The three papers of the proposed session, “Aspects of
Sustainability in Digital Humanities”, examine the increasingly
important topic of sustainability from the point of view of
three different fi elds of research: library and information
science, cultural heritage management, and linguistics.
Practically all disciplines in science and the humanities
are nowadays confronted with the task of providing data
collections that have a very high degree of sustainability. This
task is not only concerned with the long-term archiving of
digital resources and data collections, but also with aspects
such as, for example, interoperability of resources and
applications, data access, legal issues, fi eld-specifi c theoretical
approaches, and even political interests.
The proposed session has two primary goals. Each of the
three papers will present the most crucial problems that are
relevant for the task of providing sustainability within the given
fi eld or discipline. In addition, each paper will talk about the
types of digital resources and data collections that are in use
within the respective fi eld (for example, annotated corpora
and syntactic treebanks in the fi eld of linguistics). The main
focus, however, lies in working on the distinction between
fi eld-specifi c and universal aspects of sustainability so that the
three fi elds that will be examined – library and information
science, cultural heritage management, linguistics – can be
considered case studies in order to come up with a more
universal and all-encompassing angle on sustainability. Especially
for introductory texts and fi eld – independent best-practice
guidelines on sustainability it is extremely important to have
a solid distinction between universal and fi eld-specifi c aspects.
The same holds true for the integration of sustainability-related
informational units into fi eld-independent markup languages
that have a very broad scope of potential applications, such as
the TEI guidelines published by the Text Encoding Initiative.
Following are short descriptions of the three papers:
The paper “Sustainability in Cultural Heritage Management”
by Øyvind Eide, Christian-Emil Ore, and Jon Holmen discusses
technical and organisational aspects of sustainability with
regard to cultural heritage information curated by institutions
such as, for example, museums. Achieving organisational
sustainability is a task that not only applies to the staff of a
museum but also to education and research institutions, as
well as to national and international bodies responsible for
our common heritage.
Digital Humanities 2008 _____________________________________________________________________________
Vital to the sustainability of collections is information about
the collections themselves, as well as individual items in those
collections. “Sustaining Collection Value: Managing Collection/
Item Metadata Relationships”, by Allen H. Renear, Richard
Urban, Karen Wickett, Carole L. Palmer, and David Dubin,
examines the diffi cult problem of managing collection level
metadata in order to ensure that the context of the items
in a collection is accessible for research and scholarship.
They report on ongoing research and also have preliminary
suggestions for practitioners.
The fi nal paper “Sustainability of Annotated Resources in
Linguistics”, by Georg Rehm, Andreas Witt, Erhard Hinrichs,
and Marga Reis, provides an overview of important aspects of
sustainability with regard to linguistic resources. The authors
demonstrate which of these several aspects can be considered
specifi c for the fi eld of linguistics and which are more general.
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