Conf/CfP - Digital Encounters with Cultural Heritage, Workshop on Research and Education in Urban History in Urban History in the Age of Digital Libraries 30 March 2017, Germany

Publish Date: Dec 12, 2016

Deadline: Jan 15, 2017

Event Dates: from Mar 30, 2017 12:00 to Mar 31, 2017 12:00

Research and education in urban history in the age of digital libraries Workshop Description

Urban history, drawing on architectural heritage and cultural history, is one of the key areas in digital humanities. Regarding to that research interest, digital libraries play an important role, especially for visual media like photographs, paintings, or drawings, but also for physical and virtual models. Due to the wide field of possible research, different approaches, methods and technologies have emerged – and are still emerging.

For a long time funding priorities for digital cultural heritage in general—and digital supported research on urban history in the EU and in Germany in particular—focused primarily on technological aspects. These included cost minimization, the ease of use of software tools for creating digital 3D reconstructions and specific cases of application. One focus has been on digital research environments for the digital humanities. While DARIAH and CLARIN develop and operate virtual research environments for humanities scholars, especially for text-related research approaches, projects like DC-NET or ERA-NET focus on e-infrastructures for preserving cultural heritage. ARIADNE and associated projects are dedicated to supporting archaeological information management on a European level. Complementing these, the EUROPEANA virtual library and its sub-projects are dedicated digital repositories for digital cultural heritage assets in Europe, which collect and aggregate resources from museums, libraries, and archives.

Regarding the role of digital libraries and repositories as main facilitators, previous funding programs have not sufficiently considered the fact that digitally supported urban history research is conducted and applied in complex socio-technical arrangements. Against this background, a paradigm shift has taken place in funding politics since 2010. Besides a further development of technical infrastructures like research environments and digital repositories, human resources, transnational knowledge exchange and cooperation, social and economic impacts, valorization and dissemination are increasingly important objects of funding. Basically, an evaluation of the FP5-7 research funding programs stated that “foster the dissemination, transfer and take-up of program results” would be seen—in these programs—as an underrepresented issue. The Horizon 2020 work program aims for “an understanding of Europe’s intellectual basis,” the use of “new technologies […] as they enable new and richer interpretations of our common European culture while contributing to sustainable economic growth,” and the development of innovative research infrastructures to foster research, education, and publication of “knowledge-based resources such as collections [or] archives […]” to a European audience.

In this changing context, the question arises as to how research and education of urban history can be supported by digital libraries.

The purpose of the workshop is to concentrate on the area of tension between the fields of culture, technologies and education. We aim to discuss crucial challenges for further research and encourage debate. We would like to invite contributions on theoretical and methodological issues, application scenarios and projects, as well as novel approaches and tools. This includes the following five areas:

Research on architectural and urban cultural heritage

Do computing methods lead to new and ground-breaking research questions, approaches, or insights into architectural and urban cultural heritage research? This general question has been primarily addressed in terms of research contexts, research objects, or phases in the research process. In most cases the use of ICT simply extends non-digital possibilities, without much change to the pre-digital approaches and research questions. Nevertheless, digitalization has dramatically altered research qualities, quantities and workflows. We welcome contributions on:

  • relevant data for architectural and urban history in digital archives and image repositories
  • the effects of the use of digital archives and image repositories on scientific work
  • concepts and projects for networking and cooperation
  • possible scientific questions regarding objects, spaces, content or historical events

Technical access

During the last few years various new technological opportunities have arisen from big data, semantic web technologies, and the exponential growth in data accessible via digital libraries such as EUROPEANA. The immense effort invested in digitization and rapid changes in technologies and formats has greatly increased the importance of sustainability in recent years. Long-term data storage, availability of models and the interoperability of data formats are major challenges to existing digital infrastructures. Moreover, novel approaches as the photogrammetric reconstruction of historical buildings from image databases allow a contextualization and intuitive access to data. We welcome contributions on:

  • requirements for storing and documenting written sources, images and related meta data
  • possibilities for storing digital sources derived from spatial databases
  • 3D databases as a tool to support urban historical research
  • Remote sensing approaches to support contextualization and intuitive access to data
  • Linked and semantic data related to urban historical research
  • difficulties encountered in computational modeling, approaches and possible solutions
  • the influence of knowledge of HCI on the design of historic models


Both research on urban history from the perspective of humanities and the development of supporting digital technologies are attracting attention from art history, digital cultural heritage studies and information sciences. These multidisciplinary settings present various challenges due to the specific requirements of interdisciplinary work, such as common languages, project strategies or critically reflected methods. The widespread impact of digital humanities has created a high demand for research to be put to practical use. The applicable techniques, valid strategies, classifications and quality standards need to be determined. We welcome contributions on:

  • working techniques and new methods arising from digital archives and image repositories
  • cooperation between (art) historians and the technical disciplines
  • methodologies for digitally supported research and education in urban history
  • classifications supporting scientific work

Education in urban history

Education and support by digital libraries still only plays a minor role in scholarly discourses on cultural heritage and in particular urban history. There is still no broad consensus on specific education paradigms or a canon of didactic settings in digitally supported teaching on urban history, and as yet no larger studies have been conducted in this area. We welcome contributions on:

  • educational scenarios for teaching urban history supported by digital methods
  • approaches to employing large scale repositories for educational purposes in cultural history

Organizational perspectives

Regarding the organizational development process, some parallel implications may be seen in the establishment of eLearning which became established as a tool in academic education nearly a decade ago. The use of digital tools to research and educate about urban history is currently a highly application-oriented process. A critically reflective methodological basis is required to anchor digital urban history in academic culture. We welcome contributions which see the “big picture” or focus on specific issues:

  • research institutions, the institutionalization of research and education in urban history supported by digital libraries
  • implications for establishing an academic culture
  • legal frameworks for the use of sources and models


We expect to receive original contributions in one of two formats:

a) FULL PAPER presenting research outcomes (20 pages)
b) PROJECT PAPER presenting research approaches, ongoing research or theoretical perspectives (15 pages)

Please submit an extended abstract of 1500-1700 words in PDF format by January 15, 2016 via the electronic upload submission procedure on the EasyChair website.

Please use the Springer LaTeX2e, Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2007 templates and guidelines for formatting your extended abstract.

Anonymity Guidelines for abstract submission:

  • Remove author and institutional information from the author list on the title page.
  • Remove author information from all paper headers.
  • Remove clues from the main text that would directly identify any of the authors.

All submissions will be peer reviewed for their originality, validity, methodology, writing quality and overall contribution to the research fields of the workshop.

Publication plan

All contributors are invited to submit a full paper to be included into a joint conference proceedings published by an international publisher (further information follows). All contributed full paper will undergo a second double-blind peer review to ensure scientific and formal quality.


January, 15th 2017 – Abstract submission deadline
February 15th 2017 – Acceptance notification to authors
March 30th-31st 2017 – Workshop
June 30th 2017 – Full paper submission deadline
August 30th 2017 – Notification of acceptance for publishing
October 15th 2017 – Submission of camera ready-versions
October 31st 2017 – Notification on acceptance (check by editorial/scientific board in case of mayor amended contributions)
November 15th 2017 – Submission of camera ready-versions
Early 2018 – Edited volume in press (information about publisher follows)


Dr. Kristina Friedrichs (DE) – Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Dr. Sander Münster (DE) – Media Center, TU Dresden
Dr. Florian Niebling (DE) – Human-Computer Interaction, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Dr. Agnieszka Seidel-Grzesinska (PL) – Instytut Historii Sztuki, University Wroclav


Prof. Dr. Andreas Georgopoulos (GR) – President of ICOMOS/ISPRS CIPA
Prof. Dr. Isto Huvila (SWE/FIN) –Information Studies at the Department of Uppsala University
Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Apollonio (IT) – Università di Bologna – Alma mater studiorum
Dr. Marinos Ioannides (CY) – Digital Heritage Research Laboratory, Cyprus University of Technology
Prof. Dr. Thomas Köhler (DE) – Educational Technologies, TU Dresden
Dr. Mieke Pfarr-Harfst (DE) – DDU – Digital Design Unit – Digitales Gestalten, TU Darmstadt
Dr. Piotr Kuroczinski (DE) – Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung, Marburg
Dr. Christina Kamposiori (UK) – Centre for Digital Humanities, Department of Information Studies, University College London
Prof. Dr. Markus Wacker (DE) – Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden

The conference will be held in English. Registration for the workshop will be free of charge.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kristina Friedrichs or Dr. Sander Münster or visit the official event website.
Thank you for your interest in creating a successful workshop.


The workshop will take place in Dresden, Germany, in the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB), which is located close to TU Dresden.
Coming from the center of Dresden by public transport, you can reach the venue by bus no. 61. Traveling by car, the venue is easy accessible by highway A17 and several main roads in Dresden. Parking is available outside the venue.
SLUB is completely wheelchair accessible.


Pullman Hotel single room from 79 € per night
InterCityHotel single room from 79 € per night


1. European Commission, Survey and outcomes of cultural heritage research projects supported in the context of EU environmental research programmes. From 5th to 7th Framework Programme. 2011, Brussels: European Commision.
2. European Commission, HORIZON 2020 WORK PROGRAMME 2014 – 2015. 13. Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies. 2015, Brussels.
3. European Commission, HORIZON 2020 WORK PROGRAMME 2014 – 2015. 4. European research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures). 2015, Brussels.

For more information click "Further official information" link below.

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