Digital Humanities at the University of Cologne

The Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH) was founded in 2009 to meet the challenges of digital change and to establish a center that pools expertise in the Digital Humanities (DH) and can serve as a central point of contact for academics at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cologne. In this function, we support project initiation in particular and are also available as a cooperation partner and co-applicant, depending on the respective requirements, in addition to our consulting activities.

Historical side note: In the German-speaking world, similar to the term “humanities computing” in English, this field of study used to have other names, such as historical computer science (“historische Fachinformatik”). In 1997, on the initiative of J├╝rgen Rolshoven, a professorship for Historical-Cultural Information Processing (HKI) was established at the University of Cologne to complement the one for Language Information Processing initiated in the early 1990s, and it was further developed by Manfred Thaller from 2000 onwards. Both professorships are now jointly based at the Institute for Digital Humanities (IDH). The term “eHumanities” should also be seen as historical and indicates the comparatively early founding of the CCeH; when a change of language took place in the international DH community in the 2000s in order to change Humanities Computing to Digital Humanities “eHumanities” was still used synonymously (analogous to “eScience”) for some time in Germany. Today, the term is most likely to be found in institutions and groups that emerged during this phase. Just like the CCeH.

CCeH, IDH and DCH – in simple terms

Sometimes the jungle of abbreviations can be a little confusing. So here is a brief and simple explanation:

The CCeH is the Cologne Center for eHumanities. We are a competence center and as such are primarily involved in the application for and implementation of third-party funded projects.

The IDH is the Institute for Digital Humanities. It is home to the Professorships of Historical-Cultural and Linguistic Information Processing at the University of Cologne.

The DCH is the Data Center for the Humanities. The DCH is the Data Center for the Humanities in Cologne which focuses on consulting with respect to research data management and long-term archival of data.

All of these institutions are part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cologne and therefore work closely together. Cologne’s Digital Humanities have the advantage of being very broadly positioned, being able to look back on a long history and at the same time being able to cover various aspects of research, teaching and other university concerns and needs in a targeted manner.