message from the director —
2019 has been an exceptional year for the C²DH in terms of activities, research output and staff growth. We were delighted to be awarded the FNR’s two most prestigious research grants, PEARL and ATTRACT. In October 2019, Prof. Sean Takats joined us as the new PEARL chair from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, where he worked for many years as Technical Director on such groundbreaking projects as Zotero and Tropy. Thomas Cauvin from Colorado State University will start his ATTRACT project on “Public History as the New Citizen Science of the Past” in June 2020.
Two and a half years into its existence, 2019 was also a good moment to look back at the short but already extremely rich history of the Centre. We produced a self-evaluation report, which gave us an opportunity to take a critical look at organisational procedures, thematic priorities and collaborative practices within the C²DH and with external partners. Alongside the report, we also had a visit from external experts, who by and large congratulated the Centre on its innovative potential and experimental approach. Both procedures helped us to define our research priorities for the coming years and to formulate our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal): to co-design and operate a global open-science platform for doing history in the digital age.
I hope that this annual report will pique your curiosity and encourage you to take a closer look at some of the topics and approaches highlighted. On behalf of the entire C²DH team, happy reading/viewing!
Prof. Dr Andreas Fickers, Director of the C²DH