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Virtual Research Environment for Historians and Archivists

Collaborative European Digital Archive Infrastructure Goes Online on January 15, 2016

№ 008/2016 from Jan 12, 2016

The virtual research infrastructure that evolved out of the Collaborative European Digital Archive Infrastructure (CENDARI) project to support scholarly research will go online on January 15, 2016. It allows access to existing archives and resources in Europe. In the CENDARI project, which has been funded by the European Commission since 2012, computer scientists and historians are working together to provide users with more far-reaching opportunities for finding and analyzing documents and resources. It will be available for use online as of January 15. Registration is possible with an institutional email account via the webseite of the project.

The research infrastructure consists of several components and can be used by historians and archivists both on site in the archives or in their offices. In the central Note Taking Environment researchers can search sources and with the help of various services can analyze and visualize documents. “More than half a million data records have been merged in the project repository to make sources from throughout Europe searchable,” says Dr. Oliver Janz, the head of the project and a professor of modern history at Freie Universität Berlin. In addition, thematic research guides provide cross-cutting topics from the areas of research in the history of the Middle Ages and World War I and present the sources from a transnational and comparative perspective. Finally, in the archive directory users can write their own archival descriptions or connect to other users Europe-wide within the virtual research environment.

A team of historians headed by Prof. Dr. Oliver Janz has placed special emphasis on so-called "hidden archives" in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, i.e., sources and archives that still have no digital representation. By doing so, historical holdings that could previously only be viewed on location can now be viewed worldwide online. Merging the sources in a repository makes it possible, for example, to track the movement of a military unit from the Western Front of the First World War up to the Baltics. In addition to these manually created archival descriptions, metadata records were taken from international or national aggregators. A new database was created for the field of medieval history.

Further Information


Dr. Jörg Lehmann, CENDARI – Collaborative European Digital Archive Infrastructure, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-71818, Email: joerg.lehmann@fu-berlin.de