Current CDHU Projects
Table of contents:
CAPTURE investigates what information about the creation and use of research data that is paradata) is needed and how to capture enough of that information to make the data reusable in the future. The wickedness of the problem lies in the practical impossibility to document and keep everything and the difficulty to determine how to capture just enough. The empirical focus of CAPTURE is archaeological and cultural heritage data, which stands out by its extreme heterogeneity and rapid accumulation due to the scale of ongoing development-led archaeological fieldwork. Within and beyond this specific context, CAPTURE develops an in-depth understanding of how paradata is being created and used today, elicits methods for capturing paradata, tests new methods in field trials, and synthesises the findings in a reference model to inform the capturing of paradata and enabling data-intensive research using heterogeneous research data stemming from diverse origins.
Contact: Isto Huvila
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The rich heritage legacy from archaeological excavations in Sweden is largely inaccessible for data driven research. The Urdar project will ensure that digitally born documentation from excavations will not be lost to posterity and that it will be findable for researchers through linked data and open archives. Semantic linking of field documentation and research data will enable information to be optimized for Digital Humanities and the sciences. This will contribute to interdisciplinary research as well as strengthen the position of archaeology in academic research. Digital excavation documentation is a prime resource for exploring long-term perspectives in many different fields of research. Urdar will incorporate the FAIR principles, ensuring the results from field archaeology are primed for incorporation in a wider European framework of archaeological infrastructures through the use of common open standards and formats.
Contact: Daniel Löwenborg
The project has the purpose to unlock the future potential of AI for the management and curation of cultural heritage collections. A synthesis of AI methods and critical scholarship can co-produce diverse and more nuanced perspectives on heritage collections, thus reaching the public of the future. By developing theoretical and technological knowledge the project’s concrete aims are: 1) To map and explore the current practices and experiences, as well as anticipated futures, of GLAM digitalisation in Sweden; 2) to investigate how AI/ML-generated descriptions of art and heritage can be enhanced in meaningful ways; 3) to analyse AI/ML methods’ and tools’ compliance with FAIR and international data standards, as well as their reflection of and engagement with diversity and ethics; 4) To explore how we can connect AI to qualitative aspects of the examined material where critical and ethical theories meet with algorithms and mathematics. The project’s key research questions therefore are: RQ1: What is the current and evolving state of the art of GLAM digitization in Sweden today? RQ2: How can we have more nuanced and meaningful AI/ML generated descriptions on heritage collections? RQ3: How do AI/ML methods and tools comply with FAIR and international data standards? RQ4: How can issues of a qualitative nature (bias, diversity and ethics) be connected to the quantitative nature of AI/ML algorithms used for GLAM digitalisation? The knowledge developed will enable GLAMs in Sweden to present cultural heritage framed by diversity and inclusion, responsive to future audiences.
The project utilizes case studies which span time and space (across continents) and come in a number of formats, mainly photography, prints and textual archives. These include (mid 19th century- early 20th century) photographic and archival collections of artefacts and people from African and Asian countries collected by Swedish ethnographers, photographic archives of the early archaeological Swedish expeditions to Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus, including pictures of antiksamlingen (objects collected by Swedish professors of Archaeology including some minimal accompanying information such as index cards - date bought/collected). These are digitized and curated by Swedish stakeholders such as the National Museums of World Culture Museums of (National Ethnographic and Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities); the Uppsala Museum Gustavianum with an emphasis on Mediterranean collections; the Svensk Diplomatarium archives (1100-1523 CE) at the National Archives of Sweden (Riksarkivet); and the National Heritage Board of Sweden (Riksantikvarietsämbetet). The Project is generously financed for five years by WASP-HS (Autonomous Systems and Software Program-Humanities and Society) initiative of the Wallenberg Foundations. (https://wasp-hs.org)
Acting Out Disease. How Patient Organizations Shaped Modern Medicine (ActDisease)
This ERC-Starting grant funded project will provide crucial insights into the development of modern medicine and the role of lay involvement in science through analysis of so far largely neglected, but central actors in 20th century medical history: patient organizations. Within the project, a team of researchers will analyse the publications and archives of patient organizations from four European nations – Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom and France – a vast source material previously not considered by historians. The core is a mixed-methods analysis combining distant and close readings of the sources. The patient organizations' print media will be digitized and analyzed through the adaptation and development of text mining methods. These range from word-count and collocation-based analyses to advanced NLP techniques and AI-approaches, to suit fragmented and heterogenous source materials and research questions about the development of scientific concepts and the circulation of knowledge. This will enable us to answer some of the core questions related to medicine in the 20th century, and in particular the role of patients.
Time and People in Pausanias’s Greece
The project, financed by the Swedish Research council (2023-2026) will create a digital edition of Pausanias’s ten volumes of the Description of Greece, the touristic guide of the 2nd century CE enriched with entities which, though critical for the analysis of cultural geography, have been relatively neglected in spatial/digital humanities: namely, data about time and people. The project will develop methods and tools for identifying and investigating in Pausanias’s Description: (a) time as both a relative and absolute concept, including time formats (periodization vs. numerical time etc.); and (b) people, including social categories for the study of ethnicity and gender. A broader objective will be to use semantic annotation for the identification and analysis of these entities, which will mean the development of Linked Open Data methods and applications for time and people on the model of place. The project’s research questions are: (1) to investigate the intersection and co-implication of temporal, spatial and societal data in Pausanias’s narrative; (2) to reveal new understandings of past and present cultures and societies via a geographic, diachronic study of temporal and social textual data; and (3) to develop the technology and design interface principles that facilitate a combination of spatial, temporal and social data for critical analysis. The final digital edition will serve as an educational and research resource.
More about Time and People in Pausanias Greece
This project exploits the exceptional early book collections found in both Uppsala and Durham Libraries, such as Bishop Cosin’s library and Carolina Rediviva. Marginalia written in these books by their successive owners are an important source of evidence for European intellectual history, but access to these annotations is very difficult. Catalogues sometimes register the presence of marginalia, but rarely its content. Being able to search that material would instantly create an important new tool for research.
The goals of the project are, in order:
- To explore the collections of both universities to create a set of books with print layouts and annotations that are representative or that have particular interest.
- To digitize those volumes, if not already digitized.
- To create a set of training data for a machine learning model that can separate manual annotations from printed text.
- To train optical character recognition models in several languages to make those annotations searchable.
- Finally, to use this work as proof of concept for a much larger funding bid to expand the coverage significantly.
In this project, funded by the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation we trace, map and analyse Pausanias’s spatial (re)imagining of Greece: both his representation of the (human) geography of Greece and the spatial structure, or place-boundedness, of his text. This is to identify and reflect on not only how Pausanias describes places and objects within them, but also the spatial organisation of his narrative—how he relates places to each other. For Pausanias doesn’t simply move through space as if following a route, as he describes (and reinscribes) the layout of ancient sites or locates objects (temples, statues) in situ; he also relates places or objects to others in far-flung locations of the Mediterranean. And, further: he moves through time, as he attributes to those sites or objects (hi)stories of their construction, reimagination or demise. Precisely because issues of space, time and identity are so bound up with each other in the Periegesis, it is impossible to map this narrative by conventional means.
Building on the digitisation efforts of other initiatives, specifically the Perseus Classical Library and Pelagios, we use the web-based platform Recogito to annotate (i.e. make notes on) Pausanias’s text directly, thereby essentially treating the text itself as a database. Our annotation process aims to:
identify different entities (places, people, or events) within the text;
trace the relations between places and objects in space;
and describe those relations as either topographic (a place in space, as Pausanias moves through the landscape), chronotopic (a place in time, as Pausanias moves through the history of a particular place/building/statue), or analogic (places compared, as Pausanias relates one place to another in a different part of the world).
More about the Digital Periegesis