Advanced methods, workflows and software development approaches in Digital Humanities research

Analysis of hand written materials is by nature intensive and exacting work. Accordingly this topic is a tempting target for the application different digital approaches. Regardless, the joint challenges of unifying the study of multiple scripts, automating classification, and allowing for a workflow that incorporates the indispensable eye of the seasoned palaeographer remain worthy (and elusive) goals.

Beyond the technical hurdles of effective software development there is a minefield of sustainability questions around maintaining the stability, security, availability and continued relevance of any promising digital tool. Engaging and developing a supportive community can help to ease the burden on developers and institutions but the social platforms needed to build these communities require their own maintenance.

On the 4th and 5th of June in London, the French Embassy in the U.K. and King's College London are jointly funding a workshop to bring together domain experts to explore the difficulties surrounding governance, funding, and sustainability. The workshop will be coordinated by King's Digital Lab and discussions will be led by researchers from KCL and PSL, however we will have a broad spectrum of institutions and disciplines represented.

In addition tackling these issues we aim to cement and build upon existing international research relationships in a collaborative spirit. These two focused days will produce new insight into these questions that will be relevant to Research Software Engineering beyond its application in the study of written communucation.

We will share the group's findings in due course.

Confirmed attendees:

  1. Dr Gabriel Bodard (Reader in Digital Classics, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London)

  2. Dr Stewart Brookes (Lyell Fellow in Latin Palaeography, University of Oxford)

  3. Dr Arianna Ciula (Deputy Director and Senior Research Software Analyst, King’s Digital Lab, KCL)

  4. Prof Julia Crick (Professor of Palaeography & Manuscript Studies, KCL)

  5. Neil Jakeman (Senior Research Software Analyst, King’s Digital Lab, KCL)

  6. Ben Kiessling (PhD student, Machine Vision Expert, PSL)

  7. Dr Rory Naismith (Lecturer in Medieval British History, KCL)

  8. Geoffroy Noël (Senior Research Software Engineer, King’s Digital Lab, KCL)

  9. Prof Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (Directeur d’études, Section des Sciences Historiques et Philologiques, EPHE, PSL; Director of the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Oxford)

  10. Francine Peyroux (Research and Higher Education Assistant, Entente Cordiale Administrator, Higher Education, Research and Innovation Department, French Embassy, London)

  11. Prof Charlotte Roueché (Professor Emeritus of Digital Hellenic Studies, Dept of Classics and King’s Digital Lab Academic Affiliate, KCL and member of EPHE Scientific Council)

  12. Prof Marc Smith (Professor of Palaeography, École Nationale des Chartes, PSL; Directeur d’études cumulant, EPHE, PSL)

  13. Dr James Smithies  (Director, King’s Digital Lab, KCL)

  14. Prof Peter Stokes (Directeur d'études en humanités numériques et computationnelles appliquées à l’étude de l’écrit ancien, EPHE, PSL and Visiting Senior Research Fellow, King’s Digital Lab, KCL)

  15. Simona Stoyanova (PhD student, Department of Digital Humanities, KCL)

  16. Dr Alice Taylor (Reader in Medieval History, Department of History, KCL)

  17. Robin Tissot (Developer Analyst, Scripta Project, PSL)

Workshop Coordinator: Pam Mellen (Research Software Project Manager, King’s Digital Lab, King’s College London),