Centre for e-Research joins Digital Humanities
Two of the UK’s leading international research centres studying the use of digital technologies in the arts and humanities are to merge.
The Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, Britain’s first such academic department, will join with the Centre for e-Research (CeRch) to create one of Britain’s largest academic units specialising in digital studies.
The move heralds another major step forward in the mission of King’s College London to use new technologies and methods to transform the study of long-standing academic subjects.
The Department of Digital Humanities and CeRch already have strong links and were recognised as one of the leading British centres for research into Library and Information Science in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Their merger to form a single Department in the School of Arts & Humanities at King’s College London will enable them to enhance their groundbreaking research and allow them to extend their teaching activities, which include an innovative Master’s programme in Digital Asset Management and a doctoral programme based on pioneering collaborations with other academic disciplines.
The Centre for e-Research (CeRch) was established at King’s College London in 2008, and drew on the staff and expertise of the executive of the former Arts and Humanities Data Service and the Arts and Humanities Research Council ICT Methods Network. It specialises in the theory and practice of digital libraries and archives, research infrastructures, and in studying the impact of the digital domain on researchers and citizens. CeRch has attracted over £4 million of research income since 2008, and its partners have included The British Library, The Met Office, The National Archives and the National Theatre. Among its current projects is a €7 million EU project on research infrastructures for the study of the Holocaust.
The Department of Digital Humanities has pioneered use in the UK of digital methods in the study of such subjects as Classics, History and Literature. Among the many projects in which the Department is involved are: a database recording the population of Anglo-Saxon England; pioneering attempts to use digital images to analyse the practice of medieval scribes; online editions of the works of the composer Chopin; and a project to promote awareness in Britain of the great traditions of Spanish theatre. The Department runs a number of successful Master’s and doctoral programmes.
The new Head of the Department of Digital Humanities, Professor Andrew Prescott, a former curator in the British Library, commented that: ‘The Department of Digital Humanities and CeRch have been at the forefront of those activities in recent years which have transformed our access to our shared cultural heritage. This merger will enable them to build on their strengths and create exciting new synergies. This is a major new force in digital studies in the UK’.
The Director of CeRch, Sheila Anderson, added that: ‘The merger between the Centre for e-Research and the Department of Digital Humanities will create an academic department dedicated to vibrant and innovative research, learning, and public engagement. We look forward to building on the international reputation of both the digital humanities and e-research at King’s in partnership with the scholarly community, our students and the wider public’.
To mark the merger of the Centre for e-Research with the Department of Digital Humanities and the appointment of Professor Andrew Prescott as Head of the Department of Digital Humanities, a series of events will take place at King’s College London on Wednesday 25 January, culminating in Andrew Prescott's inaugural lecture 'An Electric Current of the Imagination: What the Digital Humanities Are and What They Might Become'.
Professor Andrew Prescott's inaugural lecture 'An Electric Current of the Imagination: What the Digital Humanities Are and What They Might Become'. 25 January 2012.