Emily Hanscam & Edward Gray
The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU) is proud to announce it has signed Cooperating Partnership agreements with both Linnaeus University and Uppsala University in Sweden.
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 22 Member states, DARIAH has also established a network of cooperating partners in non-member countries.
“This is a really tremendous achievement,” said Edward Gray, DARIAH’s Officer for National Coordination. “The renewal of Linnaeus and Uppsala, historic Cooperating Partners, under our new framework opens a new chapter in our engagement in Sweden. Alongside their ambitious Huminfra research infrastructure network, we can expect great things from Sweden!”
Linnaeus University (Swedish: Linnéuniversitetet) (LNU) is an international public university in the province of Småland, Sweden, with two campuses located in Växjö and Kalmar. LNU was founded in 2010 by a merger of two former regional universities, and currently has approximately 44,000 enrolled students, of which 2,200 are international and 300 are doctoral students. It has 600 partner universities in more than 80 countries around the world.
Offering over 200 degree programmes and 1500 single-subject courses, the Linnaeus spirit encompasses creating a better future for individuals and the world we share. LNU strives to focus on how curiosity in knowledge creation generates utility through close collaborations, while setting knowledge in motion for a sustainable societal development.
Uppsala University (Swedish: Uppsala universitet) is a public research university in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded in 1477, it is the oldest university in Sweden and the Nordic countries still in operation. Uppsala has an important historical place in Swedish culture and has ranked among the world’s 100 best universities in several international rankings.
The university has nine faculties distributed over three disciplinary domains: Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy, and Science and Technology. As of 2020, it had approximately 52,000 registered students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and 2,200 PhD students.
Advancing the Digital Humanities in Sweden
Both universities are at the forefront of DH in Sweden, developing their specialities in the digital humanities in parallel; they were the first two universities to have joined DARIAH previously as cooperative partners. In 2016, LNU established a Digital Humanities Hub to bring together research and teaching expertise. The Hub aims to create a leading education, development and research regional centre that brings together existing expertise from LNU to address future societal challenges. Similarly, the Centre for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Uppsala University (CDHU) was initiated on the 1st of January 2021, and expands upon the activities of the Forum for Digital Humanities (2015–2017) and the Research network DH Uppsala (2018–2020). LNU and UU have since collaborated on the development of DH teaching and training, for example through the BALADRIA (Baltic-Adriatic Summer School on Digital Humanities), held annually since 2019, teacher exchanges on their two DH Master’s programmes, and writing project proposals. Three prominent examples of the latter are the establishment of Huminfra (with ten other partner organisations), a national graduate school in digital humanities, focusing on PhD education and networking, and WASP HS on AI in archives which hired two PhD students.
In 2017, Linnaeus University established the iInstitute, its local branch of the international iSchools consortium, as a platform for the iField — the information field which turns to transdisciplinary approaches to enrich and facilitate the generation, transfer and curation of data, information and knowledge through the widespread use of technology in order to maximise human potential.
Both LNU and Uppsala are part of Huminfra, Sweden’s national infrastructure supporting digital and experimental research in the Humanities by providing users with a single entry point for finding existing Swedish materials and research tools, as well as developing national method courses. The National Digital Humanities Infrastructure research consortium is led by Humlab at Lund University, other members of the Huminfra consortium include Lund University, Umeå University, University of Gothenburg, National Library of Sweden, The Swedish National Archives, Uppsala University, Swedish School of Library and Information Science, and Halmstad University. Huminfra is funded by the Swedish Research Council Infrastructure Grants. An application to extend this has been sent in February this year and the extended Huminfra is aimed until 2028. One of Huminfra’s aims is to apply for Swedish national membership in DARIAH.
LNU belongs to the international iSchools Organisation, the International Association of Universities, EUniWell, the Baltic University Programme, and many other national and international higher education networks. Uppsala belongs to the Coimbra Group of European universities and to the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities. The Centre for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (CDHU) collaborates with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in a project on digital antisemitism, is home to two ERC projects (Capture and ACTdisease) as well as a COST project on distant reading for European literary history. In July 2020, Uppsala became one of ten European universities in the three-year European pilot project called Enlight, which is part of the prestigious European Universities programme linked to a larger developmental effort within European higher education for 2025. Following a decision by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Uppsala University will also be participating as a leading partner in the consortium that will advance the EU’s new investment in culture and creative industries (KIC EIT).
LNU participated in the Digital Methods Platforms for Arts and Humanities (DiMPAH) project, funded by Erasmus+ for 2020–2023, partners including LNU, and the Universities of Aarhus, Amsterdam, La Rochelle, Cyprus and Porto. DiMPAH built seven new OERs for DariahTeach, these resources are now complete and available on the DARIAH teach platform. LNU is the main organiser of the ‘Digital Humanities in Higher Education’ workshops as part of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries (DHNB) annual conference. March 2023 marked the 6th annual workshop, focusing on higher education in DH, aiming at pedagogical development and related infrastructure building.
Our future in DARIAH
By collaborating with DARIAH, Linnaeus and Uppsala expect new opportunities to develop and to strengthen collaborations between Swedish institutions and European academic and heritage institutions. They are interested in building capacity and sharing expertise internally and externally, via the DARIAH marketplace and other platforms. They hope to link their local research and development work on arts and humanities infrastructures tighter to European platforms for mutual benefit, and as a foundation for a national Swedish DARIAH application. LNU is especially interested in research related to Information Studies and Knowledge Organisation, including LAMs (Libraries, Archives, Museums) as well as Cultural Heritage studies, while Uppsala has a strong interest in AI methods and tools and how these could be utilised and implemented or professionals, also targeting cultural heritage institutions. Both universities are currently working together on a project targeting AI in cultural heritage collections and archives; this could result in a new DARIAH working group.
Through the Huminfra national Swedish infrastructure they already collaborate with The National Swedish Library and the Swedish National Archives; they aim to help facilitate the transfer of these collaborations to DARIAH. Ultimately, the aim is to join DARIAH as a full Swedish national partner. Prof. Koraljka Golub writes, “We look forward to becoming part of DARIAH – the platforms, the networks, the know-how – while sharing, learning, and expanding DH across Europe and beyond. Ultimately, we hope to help do the same for Sweden as a full national member in the near future.”
For more information on the Cooperating Partners membership in DARIAH, their role, tasks and benefits, have a look at our detailed post here.