The Performing Arts theme aims to stimulate the use of digital data and methods in the faculty’s research and teaching of the history of cinema, music, theatre, and nightlife culture in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.


One focus of the Performing Arts program line has been on building up and expanding structured datasets with locations, performances, works and persons, such as  Cinema Context, OnStage, FELIX, and the  Opera Repertoire database. In 2017, we hosted a conference on European performing arts datasets, bringing together scholars throughout Europe interested in investigating the history of theatre, musical performance and cinema, using structured data. With such datasets, research is being carried out, with local, national and international scopes. Examples of the latter are the collaboration with the AHRC-funded project European Cinema Audiences at Oxford Brookes University, with the FWO infrastructure project CINECOS at Ghent University, and the international workshop on Moviegoing during World War II in collaboration with the NIOD Institute. Create supports Humanities researchers in strengthening and expanding the national and international networks around the datasets we have constructed, so that they are better positioned for research funding applications. Furthermore, CREATE researchers collaborate with heritage institutions, such as UvA’s own Special Collections at the University Library, the National Opera & Ballet, Paradiso, EYE Film Institute, and the Amsterdam City Archives.


A second goal of the Performing Arts program set for the CREATE project in the years ahead, is to stimulate the use of digital data and methods in education, at places in the faculty’s educational programs where working with digital sources and methods has not yet (fully) been implemented. Our aim is to stimulate the organic incorporation of digital sources and methods into existing courses. Developing Digital Humanities teaching would also help to further the first goal, stimulating data-driven and digitally-supported research, through student research internships and thesis projects, and lead to new projects by researchers in Musicology, Theatre Studies, Dutch Historical Literature, Media Studies and History.