Glasgow Digital Humanities Network Event 2013

Yesterday, took place the DH Day of the Glasgow Digital Humanities Network. As you might have read through the project news section, DEDICATE, which has recently become part of the DH Network of the University of Glasgow, was presented in this occasion among others remarkable initiatives developed in our Atheneum.

Digital Humanities (DH) is an area of investigative activities that despite a decennial development it is still vivaciously debated over its disciplinary boundaries, scopes and methodologies definitions. What does it bring together all these diverse initiatives? Professor Marilyn Deegan, in her talk at this event, proposed as common denominator of these investigations the actual implementation of digital applications to Humanities, the production of digital artefacts. The role of Digital Curation for Digital Humanities is in this terms infrastructural and has been linked by many scholars to the need of Digital Humanists for producing accessible and durable data.

On the other, Digital Curation applications in the field of Digital Humanities go beyond these tasks and actively contribute to the development of Digital Humanities as a discipline.

In particular, Digital Curation activities are supporting the renewal of scholarly communication practices not just through infrastructures to foster data traceability but also providing novels methodologies for the humanities investigations in the digital domain, such as for example the access to digital assets structures or the extraction of significant information, or data, from files. Further, borrowing from Archives, Libraries and Museum studies their methods for Cultural Heritage (CH) interpretation and retention, Digital Curation is also defining a new context of activities for the treatment, dissemination and analysis of Heritage, the Digital Heritage or the born digital Heritage. For example, I would argue that Digital Curation has produced innovative applications disseminating CH while other fields, such as Archaeology, did adapt media and content rhetorics from other communication technologies.

Within DEDICATE, Digital Curation activities are treated as deeply integrated procedures within the data lifecycle aimed at supporting its long-term management, accessibility and reuse, that is allowing a rich and feasible retention of contextual information on data products. This approach to curation does not exclusively implies a consistent management of the digital product for the AEC sector but it is also reflecting the shifting professional roles in this sector and especially the redefinition of the design product in this industry. From this standpoint the curation of Built Environment related digital products is both an academic act of interpretation of the Architecture discipline development and the design of a technical and procedural context to interpretation. This description matches many definitions of the DH scope, from the ones focusing on the digital artefacts production to the ones emphasising the digital methodologies, and offers a good example of how Humanities are redefined by DH studies.

Below is the presentation I offered at this event.

POSTED BY Ruggero Lancia