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Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Location: Vienna, Austria
Contact: Michael Kurzmeier (

The Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities & Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH) was founded in 2015 with the express goal to foster the use of digital tools and methods in the humanities. The ACDH-CH pursues a dual agenda of conducting digitally-enabled research and providing technical expertise and support to the research communities in digital humanities both on the national and international level. Conducting numerous outreach activities, it also promotes knowledge sharing and the build-up of social infrastructures.

The centre is coordinating both ESFRI research infrastructure consortia in the humanities (CLARIN and DARIAH) in Austria. It has been involved in numerous national and international projects (e.g., CLS INFRA, SSHOC, ELEXIS, PARTHENOS, dariahTeach, EGI-Engage, CLARIN+, Humanities-at-Scale).

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:

ACDH-CH offers a broad portfolio of services to support the application of digital methods and tools in the humanities. The centre cooperates with researchers and research teams within and outside the Austrian Academy of Sciences on a national and international level. The main service areas of the ACDH-CH currently include:

    • ACDH-CH Helpdesk & Consulting: This service serves as the primary contact point for researchers interested in cooperation with ACDH-CH throughout the whole lifecycle of a research project. It includes preliminary consulting and support in the project proposal stage, evaluation of options and potential benefits concerning the integration of digital tools or methods, suggestions regarding tools or platforms suited for providing the required or desired functionalities, assistance in drafting data management plans, as well as the technical aspects of the project proposal’s, including a feasibility check and the sharing of experiences regarding legal issues.

    • Digitization services: The ACDH-CH offers consultation with regards to digitization planning (timeline, scan parameters, formats, workflows, OCR, preservation) and metadata curation (the ACDH-CH provides an instance of the software Goobi). This service also includes use of premises and equipment at the Digitization Centre (users receive initial consultation and a technical instruction for the use of various scanners and software before utilizing the Digitization Centre).

    • Data model development and support: ACDH-CH offers support in collecting, organizing, and accessing broad range of data types large quantities of data by modelling databases and text encoding, developing custom web-based applicationsforms for editing data, maintaining and publishing of controlled vocabularies via the “ACDH Vocabularies” service, metadata quality assurance, measures for enhancing the interoperability of data, and preparation of digital data for long term archiving in the long-term repository ARCHE (see below).

    • Data application development: The ACDH-CH’s software products are generally specialized digital tools allowing the production, description, visualization, annotation and analysis of a wide range of data types. The team continuously evaluates existing solutions to expand its portfolio of services, but also engages in the customized adaptation of available open-access software or the development of new, bespoke solutions, tailored to the specific data models and needs of the project and users. Our services aim to support all phases of the research process: data import and export, data management and curation, format conversions, data analysis, processing and enrichment (especially NLP processing), indexing and searching, exploration and browsing, online viewing and presentation, interactive visualization of geospatial data on geographic maps (GIS), and data retrieval.

    • Long-term archiving in ARCHE (A Research Centre for the HumanitiEs): The ACDH-CH takes care of long term archiving of data in a certified repository with two backup instances, support in metadata creation, conversion of data to formats suitable for long-term preservation, persistent identifiers for stable referencing, and metadata propagation to large-scale data aggregators, like Europeana or CLARIN, to ensure discoverability and wide-spread dissemination. See


ACDH-CH will welcome applications of ATRIUM fellows from broad spectrum of humanities disciplines (Linguistics, Literature, Musicology, Archaeology) interested in application of digital methods and tools to their respective humanities research, as well as applications of research data scientists or engineers focusing on the topics of semantic interoperability, metadata harmonisation, ontology alignment, conceptual modelling, and resource discovery. ACDH-CH will engage with the fellows and support them to explore and employ the rich and complex ecosystem of services and resources offered in scope of ATRIUM, especially making use of the enhanced interoperability of data and services and newly available workflows, delivered by the project, integrating these in their research practice Reciprocally, such use will provide valuable feedback and practical validation of the ATRIUM portfolio and outcomes.