The Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH) is the youngest institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW), it was founded by the presidium of the Academy under Anton Zeilinger and Michael Alram in 2015 under the label of Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH). The objective was to establish a centre of excellence by pooling existing expertise and tapping into the potentials of a tightly knit local network. In coordination with the universities of Vienna and Graz, which around the same time started to establish new chairs for digital humanities in their faculties, the centre was set up as part of a larger Austrian umbrella which was meant to harmonize developments in digital and social infrastructures.
As a combination of a research and a service facility, the institute evolved out of a number of earlier digitally oriented research initiatives in various institutes of the Academy and became operational in early 2015. The initially small core team could soon expand through a substantial grant from the National Endowment for Research, Technology and Development.
Right from the beginning, the young and international team of the ACDH managed to attract additional funds through a number of competitive local research grants and through their involvement in important European projects such as PARTHENOS, #dariahTeach, Humanities-at-Scale and CLARIN+.
At the beginning of 2020, the institute was restructured and expanded to include a Cultural Heritage area (cf. mission). As part of a major internal restructuring of the Academy, a number of larger and long-term projects and research groups were integrated into the institute to tap into the synergies at the border between methodological innovation and classical long-term humanities approaches.