This is the final eMagazine. After more than five years of interdisciplinary, interinstitutional and international collaboration, the eHumanities group will be closing its doors, metaphorically speaking, at the end of June. The funding for the four Computational Humanities projects is coming to an end. Some of the PhD students are already finished, and they and the postdocs are looking for new challenges.
This final edition of the eMagazine is devoted to reflections on the four projects, the core of our work over the past 5-6 years. Each project team reflects on its successes and challenges. A number of important themes emerge: about interdisciplinary collaboration and how it benefits both sides; about the difficulties of turning promising prototypes into widely accessible tools; about how not everything is digital and the consequences that has for research; and how combining computational, hermeneutic, qualitative and quantitative, innovative and traditional methods and approaches yields surprising results and insights.
During the past years, we have also conducted other research that has contributed to the broader contextualization of digital humanities in the ever-changing scholarly landscape – research about enhanced publications, open access to research data, visualization, collaboration and much more. We have also hosted many events, including our regular ‘New trends in eHumanities’ meetings held on Thursday afternoons (the last one was held on 21 April). These have all contributed to shaping the emergence of the community and the field. When we started, there were much more isolated islands of activity. These have become increasingly joined up in a more easily navigable archipelago, supported by myriad digital humanities centres, courses and infrastructures, including the Netherlands eScience Centre, the national library and many other groups. The success of CLARIAH in terms of substantial funding to build a sustainable infrastructure will certainly help the field to continue to flourish.
Join us at one or more of the events being planned in May and June in order to learn more about each of these great projects, and how they will contribute to the future development of the field in the Netherlands and beyond. On 20 May in Amsterdam (see Events), we will hear more about the legacies of the Computational Humanities projects, and we will launch the Digital Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities in the Netherlands (DASSH.NL), formerly known as CHAT but now including more partners and more diverse disciplinary input. Details on our website, and places still available, but do register soon.
Watch our website in June for final announcements about how we will be archiving our own past, and what we will be doing individually and collectively in the future.
Thank you all for your interest and support over the years. The eHumanities group always aimed at being an innovative network organization, bringing people and ideas together in interesting ways. We could not have done it without all the enthusiasm and hard work of many people – too many to mention here, but ways will be found to acknowledge our colleagues, advisers and supporters in the coming months.
Sally Wyatt, Programme Leader eHumanities group