Reference : DARIAH-BE: Towards an ecosystem of Digital Humanities Research Centres in Belgium
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
DARIAH-BE: Towards an ecosystem of Digital Humanities Research Centres in Belgium
Chambers, Sally []
Deroo, Katrien []
Dozo, Björn-Olav mailto [Université de Liège > > Scientifiques attachés au Doyen (F PHL) >]
Gheldof, Tom []
Digital Humanities Centers : Experiences and Perspectives
8-9 décembre 2016
Digital Humanities Laboratory (University of Warsaw)
[en] Digital Humanities is flourishing in Belgium. There are Virtual Research Environments (VRE) for studying transnational intellectual collaborations in the area of social reform and the political and social history of the Belgian justice system. Tools being developed to digitally uncover the genetics of manuscripts or create a linked data structure to
map networks across the ancient world. Furthermore, Electronic Literature across Europe is being mapped and video games are being studied using humanities research methods. The digitisation of artistic, historic and scientific collections is also a key priority in Belgium. With the Belgian Art Links and Tools platform, BALaT, the development of a Data Hub for Museums and Belgium’s digitised newspapers in Belgica Press being flagship examples.

Alongside this rich tapestry of activities, Belgium is a Founding Member of DARIAH-EU, the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities. The aim of DARIAH in Belgium is to develop and offer a sustainable portfolio of services enabling digital scholarship in the arts and humanities in Belgium and beyond. To realise this, partner institutions within Belgium are in the process of establishing Digital Humanities Research Centres which together will form a humanities-specific digital ecosystem, offering services both within their own institutions and to other institutions in Belgium. Additionally, selected services will be scaled-up for use within the European DARIAH community, and offered as in-kind contributions to DARIAH-EU.

In this paper we will explore both the intra- and inter-institutional context of digital humanities centres in Belgium. Starting at the intra-institutional level, we will introduce two existing digital humanities research centres: the Centre Informatique de Philosophie et Lettres (CIPL, Université de Liège) in the French-speaking part of Belgium and the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities (GhentCDH, Ghent University) in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. We will examine both the organisational goals of these centres and how they support digital humanities research within the university, with a particular focus on the collaborations they set up on an institutional level (for example with IT services and the library as well as between research groups). Furthermore, we compare these existing centres, with the newest digital humanities centre in Belgium, the Leuven Centre for Digital Humanities (LCDH) which is currently in the process of being established in the Dutch-speaking university and DARIAH partner institution, KU Leuven.

Finally, we will analyse the opportunities and challenges in the inter-institutional context. While challenges such as the complex funding landscape and multilingual research environment should not be underestimated, there are many opportunities that can be celebrated. For example, collaborative training initiatives, such as Research Community Digital Humanities Flanders, which is open to members beyond Flanders, the annual DH Benelux conference which offers a platform for collaboration between digital humanities projects in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and joint-funding opportunities such as the Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks (BRAIN) programme. Additionally, activities for participation in DARIAH-EU, including preparing Belgian in-kind contributions and establishing DARIAH Working Groups not only addresses these challenges, but contributes to ensuring that digital humanities activities in Belgium thrive.
Researchers ; Professionals

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