Digital History Advanced Research Projects Accelerator


CALL: 2019

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: history; methodology; historiography; text mining; statistical modeling; machine learning; data visualization; digital infrastructure

START: 2019-10-01



Submitted Abstract

The aim of this PEARL project is to transform historical research practices to meet the demands of the digital age, establishing Luxembourg as the global leader in digital history research and development. It builds on Luxembourg’s strong foundation in this area, notably at the Université du Luxembourg’s (UL) Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH). This proposal will capitalize on UL’s investment in the centre, by adding a new research unit to the C²DH and by strengthening the national digital strategy in the humanities and the social sciences.The C²DH has an opportunity to attract a leading researcher in digital history software and infrastructure: Sean Takats (George Mason University, USA). Takats’s proposed PEARL project, the Digital History Advanced Research Projects Accelerator (DHARPA), will unlock the full potential of historians working in the digital and open-science age. DHARPA will study the impact of technology on historical research practices, and it will experiment with how technology can reshape the methodological underpinnings of history as a scientific discipline. The C²DH hosts the perfect space for Takats’s research programme: DHARPA will jump-start the C²DH’s activities in digital practices and software development. Takats will accelerate the building of transnational bridges to the C²DH by drawing on his extensive collaborative networks in North America and Europe.DHARPA will produce a broad suite of interlocking deliverables to address this research area. It will design and produce an open-source software framework for historical research that enables researchers to ingest, process, and analyze historical data. DHARPA will mentor PhD students, postdoctoral scholars, and technical staff who will make important contributions to this new field. It will facilitate open-access publication and training. To safeguard historical preservation and access, DHARPA will develop a sustainable digital infrastructure for historical research. Takats will achieve these goals by establishing a lab of 13 advanced researchers, technical staff, students, and administrative support inside the C²DH.DHARPA will have significant impact at the institutional, national, and international levels. It will implement a sustainable digital research infrastructure that aligns with the national strategy in digitization (“Digital Letzebuerg”). DHARPA will produce software that applies to a wide range of users, and it will provide a model of digital services infrastructure. DHARPA will offer new insight into cultural heritage, providing opportunities for collaboration with libraries and archives. It will encourage greater public participation in the production of historical knowledge, and it will support an open-science agenda. DHARPA will produce training materials for academics and general public, and facilitate research-driven professional development.

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