The shift to Digital Humanities has brought humanities scholars an unprecedented amount of historical information on the Web. Events, and the associated role of perspectives in event interpretation, take a pivotal role in humanities research. We often ask ourselves whether events and narratives provide context for interpretation of cultural heritage collections. Can event perspectives gathered through crowdsourcing provide the necessary diversity of perspectives on historical events?

Similar to other users of digital data (consumers, content creators, teachers, publishers), scholars are faced with the challenge of how to find, link, and understand massive and diverse collections of historical information on the Web. Here, the theory of interpretation in the humanities sciences called hermeneutics needs to account for the interpretation of information in a digital environment.

This project provides a basis for interpretation support in searching and browsing of heritage objects, where semantic information from existing collections plus open linked data vocabularies are linking collections of objects to the events, people, locations and concepts that are depicted or associated with those objects. An innovative interface allows for browsing this network of data in an intuitive fashion supporting both digital humanities scholars and general audiences in their online explorations.

Image: Frans Francken (II) – Kunst- und Raritätenkammer


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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