03/15/2016

dha2015 conference report

The Digital Humanities Austria conference (dha2015) was held at the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It took place from Monday, November 30th to Wednesday, December 2nd at the Theatre Hall of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

The Digital Humanities Austria conference (dha2015) was organized by the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It took place from Monday, November 30th to Wednesday, December 2nd at the Theatre Hall of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

The conference was opened on Monday by Michael Alram, the vice president of the Academy. Ursula Brustmann (Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy) and Mike Mertens (CEO of DARIAH-EU) welcomed the audience. Jane Ohlmayer (the Irish representative of DARIAH and Erasmus Smith Professor of Modern History at Trinity College, Dublin) gave the first day’s keynote. She invited the audience to join her on her very own ‘digital journey’ and talked about her path to Digital Humanities research, emphasizing the importance of digital infrastructures and financial as well as institutional support. Karlheinz Mörth (the current director of the ACDH) concluded the day with a presentation of the establishment of the new ACDH institute and its activities during the first year of work.

The second day of the conference presented the audience with a dense programme. The first speaker was Ulrike Tanzer (head of the Brenner-Archiv in Innsbruck). She presented the current DH projects of the research institute and activities carried out in Innsbruck, e.g. the transcription tool TRANSCRIBUS, or the foundation of the Digital Humanities Research Centre Innsbruck. After short presentations outlining the past year’s progress in the research projects that were funded by the go!digital as well as the Long-Term Projects on Cultural Heritage calls, a panel on Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage followed. Researchers and representatives of Austrian GLAM (galleries - libraries - archives - museums) institutions gave insights into current digitization and online presentation projects. The focus in this section was on virtual exhibitions and virtual collections, the difference between which was explained in the talk given by Bernadette Biedermeier and Elisabeth Steiner (from Graz). Two very different forms of digital exhibitions were introduced by Ralph Knickmeier, who showed the digital archive of the Belvedere collections in Vienna, and by Anna Frasca-Rath, who presented the ‘Gibson trail’, a virtual guide to physical exhibits shown all over London. The Austrian National Library’s efforts to make so far rarely explored early Arabic papyri available online were presented by Bernhard Palme and Lucian Reinfandt. Carina Kargl (ZIM-ACDH, Graz) and Heimo Rainer (Natural History Museum, Vienna) discussed issues of data modelling and technical aspects in creating digital collections. The last session of the day was dedicated to semantic web tools. Rainer Simon, from the Austrian Institute of Technology, presented two tools (Recogito and Peripleo) developed for and used in the Pelagios project. Berhard Krabina (from the Centre for Public Administration Research) presented his use of Semantic Media Wiki for building the Vienna History Wiki. Giulio Andreini from net7 (Italy) showed how to annotate websites using Pundit. The day ended with PoolParty, a semantic web tool developed by the Semantic Web Company and presented by Timea Turdean.

The final day of the conference was very special through a solid mix of presentation formats. The ACDH presented its work in an extensive poster exhibition, covering digital editions, linguistic projects, corpus building, national and international collaborations, tools, and more. Simultaneously, an extended ACDH ToolGallery with four parallel presentations took place. In this workshop-like format, the semantic web tools presented on the second day were briefly demonstrated live. Subsequently, the audience was invited to test and try out the tools themselves and discuss them with the experts present. A lively atmosphere and spirited discussions in an open space opened up opportunities to build new networks and concluded a successful conference in the spirit of the new paradigms of Digital Humanities and its new social and technological approaches to research in the 21st century.

conference report by Vanessa Hannesschläger


See the full program of dha2015 (including slides of the presentations and photos) here
See the full program of the ACDH Tool Gallery 1.3 (including links to tools) here
Browse the ACDH Poster Gallery here
Read the conference report on storify

Visit the dha Website.