On 1 July the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 12 million euros to CLARIAH, a consortium of Humanities research institutes. CLARIAH intends to develop a digital infrastructure that combines diverse data sets and software tools from various humanities’ disciplines. Three disciplines form the vanguard of CLARIAH: linguistics, media studies and socio-economic history. The field of media studies in CLARIAH is represented by UvA Humanities scholars José van Dijck and Julia Noordegraaf and UvA ICT scholars Maarten de Rijke and Cees Snoek, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. For more info: http://www.clariah.nl/en/

CLARIAH stands for Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities. After CLARIAH received an initial grant of 1 million euros in 2012, NWO now awarded the 12 million euros to further develop user-friendly tools to search through various humanties’ data sets and make them usable in research. These innovating digital tools will enable researchers to explore profound questions of cultural and social change across the disciplines.

CLARIAH will thus 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.

ACHI Director Julia Noordegraaf, involved as applicant for the field of Media Studies and project leader of the research project Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities
: ‘A multimedia search engine like TROVE, developed with CLARIAH-seed money and soon to be made available for all humanities scholars in CLARIAH, allows us to simultaneously search radio and television content, tweets and online newspapers and blogs, over time. This provides unprecedented opportunities for discovering trends in the dissemination of information via media platforms, identifying the key players in public debates and assessing the impact of these debates on society. In combination with the data and tools from other disciplines this provides new perspectives for studying the dynamics of human culture.’

Three disciplines play a prominent role in CLARIAH:

  • Social Economic History: Utrecht University, VU University Amsterdam and the International Institute for Social History (KNAW)
  • Linguistics: Meertens Institute (KNAW), VU University Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen

CLARIAH will provide the Dutch contribution to the European data infrastructures CLARIN and DARIAH. Besides the organisations named, a large number of other Humanities researchers and organisations will participate in CLARIAH. For more information, please visit the CLARIAH website.