The General Assembly of the DARIAH ERIC recently voted unanimously to accept Bulgaria’s application for full membership in the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities.
“We are delighted to officially welcome Bulgaria as the 18th member state to join DARIAH,” said DARIAH Director Toma Tasovac. “Bulgaria comes with a strong national consortium, a dedicated team of researchers and an ambitious national roadmap. We’re lucky to have them.”
DARIAH’s activities in Bulgaria will be coordinated by CLaDA-BG (CLARIN and DARIAH in Bulgaria), a national e-infrastructure consortium working on resources and technologies for the Bulgarian language and cultural heritage.
“For CLaDA-BG, joining DARIAH is an important step in broadening the frontiers of the cooperation between Bulgarian and European researchers,” said Kiril Simov, the coordinator of CLaDA-BG. “In Bulgaria, language, art and history have been always considered as a unity, and I hope that integrating them within the European framework of languages, art and history will bring strength to our community.”
The national funding for the activities of CLaDA-BG has been secured until 2023 as part of the National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures.
“Bulgaria’s membership in DARIAH will provide us with great opportunities to share our cultural heritage with the world, and to contextualize it with texts and artefacts from other European countries,” said Dimitar Iliev, a classicist and digital epigrapher who will be the National Coordinator of Bulgaria’s contributions to DARIAH. “We want our resources to be mutually linked and open, inviting curiosity and interaction from the users.”
A strong consortium
The core partners in the consortium are the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IICT-BAS), St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia (SU), the Institute for Mathematics and Informatics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IMI-BAS), New Bulgarian University (NBU), Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, and Ontotext (Sirma AI), one of the global leaders in the development of Semantic Web technologies.
As part of its DARIAH activities, ClaDA-BG will also work with a number of Bulgarian content providers, research institutes and cultural heritage organizations in order to support and encourage new research, create and link new collections and datasets, and share the results in the scholarly communities and beyond.
“DARIAH’s mission is to empower research communities with digital methods to create, connect and share knowledge about culture and society,” said Tasovac. “When a new country like Bulgaria joins DARIAH, we all gain new cultural perspectives, increase our potential for collaboration and become stronger champions of the arts and humanities in a technologically evolving knowledge society.”