Managing, preserving and computing with big research data: Annotated, Sustainable Collection Infrastructure (ASCI)- H2020-EINFRA-2014-1

This proposal will enable institutions without permanent digital humanities specialists to create and manage large and complex digital collections through a complete open-source archive ecosystem. Without structured annotation metadata digital collections cannot be searched effectively unless the software has been customised to the collection. The goal is to deliver a complete infrastructure for pan-European collections, thereby solving the sustainability challenges posed by rapidly evolving applications technology.

Interdisciplinarity and a commonality of approaches to the study of modern and contemporary China characterise the work of the consortium:

  • Universitat Heidelberg (UHEI), the lead partner, has developed the Tamboti multi-platform open source facility. Professor Barbara Mittler, whose pioneering work on digital technologies in the humanities set the foundations for making China materials accessible through multimedia resources, will be the Principal Investigator.
  • University of Westminster’s Data Futures Laboratory led by Professor Peter Cornwell, creator of the freizo digital collection migration platform, will be the project coordinator; Professor Harriet Evans’s, Contemporary China Centre, will be an Investigator on the project, with Dr Thierry Delaitre, Computing Infrastructure Director.
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and l’Institut d’Asie Orientale, University of Lyon, which have pioneered GIS annotation of historic film and photography collections, in the ground-breaking Virtual Shanghai project directed by Professor Christian Henriot of CNRS; Dr Gerard Foliot, Infrastructure Manager of TGIR Huma-Num-Lyon Platform, the French ‘big data’ infrastructure for the humanities, will be a lead contributor to this project.
  • bitGilde, the consortium’s commercial partner, develops business models with academic institutions, illustrated by its role in the Meta-Image project which integrates HyperImage within the Prometheus Bildarchiv, Germany’s online art history image database drawn from 80 institution repositories.