Julia Pabst, Anna Grönig: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 4 (09 June 2021)

Session 8 – Providing Data on Persons

The fourth day of the conference started with the lecture “IPIF – pragmatic modelling decisions”. Contributors were Matthias Schlögl (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), Georg Vogeler, Gunter Vasold (University of Graz) and Richard Hadden (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna). The idea of IPIF is to take a pragmatic approach to modelling based on the factoid model and to provide a RESTful API to query data structured in this way. In the model, the metadata of its creation and modification aggregates information on a person, the source and the statements are extracted from the source by the creator of the factoid. Dating information a lot of the time is not easy in history with time ranges or broad terms in different sources. To model time and dating, the IPIF model uses a simple approach by distinguishing a date as a label and a sort date which allows to keep the original information in textual form, but also to filter it. The whole idea is to simplify the way data is computed. SPARQL is richer, but because of its complexity, you always have to know very specific information about the implementation. IPIF tries to use a less formalized approach to make it more easy to work with different data sources.

Bärbel Kröger and Christian Popp (Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities) presented in the following lecture their research project with the title „WIAG – A dataHub for Medieval and Early Modern Research“. WIAG creates an editorial system which is embedded in a domain-specific knowledge platform and will establish a technical framework for structuring, standardising and providing research data. Based on extensive data collections from the research projects Germania Sacra and Deutsche Inschriften des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit,  a reliable domain-specific knowledge hub for Medieval and Early Modern research will be created. WIAG features data for the identification of persons, ecclesiastical institutions, objects, places as well as other classifying data (types of artefacts, functions, religious orders etc.). The presentation showed the general approach, but also the challenges present in data sources, WIAG draws from, e.g. in Wikidata, when a person is linked to an institution, but the linked institution did not exist at this time. 

The discussion focused mainly on the technical component of the data workflow. In this context, the difficulty to understand the structure of a project (technical architecture) without diagrams etc. was discussed. The question of public access to the data of the projects was also raised. In addition, the process of aggregation of persons and multiple statements was the subject of the discussion.

Session 9 – Integrating Data from Sources

The second session of the day started with the Project „Linked Histories: Police-Ordinances as an Information-Hub for Early Modern History“ by  Annemieke Romein (Huygens ING, Amsterdam), Andreas Wagner (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt/M. ), Saskia Limbach (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), Klaas Van Gelder (Ghent University), Jørgen Mührmann-Lund (Aarhus University), Nicolas Simon (Casa de la Velasquez, Madrid) and Margo De Koster (Ghent University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) .
In their talk, they outlined their approach on developing an ontology collaboratively across the research community of their domain. The project itself aims to create an ontology to link existing resources and information on police ordinances in Europe and its former colonies. The starting point of the idea was to connect the multitude of projects and research in this field by preserving their data and information digitally and making it available beyond the end of the projects. In the future, research projects from related areas and fields shall be included as well.
They want to encourage all those researching police ordinances in the early modern period to contribute to the project by sharing information on the data they work with via GitHub. Here, it is also possible to contribute user stories for a common system, processing such data.
For modeling the ontology, they chose an agile approach, as it seemed the most appropriate for their type of project, which would involve different datasets and scientific questions. Their workflow is to model smaller parts of the available data first, then extend, and only finally map it with already existing ontologies such as CIDOC CRM.

In the second contribution, David Zbíral (Masaryk University, Brno), Adam Mertel (Center for Advanced Systems Understanding, Görlitz), Robert L. J. Shaw, and Tomáš Hampejs (Masaryk University, Brno) presented their project “An ontology for modeling the social, spatial, and semantic relations in pre-modern written sources: Takeaways from data model development in the Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET)”.
The talk reported on experiences from the DISSNET project, regarding source-driven and hypotheses-driven data model creation. DISSNET deals with the study of medieval Inquisition sources. In particular, it focused on developing a comprehensive data model and Ontology with a strong link to the sources, rather than collecting and modelling data according to pre-established questions.
The goal was also to be able to represent the sources as structured data without sacrificing the complexity of the information given in and by the sources. It was considered to be particularly important, to ensure that critical examination of the sources could be carried out directly in the data model, for example in the case of unclear or divergent statements on the contextualization of the source. They tried to preserve a lot of complexity like the hierarchical structure of documents, metadata and also include uncertainties in the sources like uncertain claims. 
The project started with a simple google sheet and is now in the process of making a transition to a more complex structure and a more user-friendly interface that is linked to a database with JSON files. The ultimate goal is to build a graph database for data projection and research questions. 
Their takeaways from the first steps of the project are the necessity to model sources first, to not just relegate the source-critical formation just to the introduction or the closing sections but make them part of the analysis and data itself. Separating the data collection, which is low on selection and interpretation from data projections (which are hypothesis-driven), and never accept limitations imposed by infrastructure but try to expand it. 

In the discussion, questions arose about how the projects are documented and how this documentation is made available. It was also discussed how specific the domains are that the ontology is meant to represent and whether it would be possible to extend it to other domains and ages.
Also, how the projects can be made available to a wider audience and how the ontologies created can be linked to already available ontologies, such as UFO was discussed in this context.

Cite this article as:
digitalhistory: Julia Pabst, Anna Grönig: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 4 (09 June 2021), in: Digital History Berlin (Blog), erschienen am: 16. Juni 2021, Internet: https://dhistory.hypotheses.org/679.

About the authors:

Julia Pabst studies history at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the master’s program with focus on Digital History.

Anna Grönig has a bachelor’s degree in German language and literature and history and is now studying for a master’s degree in history with a focus on Digital History at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Lukas Sebold, Leonie Aschmann: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 3

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

Lars-Erik Brandt, Diana Vegner: Report on the conference – “Data for History 2021” – Day 2

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

Julia Pabst, Anna Grönig: Report on the conference “Data for History 2021” – Day 1

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

Conference announcement: Data for History 2021 – Modelling Time, Places, Agents

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:

„Conference announcement: Data for History 2021 – Modelling Time, Places, Agents“ weiterlesen

Yaroslav Koshelev: Das Erbe des deutschen Uranbergbaus digital verarbeiten

Die sowjetisch-deutsche Aktiengesellschaft Wismut war das viertgrößte Bergbauunternehmen der Welt. Auf dem Gebiet der ehemaligen DDR förderte in den Schächten und Betrieben der Wismut S(D)AG geschätzt eine halbe Million Menschen von 1945 bis 1990 rund 230.000 Tonnen angereichertes Uran, welches die sowjetische Rüstungsindustrie mit den notwendigen Rohstoffen für den Bau der Atombomben versorgte, aber auch mit Uran, das in Atomkraftwerken zu friedlichen Zwecken eingesetzt wurde. Die Wismut war dabei ein abgeschotteter Staat im Staate und verfügte über eigene politische, polizeiliche, kulturelle und kommerzielle Strukturen, welche den Arbeitern und Angestellten der Wismut eine Sonderstellung innerhalb der DDR-Gesellschaft ermöglichten. „Yaroslav Koshelev: Das Erbe des deutschen Uranbergbaus digital verarbeiten“ weiterlesen

Call for Papers: Datafication in the Historical Humanities. Reconsidering Traditional Understandings of Sources and Data

International Conference and Workshop at the German Historical Institute Washington

Date: December 9-11, 2021

Conveners: German Historical Institute Washington in collaboration with Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH), Chair of Digital History at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Consortium Initiative NFDI4Memory, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and Stanford University, Department of History

The Fifth Annual GHI Conference on Digital Humanities and Digital History will revolve around the concept of “datafication,” that is, the production of and the shift toward digital representations of historical sources as a prerequisite for storage, access, and analysis, not to mention their transmission and publication online. „Call for Papers: Datafication in the Historical Humanities. Reconsidering Traditional Understandings of Sources and Data“ weiterlesen

Michael Schäbitz/Martin Sobczyk: Politische Haft in der DDR. Das Datenbankprojekt des Forschungsverbundes »Landschaften der Verfolgung«

Der vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) geförderte interdisziplinäre Forschungsverbund „Landschaften der Verfolgung“ untersucht das Ausmaß, die Ursachen und die Auswirkungen politischer Repression in der DDR und in anderen Staaten Mittel- und Ostmitteleuropas in vergleichender Perspektive. Das an der Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen angesiedelte Teilprojekt „Daten politischer Verfolgung“ erstellt in diesem Rahmen eine Datenbank zu politischer Haft in der SBZ/DDR. Mit dieser Datenbank soll es zum einen möglich sein, die Zahl der Betroffenen zuverlässiger als bisher zu bestimmen. Zum anderen sollen damit differenzierte Aussagen über die heterogene Gruppe der Inhaftierten möglich werden. „Michael Schäbitz/Martin Sobczyk: Politische Haft in der DDR. Das Datenbankprojekt des Forschungsverbundes »Landschaften der Verfolgung«“ weiterlesen

Christof Schöch/Maria Hinzmann: Mining and Modeling Text – Linked Open Data für die Literaturgeschichtsschreibung

Der Vortrag stellt das Forschungsvorhaben Mining and Modeling Text (kurz: MiMoText) vor, dessen Ziel es ist, den Bereich der quantitativen Methoden zur Extraktion, Modellierung und Analyse geisteswissenschaftlich relevanter Informationen aus umfangreichen Textsammlungen weiterzuentwickeln und aus interdisziplinärer (geistes-, informatik- und rechtswissenschaftlicher) Perspektive zu erforschen. Die primäre Anwendungsdomäne ist zunächst die französische Literaturgeschichte der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts – die Übertragung auf andere Domänen und Disziplinen (weitere Philologien, aber beispielsweise auch Philosophie, Geschichts- und Kunstwissenschaft) ist geplant und wird von Projektbeginn an mitbedacht. „Christof Schöch/Maria Hinzmann: Mining and Modeling Text – Linked Open Data für die Literaturgeschichtsschreibung“ weiterlesen

Eero Hyvönen: Linked Data in Action – Sampo portals for Digital Humanities (Data for History Lecture #1)

This talk presents results on building an open national Semantic Web infrastructure in Finland, with applications for Digital Humanities. In particular, the Sampo model and series of Sampo portals have been created that have had millions of users on the Web.

„Eero Hyvönen: Linked Data in Action – Sampo portals for Digital Humanities (Data for History Lecture #1)“ weiterlesen