Digital history & historiography

BUILDING A VIRTUAL RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT: Digital research tools for historians

BUILDING A VIRTUAL RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT: Digital research tools for historians
Five years C²DH – Five ways of innovating and sharing history.

The C²DH defines itself as a “trading zone”, an experimental space for knowledge production at the intersection of data science and history. A virtual research environment provides researchers with digital tools and software, encouraging them to critically explore and evaluate new methods and approaches including information gathering, data curation and management, data analysis and visualisation, and transforming data into online storytelling.

A highly specialised team including digitisation experts, digital historians, software developers, web designers and visualisation specialists is involved in the co-design of new tools and applications for historical research. Tools and software are shared with the international community of researchers through open science platforms such as the Github repository.

One of the C²DH’s flagship projects is DHARPA (Digital History Advanced Research Project Accelerator), which aims to develop the first integrated virtual research environment in the field of digital history and humanities that links all phases of research. DHARPA wants to help scholars lift the lid on “black box” digital technologies, take ownership of their contributions and embrace their role in the process of knowledge production.

Other projects are impresso – Media monitoring of the past. Mining 200 years of historical newspapers, which enables critical text mining of newspaper archives with the implementation of a technological framework to extract, process, link and explore data from print media archives; and Tropy, a free and open-source software tool that allows humanities researchers to effectively manage the thousands of digital images taken in archives or libraries.

Trading Zone Initiative on Training

The C²DH Trading Zone Initiative on Training provides a creative framework for dialogue and in-house training in line with the C²DH’s long-term strategy to co-design and operate a global open-science platform for digital history. In line with the University’s goal to promote digital literacy among students and staff, the Trading Zone Initiative on Training allows computer scientists, data scientists, historians, archivists and web designers to share their expertise within the C²DH and to organise demand-driven training for different levels of expertise and knowledge.