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The process of digitising the collection of textual reports on a professional vertical scanner at the Department of Scientific Collections IESA SAS

The Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology at the SAS joins DARIAH as Cooperating Partner

1. 12. 2021 | 387 visits

The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU) is proud to announce it has signed a Cooperating Partnership agreement with the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology (IESA) at the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) in Bratislava, Slovakia.

“This is a really exciting opportunity to welcome our first Slovakian Cooperating Partner,” said Edward Gray, DARIAH’s Officer for National Coordination. “It will allow us to tie the IESA’s research more closely to the European DH sphere, and benefit from their expertise in preservation”. 

DARIAH is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) whose mission is to empower research communities with digital methods to create, connect and share knowledge about culture and society. In addition to having 20 member states and one observer country, DARIAH has also established a network of cooperating partners in non-member countries.

IESA is a leading institution in the field of ethnological and anthropological research in Slovakia. The fields of scientific interest include research on cultural traditions and ways of life in rural and urban environments, collective identities, holocaust and Romani studies, ageism, migration, conspiracy theories, religion in the late modern period and cultural heritage. 

IESA includes the Department of Scientific Collections that conducts research on digital archiving and digital curation with a focus on ethnographic collections originating in Slovakia and Central Europe (e.g. fairy tales, paremias, slovak ethnographic atlas, photographs, drawings and folk songs). IESA was the co-founder of the project Preservation and Enhancement of Folk Culture Heritage in Central Europe (ETNOFOLK), which extends the digital infrastructure of IESA by image database consisting of 118.000 items. IESA also co-participated in the project aimed at creating an electronic encyclopedia of Slovak traditional folk culture (1.813 entries). At present, special attention is paid to the project of creating a digital online archive of textual reports from ethnographic and anthropological field research systematically conducted by IESA staff since 1953.

“We are especially pleased with the cooperation with DARIAH-EU in terms of further developing and strengthening the young Slovak DH scene. It will be very useful for us to become part of this open and dynamic international community,” said Dr. Andrej Gogora, Head of Department of Scientific Collections at IESA.

Part of IESA’s plans for integrating within DARIAH is the collaboration with the DARIAH Working Groups and, in particular, the Sustainable publishing of (meta)data Working Group. The issues of digital archives policies, sustainable data and metadata publishing would perfectly fit the above mentioned expertise. IESA would be also looking into adding learning material and tutorials related to digital archiving and curation of very diverse ethnographic archival collections to the DARIAH-Campus discovery framework and hosting platform. 

“We would be interested to join state-of-the-art knowledge and technology exchange mainly in the field of digital archiving and curation. Any hands-on expertise and guidelines in the practices that are most problematic for IESA digital archival activities would be very beneficial for meeting our goals” said Andrej Gogora.

IESA has the ambition to be a leading institution for organizing future activities in DARIAH-EU in Slovakia and to promote the exchanges between researchers in Central Europe (as a part of the DARIAH Central European Hub).

On a national level, digital humanities are still in early development in Slovakia. IESA expects that the cooperation with DARIAH-EU will help to consolidate the community of digital scholars and make it stronger and more visible in the near future, opening up collaborations with the international DH community as well. This may be grounding work for forming a national consortium and applying for the full DARIAH Membership in the future.

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