Collaboration within digital humanities is led by Kent's Associate Dean of Research & Innovation (Humanities), Professor Catherine Richardson, with Dr Karen Smyth from the University of East Anglia and Dr Michael Tymkiw from the University of Essex.
The three universities of the Eastern ARC have significant expertise in Big Data and digital heritage, particularly in visualisation, geographical information systems and online curation. Our current definition of Digital Heritage embraces that adopted by UNESCO in 2003, but recognises the expansion of the subject over the last 10 years to include the use of digital technologies to ‘protect, document and understand humanity’s shared heritage’. The programme of the 2013 Digital Heritage Conference in Marseilles provides the most recent iteration of the scope of the subject in relation to the Humanities.
Over the last 5 years, the universities of the Eastern ARC have attracted external funding for a range of projects and developed training resources in the area of Digital Heritage. Some of these are listed below:
- The development of new understandings of the past through the visualisation of the urban environment and of domestic space
- The use of expertise in the study of artefacts in conjunction with 3D laser-scanning to enable research, enterprise, and public engagement with research
- The conservation, curation and dissemination of medieval manuscripts, including the development of new research and the enhancement of public engagement with archives
- The curation of film, sound and British Cartoon Archive and the Liddle Collection
- The investigation of memory maps through creative writing
- The development of animated content to present historical research to wider audiences
- National and International doctoral training partnerships
- International masters training programme in Heritage Management in partnership with ICCROM
- The creation of 3D animations for heritage sites through the trading company Virtual Past
- Mixed methods approaches to the intellectual, institutional and social impacts of digitisation of heritage materials
Big Data and the UK Data Service
The University of Essex is the home of the UK Data Service which is both an archive and a skills repository in the use of data for research in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. The following projects and resources are in place across the three institutions for the study of Big Data:
- The provision of guidance on the creation, curation, and dissemination of digital content based on historical sources via the History Data Service – now incorporated within the UK Data Service.
- The use of qualitative and mixed methods approaches to economic and social data via Qualidata (Economic and Social Data Service) which is incorporated within UK Data Service.
- The creation of the Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) dataset to make historic British censuses available to researchers.
- The use of longitudinal data to understand migration, households, and the health and life course.
- The formation of data-sets to research the globalisation of rendition flights and secret detention
- Masters programme in Big Data and Text Analytics.
Kent has developed the following resources for the training of postgraduates in Digital Humanities:
- A dedicated Digital Humanities Forum to support the development of the subject in both Teaching and Research across the Faculty of Humanities.
- The support of a dedicated Centre for Heritage that follows the lead taken by UNESCO in 2003, and developed to ‘protect, document and understand humanity’s shared heritage’.
- The provision of graduate level training in the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) with a view to the further development of new digital methodologies for the study of space.
- An International masters training programme in Heritage Management in partnership with ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) with Digital Heritage embedded within the programme.