Dieter Van Uytvanck, Director of CLARIN ERIC, works on the technical development of the online ‘laboratory’ CLARIAH (Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities). The CLARIAH facility does not exist yet, but will be built based on work already done in the CLARIN and DARIAH projects and on the infrastructure created by them.
Rapid digitisation of massive quantities of formerly analogue sources (text, images and audiovisuals) for research is revolutionising the humanities. CLARIAH aims to offer a ‘Common Lab’ to humanities scholars, from literary researchers to historians and from archaeologists to linguists. This lab gives them access to large collections of digital resources and innovative user-friendly processing tools, thus enabling them to carry out ground-breaking scientific research.
Van Uytvanck is proud that the infrastructure facilitates the daily work of scientists. "We fight a continuous battle against the obsolescence of information. In a digital form we can guarantee that data will be preserved for 50 years. Automated transcription can save the researchers hours of work. Furthermore ICT tools enable analyses, an enormous progress! Even as we speak we are saving time."
This interview was conducted in the context of the Netherlands’ Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities. Read the entire interview here on p.19 of Uncharted Frontiers: the Netherlands' Roadmap for Large-Scale ResResearch Facilities, publication of the Dutch Ministery of Education, Culture and Science (2013), on which this article is based.