Research Projects

Research at the Department of German Studies – Computer Philology and Medieval Studies

On this page, the department presents its current and completed research projects.

Current Projects

Project (short) Description

The two established research infrastructures CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE have joined forces to contribute to a joint research data infrastructure for the humanities in Germany.

During the project period, the cooperation – which was successfully established over the last few years – is to be developed further to ensure that a national research data infrastructure for the humanities, consisting of common technical components and approved procedures, can be offered as of 2021.

Funding: BMBF

Associated partners: Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Göttingen, Hamburg Center for Language Corpora, Institute for German Language Mannheim, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg / Faculty of Business Informatics and Applied Computer Science, Göttingen State and University Library, Darmstadt University of Technology / Institute of Linguistics and Literature, University of Leipzig, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg / Department of German Philology / Department of Computational Philology and Modern German Literature History.

Project (short) description

In contrast to the predominantly chiseled hieroglyphics, the italic manuscripts represent the actual writing of Ancient Egypt – written on papyrus, linen, leather, wood, ceramics, plaster or stone, using wicker stems and black and red ink. The hieratic script was used for Egypt’s different language levels for 3,000 years, before it was in some areas replaced by the demotic script in the middle of the 1st millennium BC. The so-called cursive hieroglyphs are a handwritten form-oriented implementation of individual hieroglyphics. The exploration of both fonts and the differences between hieroglyphics and the demotic script is still a desideratum of Egyptology and Codicology. The academy project aims to create a digital palaeography – in order to preserve the script for a variety of search options as well as for cooperations with international experts – to presenting it online, and to provide extensive metadata on all relevant sources. Further, partial or special palaeographies are being made available as download files or book publications. On the other hand, there are systematic research projects on cursive scripts, focusing on origins and development, functional areas, regionality, and datability. Other relevant questions are, for example, the economics and materiality of writing, the layout of manuscripts, or the identification of individual handwriting. While modules on information technology are rooted in the field of digital humanities, there are also internships focusing on writing and copying hieratic texts, and on didactics in the field of Egyptology.

Funding:

Union der Deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften

Partners:

Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz – Egyptology, Academy of Sciences and Literature – Mainz, TU Darmstadt – Institute of Linguistics and Literature

Project (short) description

In the course of the project, the most common (German and foreign language) surnames in Germany are interpreted, from a language-historical perspective, and listed in a digital dictionary of names. This surname-dictionary also contains onomastic information and is available to the interested public at (http://www.namenforschung.net/dfd/woerterbuch/liste/).

Funding

Mainz Academy of Sciences and Literature

Corporate partners

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, TU Darmstadt

Duration

2012 – 2035

Project (short) description

The guest project aims at the development of methods and software for the automatic measurement, documentation, and visual analysis of design features on handwriting or book pages. Together with selected subprojects, properties of (units in) books are identified which are used for the analysis of movements and their modes, i.e. transfers and, thus, de- and recontextualizations of knowledge (in books and corpora) that is relevant and can be automated in the context of image processing. The results will be seamlessly integrated into the data infrastructure of the SFB 980.

Funding

German Research Foundation

Partner

Freie Universität Berlin

Duration

2016 – 2018

Project (short) description

The innovation objective of the project is the analysis and validation of the potentials of different forms of usage of virtual research environments in the humanities. By means of a process analysis of joint work in a specific field of research in the humanities (using digital research applications), novel applications and methods of collaboration are identified, and steps regarding their further development are identified. To this end, 19 international research groups will be introduced to the various digital tools and contents, and their usage practices and research processes within the virtual research environment are examined. The results of the study serve as reference models for the implementation and design of virtual scientific research projects as well as for best practice recommendations for the structural and procedural linking of technical, methodological, and content-related working levels.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Partners

JGU Mainz, University of Mainz, TU Darmstadt

Duration

2017 – 2020

Project description

Since 2006, TextGrid has been developed within the framework of a joint project consisting of ten institutional and university partners, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) until June 2015 (grant number: 01UG1203A). In 2016, TextGrid became part of the DARIAH-DE research infrastructure.

As part of the project, a virtual research environment for the humanities was developed. Key pillars include the TextGrid Laboratory, which provides open source tools and services, a repository for the long-term preservation of research data, and community-wide support services.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Partner

DARIAH-DE

Duration

2006-2015 (since 2016 part of DARIAH-DE)

Project description

This project aims at establishing a generic metadata management system for scientific data, based on an application-oriented metadata description. The implementation is accompanied by users from different/heterogeneous fields of application. Darmstadt and Mainz are jointly responsible for managing the use case of the humanities.

Funding

German Research Foundation

Associated partners

TU Dresden – ZIH, KIT – Institute for Data Processing and Electronics, Leibniz Institute of Ecolocical Urban and Regional Development – Monitoring of Settlement and Open Space Development, RWTH Aachen – Akademie der Wissenschaften und der | Literatur Mainz – Digitale Akademie, TU Darmstadt – Digital Academy, TU Darmstadt – Institute of Linguistics and Literature

Duration

2015 – 2017

Project description

DARIAH-DE is a research infrastructure project of the ESFRI Roadmap which aims to support and expand the use of digital methods in the humanities under the European project DARIAH-EU. The 17 academic partners started working on the project on March 1, 2011.

DARIAH-DE supports and enhances the use of digital methods in the humanities. Together with successful initiatives in the field of the digital humanities in Germany

• DARIAH-DE furthers the establishment of virtual research environments in the humanities by providing advice, by connecting previously separate activities, and by technical infrastructure.

• DARIAH-DE also uses and connects existing interdisciplinary and cross-cutting digital resources, services, and insights.

• DARIAH-DE aims to establish and investigate a decentralized technical infrastructure to implement and apply specific methods of the humanities.

This goal not only involve technical tasks, but also local and international activities. It is mainly designed for the long term.

At the TU Darmstadt, apart from the Institute of Linguistics and Literary Studies, the Institute of Philosophy (Prof. Petra Gehring) and the UKP Lab (Prof. Iryna Gurevych) are involved.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Duration

2011 – 2019

Past Projects

Project Description

ePoetics aims to further develop the eHumanities by testing current information technology methods on key texts of the humanities, on poetics and aesthetics from 1770 to 1960. As a project partner, TU Darmstadt is particularly interested in creating added value with regard to new insights in the field of development methods and metadata while fleshing out this special corpus – also with regard to technological language analysis/processing and a targeted visualization process. In addition, the open design of the corpus and its publication in virtual research environments and infrastructures allows the body of text to be extended, and to involve the science community in the research work on and with the texts and metadata, which in turn will lead to new scientific results.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Partner

Computer Science / Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems and Computational Linguistics / Institute of Machine Language Processing, University of Stuttgart, Department of Linguistics and Literature of the Technical University of Darmstadt

Duration

2013 – 2016

Project Description

Digital methods and contents can be both means and (research) subject of Didactics. However, the diverse, far-reaching, and profound practices of digitally-based research and scientific work established in the Digital Humanities (DH) are no longer covered by the concepts of media didactics and e-learning alone. Therefore, the project aims at developing and testing new concepts of digitality in subject-related didactics. The project results will be documented in an online manual, and they will be incorporated in a specific module “Digitalität als Praxis in den Geisteswissenschaften”, which will be offered in all teacher training programs and beyond.

Funding

TU Darmstadt

Duration

2016 – 2018 (paused due to parental leave)

Project description

The projectdraws on the pool of about 500 medieval manuscripts from the Benedictine abbey of St. Matthias in Trier. The goal is to develop, test, and optimize new algorithms that automatically detect the macro- and microstructural elements of a manuscript page, adding the information into the metadata of each image. Examples are (metric) data such as page size, number of lines, labels, registers, parse texts, marginalia, the relationship between image and text, and many more. Furthermore, methods for the statistical evaluation of this metadata are developed and tested.

Partners

Institute for Process Data Processing and Electronics / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT, Competence Center for Electronic Dissemination and Publication Methods in the Humanities at the University of Trier, Municipal Library and City Archive Trier

Duration

2013 – 2016

Project description

As a project in the 3rd D-Grid Call, WissGrid focuses on the sustainable establishment of organizational and technical structures for the academic field in the scope of D-Grid. WissGrid unites the heterogeneous requirements from various scientific disciplines in order to develop conceptual foundations for the sustainable implementation of grid infrastructure and IT-technical solutions. In this context, the project aims to further scientific collaborations in the grid, lowering the entry threshold for new community grids.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Alliance partners

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, German Electron Synchrotron (DESY), German Climate Computing Centre (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, DKRZ), Institute for German Language, Institute for Information Systems, Leibniz University Hannover, Competence Center for Electronic Dissemination and Publication Methods in the Humanities at the University of Trier (later Technical University of Darmstadt), Konrad Zuse Center for Information Technology Berlin, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, Lower Saxony State and University Library Göttingen, Technical University of Dortmund, Technical University of Munich, University of Stuttgart, University Hospital Göttingen / Department of Medical Computer Science, Center for Astronomy

Duration

2009 – 2012

Project description

Information and knowledge can be coded by grouping individual characters according to certain rules, and there are basic structural similarities between genome codes and linguistic code – as well as between biological development and language development (see keywords such as “ABC of Humanity”, “Book of Life”, “Language Family”). ). Another key feature in addition to the aspect of development and, thus, “historicity” is the variety (or variance) of the phenomenon. A more sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms and rules of evolution and variance enables new and more accurate methods of obtaining information, as well as the storage, processing, and evaluation of the data obtained. TU Darmstadt is responsible for the consortium management of this project.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Associated partners

TU Darmstadt, University of Würzburg, Institute for German Language Mannheim, Competence Center for Electronic Dissemination and Publication Methods in the Humanities at the University of Trier (later TU Darmstadt)

Duration

2009 – 2012

Project description

The digitization project Virtual Scriptorium St. Matthias presents the remaining collection of manuscripts from the medieval library of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Matthias in Trier – consisting of approximately 500 codes that are kept in 25 locations all over the world. The majority of about 450 manuscripts are still in Trier today. In addition to the 434 codes held by the City Library Trier and the library of the episcopal seminary, there are also other manuscripts in the archive of the Diocese Trier and in the library of the monastery St. Matthias. The cultural assets were digitized and made accessible to the public, and it has become much easier to use them for scientific research. The works presented here are valuable for different disciplines. The subjects are classical Philology, German Studies, History, Art History, Theology, Medicine and Legal History. The purpose of such a reconstructed library is to preserve the spiritual profile of an important educational center and its development, and to provide novel insights into the conditions of production and reception of its assets.

Funding

German Research Foundation

Duration

2010 – 2014

Partners

University of Trier, TU Darmstadt, Stadtbibliothek (City Library) Trier