Bergen, May 9-10, 1997.
Present at the meeting: Daniel Apollon, Ove Botnevik (secretary), Dino
Buzzetti, Harold Short (host), Koenraad de Smedt (chairman), William Vaughan.
Minutes of the first meeting
The minutes are accepted after correction of minor spelling errors.
Comments on the report and renewal application
The Steering Committee approves the final version of the report and renewal
application, sent in by the coordinator on April 1, 1997, but would like
to see the following added to the project goals:
A decision on the TNP's continuation is expected by the end of June.
to research how institutions are addressing the teaching of new skills
in advanced computing in their humanities disciplines, and how this
development challenges traditional discipline boundaries.
Contacts with other networks
The coordinator reports on two specific contacts with other networks:
The steering committee welcomes these contacts which can lead to concrete
The Steering Committee reflects on what we hope will be achieved after
three years and summarizes important objectives as follows:
In addition to these objectives, the Steering Committee has identified
the following common strategic themes in the planned activities of the
present area committees:
build a framework for collaboration on common European humanities
curricula by doing groundwork and gathering requirements which will need
to be followed up by extended European curricula development initiatives;
find shared new methodologies in the humanities to demonstrate the
common base; set the stage for transforming disciplines based on new methodologies;
adjust boundaries between disciplines and allow the creation of new competence
in Europe based on this innovation;
propose European curricula for new areas of learning which have
not yet consolidated at a national level; create a European framework for
collaboration in which national initiatives and traditional disciplines
may contribute, but are not regarded as given premises.
The EC has invited contributions of ideas for the next programme after
the current three-year SOCRATES programme. The Steering Committee views
the current programme is preparatory and emphasized the importance of a
follow-up in future programmes. These views will be promoted via appropriate
the collection of means to identify, catalogue and make available computational
resources for humanities scholarship (language data, literary archives,
historical sources, art collections, etc.). It is advised to build on national
initiatives for catalogueing (e.g. the Arts
and Humanities Data Service, UK) and try to extend them to a European
an investigation of the problems and possibilities for applying web-based
ODL techniques to humanities education. What does web technology impose
as limitations on the representation of cultural contents? How do traditional
media converge in the new ICT? It is recommended to work by gathering of
experiences and draft recommendations for a common methodology. Each area
should plan an ODL test using student access to advanced digital resources
over the Internet.
Future projects and funding
ACO*HUM is seriously underfinanced by the EC in relation to its goals.
Activities must be supported by a strategy for finding additional funds.
Network partners will therefore be asked to apply for national funds in
order to supplement the budget, and to define subprojects with their own
funding from regional, national and international sources. The following
organizations could possibly be interested partners for cooperation:
The areas should be asked to work out proposals which involve one or more
ACO*HUM partners, the proposals should refer explicitly to the ACO*HUM
network, and the network should be used for educational dissemination.
Software projects can figure in the network activities with respect to
both methodology and content.
CRE (Association of European Universities) will be asked to research management
issues in relation to advanced computing in the humanities.
The COIMBRA group is submitting a project on Eurolitterature to SOCRATES
The VIRTUE project (DG XIII) is developing models for involving students
in textual work
THETA is interested in joint work on ODL and has a special interest in
postgraduate (PhD level) education
The Education and
Training sector of TELEMATICS, INFO-2000 and TEN-TELECOM may offer
opportunities for proposing projects
Working groups, existing
The TNP is not meant to take care of traditional disciplines but of emerging
transversal aspects which cut horizontally across disciplines. This brings
about problems, but, more importantly, also brings new potential. The TNP
attempts to enable this potential by finding connections between disciplines.
The present pilot areas should not be too closely identified with disciplines.
Computational Linguistics and Language Engineering is rather clearly a
subject within linguistic studies, although it has relations with e.g.
cognitive science and textual studies. History and Historical Informatics
is clearly a area in history, with links to e.g. computer science and archaeology.
History of Art and Aesthetic disciplines is mainly focused on the visual
arts, with links to history and archaeology. It is suggested that the area
be renamed to History of Art, Architecture and Design. Textual Scholarship
and Edition Philology includes nearly everything else in the humanities:
all studies of text, sound, multimedia and hypermedia (including such traditional
disciplines as literature, music, theatre, film and cultural studies).
Consequently, Textual Scholarship also provides much of the glue between
the other areas and is partly directed at providing the other groups with
representation for our cultural heritage, by work on text coding, multimedia
techniques, corpus building, etc.
In the light of the above, the current pilot areas are defined by perspectives
taken rather than by the object of study. It is suggested to rename the
areas and their committees to working groups.
Working groups, new
The Steering Committee proposes to create a new working group on methodology.
This group is to identify common methodological approaches. The working
group is not supposed to work separately from the other ones, but should
make sure that all are developing methodological aspects. The working group
on methodology would ideally be promoted by representatives from the other
groups. The involvement of experts on humanities methodology should be
sought. The following possible names are mentioned: Tito Orlandi (Univ.
di Roma la Sapienza, director of CISADU)
Lambert (Leuven, CETRA).
The establishment of this working group should be taken on at the policy
symposium (see below).
In addition to methodology, new working groups for other areas should
be considered, e.g.:
our cultural heritage, how ICT changing our view on it, and what
the consequences are for learning new cross-disciplinary competences. This
working group should devote attention to visual arts, literature, archaeology
and music, a.o., should address unexplored themes, such as
and should involve museums, libraries and archives, to think about virtual
libraries, museums and archives as sources for study. It should consider
questions like, e.g., how the new visual media are transforming text as
a cultural object. (Note that there is a new faculty and courses in Bologna/Ravenna
related to similar themes).
performing arts and film
Planning of the policy symposium, autumn 1997
A policy symposium is planned for the autumn of 1997, from the afternoon
of Friday, October 31, to the evening of Sunday, November 2, with an extension
to Monday, November 3 for a Steering Committee wrapup meeting. The venue
will be decided on later (Daniel proposes Granada and will work on it with
The aim of the policy symposium is to bring the various working groups
and Steering Committee together. On the one hand, an important common theme
will consist of the definition of the various working groups and the establishement
of contacts between them. On the other hand, the symposium should allow
the working groups to have internal meetings. The proposed preliminary
schedule is as follows:
working groups in parallel
reporting to plenary
working groups in parallel
reporting to plenary, conclusion
Wrapup by Steering Committee
Points to be addressed include:
inventorizing computational resources: toward a European agency for digital
resources in the humanities?
software development projects
definition of humanities in different countries
definition of working groups, a.o. working group on methodology
links with other organizations and projects
preparation of the conference
Planning of the conference, spring 1998
An international conference is plannedin the spring of 1998, from the afternoon
of Thursday, April 30 to the evening of Sunday, May 3. The conference will
be held in Bergen at Jusbygget, the new building of the Law faculty.
The services of
can be used to beam the conference to remote sites.
The call for papers will go to partners and invited speakers. Proceedings
will be published. The working groups should suggest themes for sessions
and identify and invite interesting contributors. The Steering Committee
is the programme committee and will meet 2 months before the conference
to put together the final programme.
The cost of 3 days' lodging and meals for 200 participants is estimated
to be in the order of 600.000 NOK (75.000 ECU). Funding for this will be
sought, while the partners could be expected to contribute their travel
costs. The ACO*HUM office will, with assistance from the partners, try
to obtain sustantial funding from relevant sources, possibly including
ISSEI (International Society of the Study of European Ideas)
NFR (Norges Forskningsråd),
part of KUF
KUF (Ministry of Education, Norway)
Companies: Statoil, Telenor, computer companies, publishers
Associations: EAIE, libraries and museums
ACO*HUM "We offer to co-finance this event"
A poster and brochure is being designed. The design will also be transferred
to a new layout for our web pages. The Steering Committee would like to
see a nice graphical logo added to the current design. Comments are given
on the brochure text, with the following audience in mind: practicioners
of disciplines involved, other organizations involved in the content, and
EU and similar organization thinking in terms of management of international
education. Finalization will be left to the coordinator and project office.
Handbook on European studies
It is proposed to plan the production of a Handbook of European studies
on advanced computing in the humanities, to be published on the web
and on paper. A similar volume has been produced for phonetics and speech
communication, with the help of a complementary measure. The Steering Committee
supports this idea and advises to send in an application for a complementary
measure. The work should be prepared in the TNP's second year and materialized
in the third.
It is advised to start by producing a clear format for questionnaires,
then prefill the forms with the results of the current survey and send
them out. The eventual structure of the handbook should not be decided
on before the information has been gathered. The following dimensions should
be considered: institution, discipline, and methodology.
History of art coordination
Although the working group on history of art has done fruitful work, the
coordination is suffering from a lack of time to be spent on ACO*HUM activities.
The Steering Committee asks William Vaughan to contact the working group
members and work out a solution.
International, national and regional associations
The various working groups will be asked to strengthen the relations between
ACO*HUM and professional associations and other organizations, especially
national and regional ones, a.o.:
There is a new association in Italy "Scriptoria Nova" related to textual
The Arts and Humanities Data Service in
the UK (see above), for cooperation on standards for management of data
services, including catalogueing
MDA: museum documentation association
libraries (esp. textual scholarship and edition philology)
museums (esp. history of art)
archives (esp. history and historical informatics)
The next meeting of the Steering Commitee will coincide with the Policy
Symposium; the one after that will be about two months before the conference,
around the end of February.
Koenraad de Smedt