Tour de CLARIN: The CLARIAH-AT Consortium

Written by Karlheinz Mörth and Walter Scholger

Thanks to the support of the (former) Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Austria was able to become a founding member of the two research infrastructure consortia CLARIN and DARIAH (CLARIN, 2012; DARIAH, 2014). From the very beginning, the two infrastructures have worked together as a single entity, and in recent years, many Austrian Digital Humanities (DH) activities have been coordinated and driven by CLARIAH-AT.

In 2014, the Austrian Academy of Sciences was entrusted by the then Federal Ministry of Science and Research with the coordination of the Austrian DH activities. Karlheinz Mörth (Austrian Academy of Sciences) was appointed as national coordinator of both infrastructures and has held this position since. The national consortium has been managed by its speaker Walter Scholger (University of Graz), who has also been serving as deputy national coordinator since 2019.

The consortium brings together Austrian institutions with relevant expertise in research, development and teaching, aiming to establish and operate sustainable research (data) infrastructures. The involved institutions also play an active role in the development of the DH landscape in Austria and the establishment and expansion of technical and social infrastructures in this area.

Current members of the CLARIAH-AT Consortium are the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), the Austrian National Library (ÖNB), the University for Continuing Education Krems (UWK), the University of Graz (ZIM), the University of Innsbruck, the University of Klagenfurt, the University of Salzburg and the University of Vienna.

Representatives of the CLARIAH AT Consortium and Working Group leads from left to right: Andreas Baumann (University of Vienna), Max Kaiser (Austrian National Library), Anja Grebe (University for Continuing Education Krems), Günter Mühlberger (University of Innsbruck), Karlheinz Mörth (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Walter Scholger (University of Graz) & Vera Maria Charvat (Austrian Academy of Sciences).
The consortium has recently drafted a strategy paper and work programme, the Digital Humanities Austria Strategy 2021+, based on efforts by the consortium and a consultation of the professional Austrian DH community. It defines four guidelines for the development of Digital Humanities in Austria, and serves as a work programme for working groups of the same name:
  • Research infrastructures and networks
  • Research data and repositories
  • Methods, services and tools
  • Education, training and knowledge transfer.

Austria currently operates two CLARIN B-centres: the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Centre for Information Modelling at the University of Graz. Both B-centres run Core Trust Seal certified repositories: ARCHE and GAMS.

Additionally, there are two Austrian K-Centres, one is operated by the Phonogrammarchiv at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, while the CLARIN K-Centre for Terminology Resources and Translation Corpora is based at the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna.

CLARIAH-AT members participate in CLARIN committees, such as the User Involvement Committee, the CLARIN Legal and Ethical Issues Committee, the CLARIN Committee for Standards and Interoperability, and the Standing Committee of CLARIN Technical Centres, Austria also hosts a number of language resources, language corpora, lexical resources and pertinent tools.