Data for History 2021: Modelling Time, Places, Agents

Melanie Althage's picture

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Type: 
Conference
Date: 
May 19, 2021 to June 30, 2021
Location: 
Germany
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, Historic Preservation, World History / Studies, Archival Science

Annual conference of the Data for History consortium, an international community that aims to improve the interoperability of historical data on the semantic web.

The effects of the growing integration of digital tools and methods in historical research make the issues of interoperability of data produced in different projects and domains (archives, museums, etc.), and their reuse in the context of open science and FAIR principles (data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) ever more pressing. In fact, we are at a turning point in historical research: The change from a primarily analogue based to a primarily digital based working context requires a major reconsideration of the very foundations of our field. Historians have to consciously think through how this change affects their practices and determine the means to best form this new, digital working environment to facilitate the ends of historical research.

This question becomes particularly clear in the context of the conversion of analogue information into digital data. In this process, fundamental decisions are taken whose outcomes will determine not only the fidelity of the representation of the primary sources but the reusability of that data into the future. Data modelling decisions taken today will deeply shape and affect the kind of research that will or will not be feasible tomorrow. The challenge is, thus, to make modelling choices in such a way that the highest possible degree of data reusability and sustainability can be guaranteed, while respecting the particular source modelled as well as the specific nature of historical data, such as ambiguity, uncertainty, incompleteness, and change over time.

The objective of this year's conference therefore is to gain a better understanding of current ideas and practices in modelling time, space and agents as historical data and to assess the implications of these choices on the process of historical research and analysis. Throughout all of this, the focus is on exchange and building up a community.

The virtual conference will take place each Wednesday afternoon via Airmeet from 19 May - 30 June 2021. Registration is free of charge and open to all those interested. For further information on the program and abstracts, please visit the Data for History 2021 conference website.

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