The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU) is proud to announce it has renewed a Cooperating Partnership agreement with the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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 20 member states and one observer country, DARIAH has also established a network of cooperating partners in non-member countries.
The University of Exeter opened a Digital Humanities Lab in 2017 with a mission to develop the University’s research and teaching in Digital Humanities (DH). DH activity happens throughout the College of Humanities as well as in other parts of the University, but at its core is a welcoming and exploratory lab facility that offers support, inspiration, education and training for its staff, students and partners.
“Exeter’s renewal as a Cooperating Partner is a real plus for DARIAH,” said Edward Gray, DARIAH Officer for National Coordination. “It continues an already fruitful bilateral relationship and favors communication and exchange on arts and humanities research between Europe and the UK.”
Digital Humanities at Exeter
Digital Humanities at Exeter has a focus on four main thematic areas: 2D & 3D object capture (including photogrammetry and structured light scanning & RTI); text editing, encoding and presentation (including TEI, eXist-DB); geospatial technologies (including GIS, Web Mapping and Linked Geodata); and digital archives and data management. Along with its own research-active staff, it brings together colleagues both within and beyond the College of Humanities, including collaborative projects with the Centre for Intermedia and Creative Technology, and the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI) to apply quantitative and AI-based methods to the interrogation of humanities data. Exeter also contributes to wider discussions about Data Science, AI and Humanities through their participation in the Alan Turing Institute’s Data Science and Humanities special interest group.
Exeter recently set up a Digital Humanities Affiliation Programme that brings in research and teaching expertise from across the College of Humanities and the wider university and encourages the exchange of ideas and cross-fertilisation from different domains. It focuses on bringing DH techniques (and critical responses to them) to a wide range of different subject areas through a programme of seminars and training events, pre- and post-award guidance on funding applications, and consultancy and in-house development work for Humanities research projects. The University also offers a Major in Digital Humanities as part of its Liberal Arts undergraduate degree, with individual modules available to students on other programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
“Building a community is a core part of our identity as a DH Lab,” says Dr Charlotte Tupman, Research Fellow in Digital Humanities at Exeter, “so we are keen to engage with DARIAH Partners to share our own experiences and learn from those of others, not only to benefit our community at Exeter but also to help create new communities of practice and understanding on a much broader scale.”
International collaborations and integration within DARIAH
In addition to bilateral relationships with DH Labs around the world, Exeter has a long history of actively engaging with the international DH organisations, including EADH, ADHO, a prospective UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association, and of course DARIAH. Fostering collaboration with the DARIAH Working Groups, for example, speaks to the interests of the DH team at Exeter and is a first solid plan for Exeter’s integration with DARIAH. In particular, Exeter plans to provide and utilise shared Open Educational Resources across DH curricula through #dariahTeach.
“Cooperating with DARIAH offers us the ideal platform with which to collaborate with our colleagues in the EU”, says Prof. Leif Isaksen, Director of Digital Humanities at Exeter. “As digital technologies in the humanities have matured and diversified, the need to work together to create best-in-class methods that address common challenges is only increasing. We are greatly looking forward to both contributing to, and learning from, our DARIAH Partners over the next four years.”
For more information on the Cooperating Partners membership in DARIAH, their role, tasks and benefits, have a look at our detailed post here.