This Data for History Lecture is a report on work in progress in the project DigiKAR (Digital Map Lab Holy Roman Empire). The project conducts two case studies in order to explore new approaches of collecting, modeling, and visualization of data about early modern places in the Holy Roman Empire. The Electorate of Mainz case study approaches the complex spatial structure of the Holy Roman Empire using a prosopographical approach to examine the geographical as well as social mobility of different groups (officials, students, etc.) of persons throughout their lives. The Electorate of Saxony case study is dedicated to the collection and integration of place-based historical information and explores new ways of visualizing the different political, legal, economic and social spaces beyond the well-known patchwork maps of the Holy Roman Empire. The talk focuses on data modeling for the second case study.„Ingo Frank: Ontology Design Patterns for History: Modeling Place-based Information in the Digital Map Lab Holy Roman Empire“ weiterlesen
According to a standard definition in information technology, an ontology is “a formal specification of a shared conceptualisation of a domain of interest”. The domain of social life is quite relevant not only for historical research but of course more generally for humanities and social sciences. It is therefore evident how interesting it would be to develop a widely used ontology for this domain, with different degrees of abstraction, allowing interoperability of research data in line with the FAIR principles. As a matter of fact we can observe that many projects model and produce data about social roles of persons, memberships in groups, economic and political activity, trends and conflicts in public opinion and societies, etc. The challenge appears then to find a conceptualisation that offers a high-level model of social life allowing for the integration of information in this domain of discourse, with an approach that is sufficiently robust to be accepted and used by specialists from different scientific disciplines.„Francesco Beretta: Modelling Social Life: an Extension of CIDOC CRM“ weiterlesen
This talk presents early results on the development of an urban gazetteer useful for Spatial Humanities. The digital gazetteer can store historical place information and is designed with the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) as the upper-level ontology. In accordance with the FAIR approach, the gazetteer data is available as Linked Open Data and can be queried using (Geo)SPARQL.„Vincent Ducatteeuw: Developing an urban gazetteer: modelling historical platial information“ weiterlesen
Session 13 – Integrating Different Medialities
Øyvind Eide and Zoe Schubert (University of Cologne) opened with a presentation on their project Kompakkt, entitled “Space, time, and agents in theatre: Digital documentation of the transience of performances through theatrical agents in time and space”.
First, Øyvind Eide introduced the main features of the meaning of space in theatre: While in the text spatiality is represented by linguistic expressions, in performance both the existing spatiality of the stage (and beyond) and linguistic expressions represent space. Hence, concerning theatre, different forms of documentation are necessary for both categories. Many decisions have to be made and ways found to encircle the non-existent centre of documentation, the performance itself, in order to make it part of a (theatre) collection.
Secondary objects and materials are used for this, such as notes, drawings, audio and video recordings. Digital methods now offer the possibility to make these objects/artifacts more available, describable and linkable.
To this end, they have developed Kompakkt, an online repository where artifacts used in performances are digitally available and explorable. For this purpose, they used a selection of artifacts from the theatre collection of the University of Cologne.
Session 12 – Data from Annotated Texts
The sixth day of the Data for History conference started with Cristina Vertan’s (University of Hamburg) presentation “Representing vague and uncertain historical data on places people and events in historical texts – a case-study of historical texts of Dimitrie Cantemir”. The main focus was on the texts and translations of the universal researcher Dimitrie Cantemir, who was the only one to write a history on the Balkan region from a western perspective. The original work was written in Latin and translated into other languages only in the 18th century. Since there was no word for word translation, the project is now dedicated to such translations. It combines hermeneutic methods with the methods of computer science. There are three directions of investigation: reliability, consistency and vagueness. First, a model with a knowledge base was developed, which also takes into account vague or uncertain places and persons. After that, the detection was done, e.g. to annotate linguistic marks for uncertain places in each of the available languages, followed by the visualization. One of the central points of the modeling was the creation of an ontology. With this ontology, one can now answer queries about the translations and texts, while taking ambiguities into account. The presentation highlighted the complexity of working with texts and translations.„Julia Pabst, Anna Grönig: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 6 (23 June 2021)“ weiterlesen
The fifth day of the Data for History conference started with the keynote Social Semantic Annotation: Linking People and Places in the Pelagios Digital Ecosystem by Rebecca Kahn (University of Vienna). This talk was about the experience from the Pelagios project on building a method and a community in and around the use of linked geo-data for working with historical sources. Rebecca Kahn’s talk focused not on the methods of the project, but on the community and network around it.
Pelagios is a Network that connects a method and a community with digital resources. Part of the project consists of providing the Recogito and Peripleo, a search engine for Linked Data.
Pelagios consists of four different founders, an investigative team and many other people involved from different directions (GLAM, students, etc.) The Network was built on the premise of openness regarding data, technology and the community.
Session 6 – Uncertain Time and Space
In the first presentation of the day, ”Chronology Statements for nodegoat: a temporal topology to interface with vague, relational, and actionable dates”, Pim Van Bree and Geert Kessels (LAB 1100, The Hague) introduced the platform Nodegoat. Nodegoat is a web-based research environment for the humanities, providing services to create e.g. network, linked and spatial data. However, there is also a need for complex statements to express temporal uncertainty.
The speakers pointed out that historians in general lack vocabularies to represent temporal uncertainty. This is reflected in common implementations in DH that miss flexibility and a standard for relational temporal statements. „Lukas Sebold, Leonie Aschmann: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 3“ weiterlesen
Session 4 – Modelling the Analyses Lars-Erik Brandt
The first presentation of Session 4: Modelling the Analyses was a project of Helen Mair Rawsthorne from the Université Gustave Eiffel with the title “Analysing 18th century hydrographic data: a campaign in the Bay of Biscay, 1750-1751”. The approach focused on maritime maps from the early modern period in France. At that time, a research project was to investigate the depth of the Bay of Biscay at different points and to map the entire bay with information on the depth of the sea and certain characteristics, such as sediment species. Helen Rawsthorne examined not only the maps themselves, created during this campaign, but also the written notes on the various measuring points. The sources are well preserved, since the maps were used by the people of that time in everyday life. The research question was to compare the quality of the results from the historical measurements with modern ones and thus to show how accurate the historical approach was. „Lars-Erik Brandt, Diana Vegner: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 2“ weiterlesen
The conference was opened by a short introduction by Torsten Hiltmann (HU Berlin), who, in cooperation with Francesco Beretta and Vincent Alamercery (LARHRA Lyon) is the organizer of this event. He offered a brief overview of the still young history of the consortium and introduced the overall aim of the conference, which is to promote exchange within the broader community and to create more stable structures for the future development of the consortium. Even though it can only take place online this year due to the Corona pandemic, it was important to preserve the core idea of the meeting. Therefore, all changes from the initial plans, such as a new schedule spread over 7 weeks and Airmeet as the platform for the conference, were chosen to assure exactly that: namely communication, exchange and discussions among like-minded people facing the same challenges if it comes to the modelling of data in historical research. „Julia Pabst, Anna Grönig: Report on the conference “Data for History 2021” – Day 1“ weiterlesen
From May 19 to June 30, 2021, the Data for History consortium, an international community that aims to improve the interoperability of historical data on the semantic web, together with the Chair of Digital History and the Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes, will host the virtual conference Data for History 2021: Modelling Time, Places, Agents via Airmeet.
With three keynotes, around 30 paper presentations, a poster session and a final panel discussion, the conference will focus on the exchange of current ideas and practices regarding the modelling of time, space and agents as historical data. A topic that is all the more important since we are currently at a turning point in historical research: