The 5th DH Benelux Conference took place on 6th-8th June 2018 at the International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference is a platform for the community of interdisciplinary DH researchers to meet, present and discuss their latest research findings and to demonstrate tools and projects. This year PARTHENOS was well represented with no less than one Round Table session, three Short Papers and a Poster. Now that the PARTHENOS’ project is reaching the stage where results are taking shape, it is time to showcase these outcomes. Anticipating on this, the project website has already been redesigned to give easy access to the PARTHENOS Portal and its underlying resources such as the Standardization Survival Kit, the Training Suite and the Hub.
The DH Benelux Conference presented another excellent opportunity to meet with the Digital Humanities community and receive feedback on PARTHENOS’ work. On Friday morning, PARTHENOS kicked off with a Round table session entitled: “Holding the Ladder: How can Research Infrastructures assist in Continual Professional Development?”, chaired by Vicky Garnett and Frank Uiterwaal. The aims of this Round Table were to identify issues and opportunities for universities, Research Infrastructures and other players in the changing humanities research ecosystem to support researchers throughout their career. The speakers for this roundtable were: Anna Ullrich (Transnational Access coordinator for EHRI, Institut für Zeitgeschichte München); Kristen Schuster (a course-provider at King’s College London); Dr. Simon Hengchen (former CENDARI Transnational Access fellow, now working at the Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities), and Daan den Braven (former DH course student). One interesting outcome of the discussion that followed was that, although Research Infrastructures offer fellowships and courses for archivists or cultural heritage specialists as well as for researchers, the first group is not used to this opportunity, although there certainly is an interest in it. This field of work, where organisations often don’t allow an employee the time needed for a fellowship or full-time course, still needs to adapt to the new possibilities. Another question that was raised was when to start introducing Digital Humanities methods to students. In his evaluation, Steven Krauwer (CLARIN) pointed out that digital methods should be part of all Humanities studies, not necessarily as a separate course, and that it is important to create facilities for people who already work in the field. The outcomes of this Round table will inform the ongoing research within PARTHENOS into Transnational Access and DH training in higher education.
In the afternoon the presentation of three Short Papers on different PARTHENOS developments followed, in a session moderated by Max Kemman: Addressing challenges in scientific communication: The PARTHENOS Hub as a DH publication and interaction platform, by Claus Spiecker; Developing the “PARTHENOS eHumanities and eHeritage Webinar Series”: From webinars to online teaching resources, by Ulrike Wuttke; and The Standardization Survival Kit: bringing best practices to research communities in the Humanities, by Marie Puren. All three presentations – focusing respectively on the Hub, the webinars and the SSK – were received well by an interested audience, demonstrating the need for such resources. The fact that PARTHENOS was so well-represented also led to questions about the cohesion between our different forms of project output. Sheena Bassett, the Project Manager, explained that most of the outputs were not originally foreseen in the PARTHENOS proposal but have evolved from the user requirements. Last but not least, the PARTHENOS Policy Wizard was presented during the Poster Session.
With such an international Digital Humanities crowd, DH Benelux proved to be the right place to introduce the PARTHENOS products and receive important feedback. As the last year of the project has started, many resources are approaching their final shape.
All products mentioned above can be accessed via the PARTHENOS Portal on our website.