CLARIAH, a Dutch consortium of Humanities research institutes, is to receive a grant of 12 million euros from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The grant will fund the development of a digital infrastructure that combines diverse data sets and software tools from various humanities’ disciplines, and to provide user-friendly tools to search through these data sets and make them searchable. New digital tools will enable researchers to explore profound questions of cultural and social change across the disciplines.
CLARIAH will deliver the infrastructure for the paradigm shift now taking place within the humanities. Many researchers see Digital Humanities as the most important development in the profession but, until now, it has not really been possible to get a coherent picture of the increasing amounts of digital data from the separate disciplines.
Consortium coordinator Lex Heerma van Voss (Huygens ING – a research institute of Dutch History and Culture, KNAW): “Digital data has to be collected, processed and stored. That is a great investment. We want it to benefit researchers from all of the various disciplines. Thanks to CLARIAH, historians, linguists and media-researchers will all be able to work more easily with the same data. This will provide new perspectives for the researchers and that could lead to a new insights in the dynamics of human culture.”
The potential societal impact of clariah is expected to be substantial and the business community is also showing interest in the kind of research CLARIAH will facilitate. Computer scientists are good at defining algorithms and humanities scholars are experts in interpreting human messages. Combining these strengths is the next great challenge for information technology.
CLARIAH stands for Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities. CLARIAH provides the Dutch contribution to the European research infrastructures CLARIN and DARIAH.
Three disciplines play a pioneering role in clariah:
- Social economic history: Utrecht University, VU University Amsterdam and International Institute for Social History (KNAW)
- Linguistics: Meertens Institute (KNAW), VU University Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen
- Media studies: University of Amsterdam and the National Institute of Sound and Vision
Besides the organisations named, a large number of other Humanities researchers and organisations will be involved in CLARIAH. For more information go to: clariah.nl