Overcoming Obstacles Lecture Series 2024

Archives by and for Research in the History of Science and Digital Humanities: Describe, Annotate, Preserve, and Disseminate

12:00 - 13:00
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany

The VoH Working Group in cooperation with Research IT presents a series of lectures titled "Overcoming Obstacles, Learning from Experiences: A Transdisciplinary Conversation about Computer Vision, 3D Models, Preservation, and Outreach in Digital Humanities projects,” running from May–July 2024. The series features speakers from multiple disciplines in the Humanities – History of Science, History, Art History, and Archaeology – who will focus on methods that can be utilized in the systematic DH-related analysis of objects. Topics covered include databases, their development, preservation, and dissemination, computer vision and its components, such as classification, annotation, and vectorization, as well as 3-D modeling.

For a full description of the series, please click here.

This lecture series is open to the public. We welcome both internal and external guests. To register, please click here and choose which event you would like to attend. You can register for multiple events but must do so separately. 

For questions on registration please contact event_dept3@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de and for further information about the series please contact rbrentjes@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de

This presentation aims to describe and examine various uses of archives in history of science projects that employ digital humanities methods. The focus is on the discrepancy between the information on finding aids (provided by archivists) and the needs of research projects, which often require descriptions of a different nature. Is it possible to bridge the gap between archivists and research project members so that information can be shared between these two worlds?  How can the archival processing of documents be used for research, and conversely, how can a research tool be enriched with the results produced by the digital humanities project? Various projects from the Archives Henri-Poincaré - Philosophie et Recherches sur les Sciences et les Technologies (AHP, Nancy and Strasbourg, France) use tools and methods of digital humanities to exploit corpora and build databases are presented.

Methodological choices include: the semantic web technology (Poincaré’s letters), the linking of documents within in a complex corpus (Bourbaki project), fine image annotation with IIIF (Bourgoin project), and the participatory constitution of an archival collection via crowdsourcing (Batalab project). These projects use Omeka (S and Classic) amongst other tools. I also present the ecosystem established to process the preserved archival collections.

Pierre Willaime is a CNRS research engineer at AHP. He works on digital humanities and archival science, with a focus on epistemology. At the laboratory he is in charge of the records and coordinates the research axis “Digital Humanities and Heritage Collections.” Additionally, he serves as the scientific head of Cenhtor, the digital humanities platform of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Lorraine. He is also a teaching fellow in the Department of History at Lorraine University and the vice president of the Omeka French-speaking users association.

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