Tuesday, July 6, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] digital humanities manifesto


you may be interested in the Digital Humanities Manifesto that is being

the english version is at


it has connections to the Open Observatory Manifesto:


roger malina

here is the text
sign it on line
at http://www.digitalhumanities.cnrs.fr/wikis/tcp/index.php?title=Manifeste

We, professionals or observers of the digital humanities (humanités
numériques) came together in Paris for THATCamp on May 18th and 19th,

Over the course of these two days, we discussed, exchanged, and
collectively reflected upon what the digital humanities are, and tried
to imagine and invent what they could become.

At the close of the camp – which represents but a first step – we
propose to the research communities, and to all those involved in the
creation, publication, valorization or preservation of knowledge, a
manifesto for the digital humanities.
I. Definition

1. Society's digital turn changes and calls into question the
conditions of knowledge production and distribution.

2. For us, the digital humanities concern the totality of the social
sciences and humanities. The digital humanities are not tabula rasa.
On the contrary, they rely on all the paradigms, savoir-faire and
knowledge specific to these disciplines, while mobilizing the tools
and unique perspectives enabled by digital technology.

3. The digital humanities designate a "transdiscipline", embodying all
the methods, systems and heuristic perspectives linked to the digital
within the fields of humanities and the social sciences.
II. Situation

4. We observe:

- that experiments in the digital domain of the social sciences and
humanities have multiplied in the last half century. What have emerged
most recently are centers for digital humanities – which at the moment
are themselves only protoypes or areas of application specific to the
approach of digital humanities;

- that computational and digital approaches have greater technical,
and therefore economic, research constraints; that these constraints
provide an opportunity to foster collaborative work;

- that while a certain number of proven methods exist, they are not
equally known or shared;

- that there are many communities deriving from shared interests in
practices, tools, and various interdisciplinary goals – encoding
textual sources, geographic information systems, lexicometry,
digitization of cultural, scientific and technical heritage, web
cartography, datamining, 3D, oral archives, digital arts and
hypermedia literatures, etc. – and that these communities are
converging to form the field of digital humanities.
III. Declaration

5. We, professionals of the digital humanities, are building a
community of practice that is solidary, open, welcoming and freely

6. We are a community without borders. We are a multilingual and
multidisciplinary community.

7. Our objectives are the advancement of knowledge, the improvement of
research quality in our disciplines, the enrichment of knowledge and
of collective patrimony, in the academic sphere and beyond it.

8. We call for the integration of digital culture in the definition of
the general culture of the twenty-first century.
IV. Guidelines

9. We call for open access to data and metadata, which must be
documented and interoperable, both technically and conceptually.

10. We support the dissemination, exchange and free modification of
methods, code, formats and research findings.

11. We call for the integration of digital humanities education within
social science and humanities curricula. We also wish to see the
creation of diplomas specific to the digital humanities, and the
development of dedicated professional education. Finally, we want such
expertise to be considered in recruitment and career development.

12. We commit to building a collective expertise based upon a common
vocabulary, a collective expertise proceeding from the work of all the
actors involved. This collective expertise is to become a common good.
It is a scientific opportunity, but also an opportunity for
professional insertion in all sectors.

13. We want to help define and propagate best practices, corresponding
to needs identified within or across disciplines, which should derive
and evolve from debate and consensus within the communities concerned.
The fundamental openness of the digital humanities nevertheless
assures a pragmatic approach to protocols and visions, which maintains
the right to coexistence of different and competing methods, to the
benefit of both thought and practice.

14. We call for the creation of scalable digital infrastructures
responding to real needs. These digital infrastructures will be built
iteratively, based upon methods and approaches that prove successful
in research communities.

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