National Museum of Scotland, overlayed by Green dots

Digital Cultural Heritage

The Digital Cultural Heritage cluster brings together researchers from across the University of Edinburgh who work on analysing, understanding and developing new approaches to the relationships between data, digital and cultural heritage.

Working with a wide range of partners in the gallery, library, archive and museum sector, cluster members are researching tangible and intangible cultural heritage as it relates to digital preservation, sharing and copyright, new audiences, organisational transformation, learning from collections, community engagement, tourism, curatorial practice, text mining, and geographical information systems.

Our research spans both local and global heritage contexts, and draws on a wide range of theoretical perspectives.

Digital Cultural Heritage is led by Dr Jen Ross and Dr Philippa Sheail

Tanja Romankiewicz at field work

News: DCH Cluster Member awarded prestigious Chancellor’s Fellowship

 

Dr Tanja Romankiewicz has been awarded a prestigious 5-year tenure track fellowship focused on innovative research, for her interdisciplinary work in in archaeology and architecture. 

Tanja is interested in how people in the past shaped their world and expressed ideas through things, and researches ancient designs, buildings, and material technologies in long-term perspectives, from prehistory to modern day.  

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Projects

Re-Animating Data Logo

Re-Animating Data: Experiments with People, Places and Archives

Dr Niamh Moore is part of the Reanimating Data project team, working with a set of interviews with young women created in the wake of the aids crisis as part of a social research study conducted in 1988-90: the Women, Risk & AIDS project. Thirty years after the original study, the project team are revisiting and returning data to communities where the research was carried out, experimenting with how these interviews might be used by youth and community groups, students and academics.

hands holding phone

Curious Edinburgh

Curious Edinburgh is a website and mobile phone app which tells stories behind the city's many historic buildings and places.  Showcasing the importance of Edinburgh in the history of science, technology and medicine, it tells a variety of stories about the city,  Edinburgh’s international connections and its vibrant local communities, paying attention to equality, diversity and civic action. Content is sourced from a wide variety of research projects across the University of Edinburgh and community archives, bringing diverse knowledge on Edinburgh together in one space, while making it accessible for students, staff as well as the general public.

a screen shot of handwriting

The Gaelic Handwriting Recognition Project

The Gaelic Handwriting Recognition Project is converting 500k words of traditional narrative documents to digital text and training the first automatic handwriting recogniser for the Gaelic language, using the Transkribus platform. This will provide the foundation for an ambitious future research programme, which will develop novel language technologies for Gaelic and innovative ways of researching traditional narrative through these technologies. Once finalised, the Gaelic handwriting recogniser will be made available worldwide through Transkribus.

Holbein painting: renaissance, two ambassadors stand at a table

Practical applications of IIIF as a building block towards a digital National Collection

This is a ‘foundation’ project for a major AHRC programme - Towards a National Collection. It is exploring the possibilities of the International Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to support the dissemination of born digital and digitised heritage images for research and engagement. It aims to demonstrate the opportunities and benefits that IIIF offers to a wide audience of users, and help to define more robust use cases, as well as understand how IIIF can be used to present a National Collection. 

images of instruments projected on to screens above a piano

Hearing History

Hearing Histories brings the musical past to life, using the archaeological and historical record to reconstruct lost performance spaces and to hear them resounding, once again, with music. Using state-of-the-art Virtual Reality, we have reconstructed both the visuals and acoustics of Linlithgow Palace Chapel and St Cecilia's Hall and situated historical musical performances within them. Virtual performances on VR headsets have been organised in both venues, and the project has resulted in the release of the first commercial classical CD ever to be recorded and produced in VR using our reconstructed Linlithgow Palace Chapel acoustic. 

Towards a National Collection logo with notable works of art

Digital Footprints and Search Pathways: Exploring Access to Online Cultural Heritage

Analysing the digital pathways of visitors to Scottish museums and galleries’ websites during the recent pandemic lockdowns, this project aims to establish what attracts visitors, which pathways lead to engagement (Google Arts and Culture, Art UK etc), and how different stages of the pandemic affected interaction.  The project is one of three Covid-19 Urgency projects that has recently been granted funding by the Towards a National Collection programme.

Reanimating Data

Critical Archives Reading Group

Join us for a monthly discussion of papers, blogs, podcasts, films, or material in other media, related to archival studies, and offering a critical engagement with archives. Texts will particularly draw on feminist, queer, and anti-racist perspectives, as well as the contributions of community archives, independent and other radical archives.

Academics, students, archivists and all those interested in archival practices broadly defined are welcome!

Find out more

Our Areas of Expertise

We explore the complex legal, social, educational and design implications of emerging patterns of access, changing orientations to copyright, methods and ethical implications of attempts to control intellectual property, and the nature of digital openness in the cultural heritage sector.

Marisa Wilson
Interests:
performance
mixed reality
farmers intellectual property rights over seeds

Marisa Wilson

Copyright, intellectual property, access
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: marisa.wilson@ed.ac.uk
Melissa Terras
Interests:
digitisation
heritage science
advanced imaging
workflows
usability studies

Melissa Terras

Copyright, intellectual property, access
Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
Social Media
e: m.terras@ed.ac.uk
Smita Kheria
Interests:
authorship
copyright
creative industries
creative practitioners
online creative communities
ownership
access
intellectual property

Smita Kheria

Copyright, intellectual property, access
Social Media
e: smita.kheria@ed.ac.uk

Digital documentation of cultural heritage is a site of significant innovation and technological change, as scanning technologies and methods become increasingly sophisticated and allow unprecedented forms of analysis of and access to heritage. Our research explores the uses and futures for these emerging technologies.

Kobi Gal
Interests:
artificial intelligence
personalisation
user modeling
education

Kobi Gal

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
e: kgal@inf.ed.ac.uk
Jon Henderson
Interests:
survey
photogrammetry
sonar
3D visualisation

Jon Henderson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: jon.henderson@ed.ac.uk
Rebecca Rotter
Interests:
intangible cultural heritage
heritage transmission
community engagment
forced migration

Rebecca Rotter

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: R.rotter@ed.ac.uk
Tanja Romankiewicz
Interests:
critical heritage studies
building archaeology
virtual reality
reconstructing the past
visual competence

Tanja Romankiewicz

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: T.Romankiewicz@ed.ac.uk
Melissa Terras
Interests:
digitisation
heritage science
advanced imaging
workflows
usability studies

Melissa Terras

Copyright, intellectual property, access
Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
Social Media
e: m.terras@ed.ac.uk
Will Lamb
Interests:
Gaelic
language technology
ethnology
digitisation
historical musicology

Will Lamb

Digital documentation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: w.lamb@ed.ac.uk
Nichola Dobson
Interests:
animation history
archives
education
animation theory
material collections

Nichola Dobson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: n.dobson@ed.ac.uk

Our research in this area explores the implications of the digital in shaping and changing the relationships between tourism and heritage, including navigating preservation of and access to cultural heritage, and the role of tourism in producing heritage.

Tanja Romankiewicz
Interests:
critical heritage studies
building archaeology
virtual reality
reconstructing the past
visual competence

Tanja Romankiewicz

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: T.Romankiewicz@ed.ac.uk
Gina Reddie
Interests:
curating
social media
mobility
everyday aesthetics
digital culture

Gina Fierlafijn Reddie

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: gina.reddie@ed.ac.uk
Jon Henderson
Interests:
survey
photogrammetry
sonar
3D visualisation

Jon Henderson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: jon.henderson@ed.ac.uk
Moa Carlsson
Interests:
urban political geography
urban history
cultural landscape
geospatial data
critical cartography
GIS

Moa Carlsson

Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: Moa.Carlsson@ed.ac.uk
Eleanor Capaldi
Interests:
participation
remix
social media

Eleanor Capaldi (PhD Candidate)

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: eleanor.capaldi@ed.ac.uk
James Loxley
Interests:
digital mapping
literature
early modern
performance

James Loxley

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: James.Loxley@ed.ac.uk
Niki Vermeulen
Interests:
scientific heritage
architecture of science
science in the city
Curious Edinburgh
history of science

Niki Vermeulen

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: niki.vermeulen@ed.ac.uk
Niamh Moore
Interests:
community archiving
participatory archiving
feminist and queer histories and archives
public history/sociology

Niamh Moore

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: niamh.moore@ed.ac.uk
Beatrice Alex
Interests:
text mining
geoparsing
OCR
information extraction

Beatrice Alex

Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: balex@staffmail.ed.ac.uk

We design, develop, investigate and find new uses for geospatial applications and datasets. Geospatial analysis of archives, texts and collections generates new research insights and public engagement opportunities in a wide range of heritage contexts.

Beatrice Alex
Interests:
text mining
geoparsing
OCR
information extraction

Beatrice Alex

Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: balex@staffmail.ed.ac.uk
Daryl Green
Interests:
book history
collections data
medieval
early modern
provenance

Daryl Green

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: daryl.green@ed.ac.uk
Kirsty Lingstadt
Interests:
crowdsourcing
digitisation
collections online

Kirsty Lingstadt

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: Kirsty.Lingstadt@ed.ac.uk
James Loxley
Interests:
digital mapping
literature
early modern
performance

James Loxley

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: James.Loxley@ed.ac.uk
Marisa Wilson
Interests:
performance
mixed reality
farmers intellectual property rights over seeds

Marisa Wilson

Copyright, intellectual property, access
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: marisa.wilson@ed.ac.uk
Jon Henderson
Interests:
survey
photogrammetry
sonar
3D visualisation

Jon Henderson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: jon.henderson@ed.ac.uk
Niki Vermeulen
Interests:
scientific heritage
architecture of science
science in the city
Curious Edinburgh
history of science

Niki Vermeulen

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: niki.vermeulen@ed.ac.uk
Moa Carlsson
Interests:
urban political geography
urban history
cultural landscape
geospatial data
critical cartography
GIS

Moa Carlsson

Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: Moa.Carlsson@ed.ac.uk
Tanja Romankiewicz
Interests:
critical heritage studies
building archaeology
virtual reality
reconstructing the past
visual competence

Tanja Romankiewicz

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: T.Romankiewicz@ed.ac.uk

We research how people engage with digital and digitised cultural heritage; and how digital technologies and tools support new forms of learning, engagement and participation. Our work spans topics and approaches including crowdsourcing, public and participatory history, evaluation and engagement, community archiving and digital education.

Nichola Dobson
Interests:
animation history
archives
education
animation theory
material collections

Nichola Dobson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: n.dobson@ed.ac.uk
Laura Jeffery
Interests:
safeguarding ICH in protracted displacement

Laura Jeffery

Digital engagement, learning and participation
e: laura.jeffery@ed.ac.uk
Jon Henderson
Interests:
survey
photogrammetry
sonar
3D visualisation

Jon Henderson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
e: jon.henderson@ed.ac.uk
Larissa Pschetz
Interests:
design informatics
interaction design
participatory design
interface design

Larissa Pschetz

Digital engagement, learning and participation
e: l.pschetz@ed.ac.uk
Niamh Moore
Interests:
community archiving
participatory archiving
feminist and queer histories and archives
public history/sociology

Niamh Moore

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: niamh.moore@ed.ac.uk
Michael Gallagher
Interests:
digital education
sub-Saharan Africa

Michael Gallagher

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: Michael.S.Gallagher@ed.ac.uk
Claire Sowton
Interests:
cultural value
transformative learning

Claire Sowton

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: claire.sowton@ed.ac.uk
Kirsty Lingstadt
Interests:
crowdsourcing
digitisation
collections online

Kirsty Lingstadt

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: Kirsty.Lingstadt@ed.ac.uk
Anouk Lang
Interests:
machine learning
word embeddings
natural language processing
digital mapping
network analysis

Anouk Lang

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: anouk.lang@ed.ac.uk

We develop and use innovative methods for creating, analysing, searching, digitising, and combining archives and collections, including text mining, geoparsing, image recognition and other forms of knowledge discovery and creative uses of archives and collections as data. These methods help us better understand the past and shed light on present-day issues and questions.

Daryl Green
Interests:
book history
collections data
medieval
early modern
provenance

Daryl Green

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: daryl.green@ed.ac.uk
Philippa Sheail
Interests:
ethnography
organisations
libraries
time studies

Philippa Sheail

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: p.sheail@ed.ac.uk
Beatrice Alex
Interests:
text mining
geoparsing
OCR
information extraction

Beatrice Alex

Geospatial data and heritage
Tourism and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: balex@staffmail.ed.ac.uk
Will Lamb
Interests:
Gaelic
language technology
ethnology
digitisation
historical musicology

Will Lamb

Digital documentation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: w.lamb@ed.ac.uk
Anouk Lang
Interests:
machine learning
word embeddings
natural language processing
digital mapping
network analysis

Anouk Lang

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: anouk.lang@ed.ac.uk
Kirsty Lingstadt
Interests:
crowdsourcing
digitisation
collections online

Kirsty Lingstadt

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
e: Kirsty.Lingstadt@ed.ac.uk
Claire Sowton
Interests:
cultural value
transformative learning

Claire Sowton

Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: claire.sowton@ed.ac.uk
Melissa Terras
Interests:
digitisation
heritage science
advanced imaging
workflows
usability studies

Melissa Terras

Copyright, intellectual property, access
Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Geospatial data and heritage
Working with digital archives and collections
Social Media
e: m.terras@ed.ac.uk
Nichola Dobson
Interests:
animation history
archives
education
animation theory
material collections

Nichola Dobson

Digital documentation
Digital engagement, learning and participation
Working with digital archives and collections
e: n.dobson@ed.ac.uk
green and orange lights

Digital Cultural Heritage Research Network

We work closely with the Digital Cultural Heritage Research Network, whose membership spans both the higher education and GLAM sectors. The network was launched in 2016, and is always open to new members.