Building a Virtual Humanities Collaboratory

6 January 2009 - 7 January 2009


You can see the provisional programme and book online using the links at the right hand side of the page.  The fee for all delegates is £7.50. 

A Virtual Research Environment (VRE), or collaboratory, promises to bring together tools and resources for Humanities researchers.  The exponential increase in online resources and online collaboration, the range of new online tools for creating and mining many different kinds of data - visual and textual - confront Humanities researchers with an often dizzying array of possibilities.

Humanities research environments and communities are changing rapidly under the impact of new digital tools and technologies, producing many different kinds of project and databases, and demanding new kinds of expertise. As VREs take root in Universities or departments, disciplines or individual projects, it becomes ever more important to find ways to link these different scales and kinds of operation.

Some of the questions to be addressed by speakers and panels during this one and a half-day workshop include:

  • What are the benefits of a virtual Collaboratory for Humanities researchers?
  • What are the chief obstacles to digital research in the Humanities at present?
  • How can universities best provide eHumanities tools and educate future humanities researchers in their uses?
  • What problems of interoperability with existing infrastructures confront digital researchers in the Humanities?
  • How can we manage 'data deluge' and what protocols need to be established?
  • What are the intellectual and academic issues at stake in digital Humanities research?

Inquiries: Dr Katie Boyle

This event is co-funded by the CNRS-ISCC ScholarWeb Project.

For administrative enquiries please contact


Building a Virtual Humanities Collaboratory


Location : CRASSH Date : 6-7 January 2009

Tuesday 6 January





Keynote 1

Susan Schreibman (Director, Digital Humanities Observatory, Royal Irish Academy)
The TEI and Semantic Interoperability


Panel 1: Collections and Collaborations

Robin Boast (Arch & Anth. Museum, Cambridge University )
Modification, Reuse, and Subversion: Digital Object Collections and the Humanities

Hildegard Diemberger (Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, Department of Social Anthrpology)
Paul Sumption (Department of Social Anthropology)
Burkhard Quessel (British Library)
Tibetan books and digital dilemmas: issues of standards and digital asset management in a collaborative project

Mark Turin ( Digital Himalaya Project, Cambridge University)
Collaboration, Access, and other Unexpected Consequences: Reflections on Eight years of the Digital Himalaya Project

Chair: Sue Mehrer (University Library, Cambridge University ) 


Tea/coffee Break


Keynote 2 (virtual presentation)

Chris Mackie (Research in Information Technology, Andrew Mellon Foundation)
Those who do not know history …’:  VREs and eHumanities Infrastructure




Wednesday 7 January


9.15 - 10.45

Panel 2: Language, Text, History

Martin Wynne (Oxford text Archive and AHDS, Oxford University)
CLARIN: A Pan-European Research Infrastructure for Language Resources and Technologies

Paolo D’Iorio (Maison Francais d'Oxford/CNRS-MFO/Oxford Internet Institute)
Scholarsource: a New Paradigm for Digital Humanities

Robert Watson (Computer Lab and Centre for Economics and History)
Historians, Computer Scientists and the Digital Revolution: Why Collaboration Matters

Chair: John Coleman (Phonetics Lab, Oxford University)

10.45- 11.15

Tea/coffee Break


Panel 3: Digital Arts

Raphael Lyne (Scriptorium, Cambridge University)
From Scriptorium to Collaboratory

Alun Edwards (First World War Poetry Digital Archive,  Oxford University)
Mass Digitisation and Visualizing: The Great War Archive

Ian Cross (Centre for Music and Science, Cambridge University)
Digital Music: Beyond Text?

Rod Rivers (CARET/Cambridge Image Project, Cambridge University)
Cambridge Images Project: A Federated Architecture

Chair: Alan Blackwell (Crucible, Cambridge University)




Keynote 3

Alan Bowman (P.I., Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities, Oxford University)
Documents, Texts, and Images in a Virtual Research Environment

Chair: Mary Jacobus (CRASSH)


Panel 4: Directions for eHumanities Research

Frederique van Till (JISC)
JISC VRE Programme: The Next Phase

Yannick Maignien (TGE-Adonis)
TGE Adonis

Chad Kainz (Bamboo, Chicago)
Bamboo: Defining Infrastructure, Creating a Community

Chair: David Robey (Former Director, AHRC Programme for IT and Research)


Tea/coffee Break