with a series of lightning talks aimed
at showing some projects and initiatives both in the US and Europe.
The second session, chaired by Professor Christophe Verbruggen,
Director of the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities, was centered around
Public Humanities. Meghan Ferriter, Senior Innovation Specialist at the
Library of Congress, described how the Library enables transformational
experiences by connecting users to its digital collections. This was
complemented by presentations from Fien Danniau of the University of
Ghent and Stephen Robertson of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and
New Media explored the challenges of Public Humanities respectively in
Europe and in the US.
The final knowledge exchange session focused on web archives with an
additional international point of view, as Olga Holownia presented IICP,
the International Internet Preservation Consortium,
which represents organisations form over 45 countries with the aim of
acquiring, preserving and making accessible knowledge and information
from the Internet for future generations. Kees Teszelszky from the
National Library Netherlands gave a short history of web archiving
efforts in Europe and described the difficult situation in terms of
copyright and legal issues and different approaches to overcoming these
challenges. Abigail Grotke, Web Archiving Team Lead at the Library of
Congress gave an overview of the current situation in the US,
characterised by the absence of a legal deposit, and showed what types
of collections are recorded.
Furthermore, two inspiring keynotes were
given by Jason Rhody (“Posting Signs and Filling Potholes on the
Information Superhighway: Toward a Research-Ready Scholarly
Infrastructure”) and jointly by Laurie Allen and Stewart Varner
(“Collections as Data: Digital Collections for Emerging Research
Methods“). The challenges of creating ‘research-ready infrastructures’
as well as how to provide sustainable access to digital cultural
heritage collections are both at the heart of work undertaken by DARIAH
in Europe, as exemplified by our comparable Heritage Data Reuse Charter.
The workshop was also attended by the Library of Congress’ Director
of Digital Strategy, Kate Zwaard. For Kate “an event like this is
important to the Library of Congress because it allows us to engage in
partnership opportunities with our friends and colleagues at other
institutions. As we have outlined in our recently published Digital Strategy,
we believe that collaborating with other allows our resources to
stretch further, we so can do more together than any of us can do
alone.” This event was an important first step to foster international
cooperation between US and European colleagues as well as a catalyst for
ongoing collaborations in the future.
DARIAH Beyond Europe workshop 1 “cowboys” (Quinn Dombrowski, Anthony Caldwell, Zoe Borovsky, Alix Keener) with Joke Daems
For the past three days, the DARIAH Beyond Europe (DBE) workshop has brought together researchers, librarians, staff, and other interested members of the digital humanities community on the US west coast, to exchange knowledge and ideas with our European colleagues from DARIAH. This workshop has provided a fruitful forum for discussing digital humanities infrastructure, in forms ranging from databases, tools, and standards, to working groups, conferences, and unlimited quantities of coffee.
The workshop has heightened our awareness of DARIAH’s current endeavors and goals, but we recognize how easy it will be to return to our institutions and daily responsibilities, and fail to follow through with our good intentions to put DARIAH’s resources to use.
To hold ourselves accountable, share our experiences with engaging with DARIAH, and help build a community of DARIAH users outside of Europe, a small group of us were inspired to request a shared blog on Hypotheses (itself a DARIAH resource). While some coordination and planning will be needed in the medium term, we felt — in the spirit of the American “cowboy” — that the best way to make this happen was simply to do it before the workshop concluded, to capture the enthusiasm of those of us gathered here.
Over lunch, we “kidnapped” Joke Daems, one of the workshop organizers from the University of Ghent, who offered us the existing DBE site on Hypotheses as a platform for our ongoing discussion and collaboration. Despite the late hour in Europe, Sally Chambers endorsed our proposal shortly thereafter. With an alacrity uncharacteristic of infrastructure, Joke granted us access to the DBE site.
We’ll be writing more here over the coming weeks and months as we explore what it might look like to integrate DARIAH resources into our work at non-European institutions. We’ll be trying to attend working groups. We’ll be adding courses to the course registry. We’ll try out tools like TextGrid. Through it all, we’ll be sharing our experiences and developing a guide to help others outside of Europe engage with DARIAH.
As part of the DARIAH-DESIR project, a series of workshops will be organised in 2018 and 2019 entitled “DARIAH Beyond Europe”, allowing an exchange of ideas between the DARIAH community and Digital Arts & Humanities projects in the US and Australia. The second of these three-day conferences will be held at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., USA on October 2-4 2018.
This conference will highlight ongoing work in the European Digital Research Infrastructure for Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) and how these projects and initiatives could potentially intersect with DH initiatives in the North American academic community, particularly on the East Coast. Conference sessions will focus on digital newspapers, digital text analysis, web archives, image collections and annotation.
This is the second of three DARIAH dissemination workshops: the first workshop will take place at Stanford University in September 2018, and the third workshop in March 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. The purposes of the conference are to promote DARIAH tools and services, to initiate collaborations, and above all to exchange knowledge and experience in digital scholarship on an international level.
As part of the DARIAH-DESIR project, a series of workshops will be organised in 2018 and 2019 entitled “DARIAH Beyond Europe”,
allowing an exchange of ideas between the DARIAH community and Digital
Arts & Humanities projects in the US and Australia. The first of
these three-day conferences will be held at Stanford University,
California, USA on September 13-15 2018.
This conference will highlight
ongoing work in the European Digital Research Infrastructure for Arts
and Humanities (DARIAH) and how these projects and initiatives could
potentially intersect with DH initiatives in the North American academic
community, particularly on the West Coast. This is the first of three
DARIAH dissemination workshops: the second will take place at the
Library of Congress in October 2018, and the third in March 2019 in
The purposes of the conference are to
promote DARIAH tools and services, to initiate collaborations, and
above all to exchange knowledge and experience in digital scholarship on
an international level.
Conference sessions will focus on image annotation, text analysis, geohumanities, and digital scholarship in music.
Quinn Dombrowski manages the U.C.
Berkeley Research Computing consulting service, and has worked with
humanities scholars who use digital and computational tools and
methodologies since 2004. She holds a Master’s Degree in Slavic
Linguistics from the University of Chicago, and an MLS from the
University of Illinois. Quinn serves on the executive committee for the
Association for Computers and the Humanities. She is the author of the
book Drupal for Humanists, published by Texas A&M Press, which is the first in the Coding for Humanists series, which she co-edits.
Mark Algee-Hewitt is Assistant
Professor of English at Stanford University. His research focuses on
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in England and Germany and
seeks to combine literary criticism with digital and quantitative
analyses of literary texts. In particular he is interested in the
history of aesthetic theory and the development and transmission of
aesthetic and philosophic concepts during the Enlightenment and Romantic
periods, and in the relationship between aesthetic theory and the
poetry of the long eighteenth century. Mark is Director of the Stanford
Ge Wang is a Stanford University
Professor of Music and Computer Science. He is a designer of
instruments, toys, and games; inventor of the ChucK programming
language; and director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra. Ge was
co-founder of Smule, a Silicon Valley startup that explores music-making
via mobile devices, and designer of Magic Piano and Ocarina, an Apple
Hall of Fame App. Ge is the author of Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime (Stanford University Press, 2018).
As part of the DARIAH-DESIR project, a series of three-day workshops will be organised in 2018 and 2019, one at Stanford University, one at the Library of Congress, and one in Australia, allowing an exchange of ideas between the DARIAH community and Digital Arts & Humanities projects in the US and Australia. The purposes of the workshops are to promote DARIAH tools and services, to initiate collaborations, and above all to exchange knowledge and experience in digital scholarship on an international level. The workshops will focus on shared areas of expertise between the DARIAH Working Groups and host institutions. Key topics are sustainability of infrastructures, digital text analysis, geo-humanities, image collections and annotation, music and performing arts, collections as data, and web archives. This blog will report on all three workshops, providing insight into the topics discussed and knowledge shared, to encourage those unable to attend the event to continue the international dialogue sparked by these initial points of exchange. DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) is a pan-European infrastructure for arts and humanities scholars working with computational methods. It supports digital research as well as the teaching of digital research methods. The DESIR (DARIAH-ERIC Sustainability Refined) project sets out to strengthen the sustainability of DARIAH and firmly establish it as a long-term leader and partner within arts and humanities communities.)
DESIR has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 731081