by Camey VanSant
The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU) is proud to announce it has signed a Cooperating Partnership agreement with the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University.
“The Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton is our first non-European Cooperating Partner,” said DARIAH Director Toma Tasovac. “This is an important milestone for DARIAH and a testament to CDH’s expanding international reach.”
DARIAH is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) whose mission is to empower research communities with digital methods to create, connect and share knowledge about culture and society. In addition to having 19 member states and one observer country, DARIAH has also established a network of cooperating partners in non-member countries.
“It’s an honor to be the first U.S. institution invited to partner with an ongoing collaboration of European DH innovators,” said CDH Faculty Director Meredith Martin, noting “the tremendous advances that European DH scholars have made in the field.”
The designation of cooperating partner will allow the CDH to build on its already impressive range of international activities. Recently, the Princeton Slavic Digital Humanities Working Group, supported by the CDH, co-hosted a DH summer program with the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, located in Marburg, Germany, and with other U.S. partners. The Working Group also has ongoing relationships with the DH Center at ITMO University in St. Petersburg and the HSE Centre for Digital Humanities in Moscow.
Moreover, several of the CDH’s research partnerships have important European connections. The Shakespeare and Company Project, which centers on expatriate American Sylvia Beach’s bookshop and lending library in interwar Paris, has seen press coverage in European publications like Le Temps (Switzerland) and El Pais (Spain). Derrida’s Margins illuminates the philosopher’s personal library; the vast majority of the works are in French.
The partnership also provides an opportunity for the CDH to expand its relationship with DARIAH itself. Currently, the CDH is collaborating with DARIAH and Library of Congress LC Labs on the New Languages for NLP: Building Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Humanities project. At the workshop series, to be hosted by the CDH beginning in summer 2021, participants will develop linguistic data and text analysis tools in less resourced languages.
The project, co-led by CDH Associate Director Natalia Ermolaev and Andrew Janco (Digital Scholarship Librarian, Haverford College) recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities.
Ermolaev explained that the workshop series “demonstrates core values shared by the CDH and DARIAH. We see all too well – in both the North American and European contexts – the real risks to research and culture more broadly if language technologies continue to lack diversity.”
“I am very much looking forward to the ‘New Languages for NLP’ workshop series,” said Tasovac. “It’s important to note that the training materials that will come out of it will be hosted and maintained by DARIAH Campus, our open-access platform for educational resources.”
“We would really like to break down disciplinary barriers by helping humanities scholars learn that they can not only benefit from but also contribute to the development of NLP tools,” he said.
Martin said she hopes the new designation as a DARIAH cooperating partner “might open the door to collaborative partnerships that might benefit our graduate student researchers, especially, and help our faculty find collaborators in Europe.”
Added Ermolaev: “We look forward to sharing CDH’s strengths – our experience building large-scale DH projects, our expertise in DH software development and UX design, and our best practices in DH project management and collaborative research – with our European colleagues, and we look forward to learning from them.”