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Trinity-led International Collaboration to Enable Cutting Edge Research in Medieval and Modern European History Awarded €6.5 million

News feed for Trinity College Dublin.

Jun 11, 2012

An international* project facilitating cutting-edge archival research in medieval and modern European history has been awarded €6.5 million by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme. The project, CENDARI (Collaborative EuropeaN Digital ARchive Infrastructure), is coordinated by Trinity College Dublin and includes collaborative partners in archives, libraries and universities in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Serbia and Netherlands.

The four-year project will provide a unique research platform for accessing and investigating historical data across national and institutional boundaries. CENDARI will incorporate tools and workspaces allowing researchers to engage with geographically dispersed archives via multilingual searches, custom visualisations, shared research and collaboration spaces, as well as personalised virtual environments. Far more than just a technical platform, CENDARI will also invest significantly in understanding and adapting scholarly research practices and building networks.

The project focuses on two pilot areas of research: The First World War, a pan-European conflict which led to the dispersal of archives across national borders, all but preventing the rise of any truly comparative approach to its history, and the medieval era, crucible of modern Europe.  CENDARI will see technical experts join forces with leading historians and archivists to create a widely applicable digital infrastructure of the highest quality.  It will allow scholars unprecedented visibility over primary archival materials, from illuminated medieval gospels to propaganda leaflets dropped over Germany in 1917. It will also offer huge flexibility in the organisation and visualisation of these materials, prompting new research methods and answers to previously unanswered questions. 

By integrating and enhancing a huge variety of data and sources into a central research infrastructure, CENDARI will provide a model that is not only relevant for historical data, but also for other scientific fields, such as biomedical images and environmental data.

Commenting on the significance of the project headed by  Dr Jennifer Edmond of the Trinity Long Room Hub says: “Projects like CENDARI not only push the barriers of what e-infrastructures are able to do, but they also bring new users into the Digital Humanities community. The project will introduce skills necessary to the next generation of young researchers, drawing young people into advanced study of history.  As the data it contains will be easy to adapt for public audiences, CENDARI will also give all citizens a platform to expand their understanding of their place within the European Community.”


*The CENDARI consortium partners:
Trinity College Dublin (lead institution)
Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany)
Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Serbia)
University of Birmingham (UK)
Kings College London (UK) 
Georg August Universitaet Göttingen (Germany)
Czech National Library, Prague (Czeck Republic)
International Society for the Study of Medieval Latin (Italy)
Fondazione Ezio Francheschini (Italy)
University of Stuttgart (Germany)
Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (France)
Consortium of European Research Libraries (UK)
De Koninkljike Bibliotheek - European Library (Netherlands)
University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (Italy)

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| sharon.campbell@tcd.ie | Last updated: June 11, 2012