During the last week of June I had the pleasure to attend and present at the Cultural Heritage Creative Tools and Archives Workshop which took place at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen (26-27/06/2013). It was a great event where I had the chance to meet many bright people from the fields of Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage. Also, since the main themes of the workshop were very close to my research interests, my attendance there worked as a motivation to start this blog.
The aim of the workshop was to gather academics, researchers and cultural heritage professionals to discuss issues related to the use of digital tools and services in the Arts & Humanities and Cultural Heritage. The papers presented revealed the variety of practices and methods followed by the digital humanities community as well as the range of projects focusing on the application and impact of new technologies on the aforementioned fields.
The various projects I had the opportunity to learn about during my visit at Copenhagen were either national/ international initiatives, such as DARIAH, EHRI, Europeana and the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), or undertaken by cultural heritage institutions as well as individual researchers. Moreover, the presentations touched upon issues regarding the building, application and use of digital tools and services in various areas including, but not limited to, archaeology, art history, museums, archives, scholarly practices and publishing.
Most importantly though, listening about the goals and the benefits of each project together with the challenges it entailed, intrigued interesting discussions on topics that regularly concern the digital humanities community: the digital humanities as a discipline; the enhancement of scholarly communication and co-operation; open access in the digital era; the understanding of scholarly practices in A&H research; the use of new technologies for digital engagement and learning in museums and other cultural heritage institutions.
My presentation, titling ‘Building Personal Collections: supporting the information practices of art historians in the digital age’, was based on the research I am currently conducting for my PhD Thesis at the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. In particular, it addressed issues regarding core scholarly practices in art history, like the information seeking behaviour of researchers and the building of their personal research collections. However, the ultimate goal was to contribute to the development of an understanding of how these practices affect the whole research process in the field and thus, how we can support them effectively with appropriate digital tools and services.