DH-FORUM sneak peek: What a database can do for a historian of ideas

Relational databases can be a great help to historians focusing on intangible things such as ideas. This is the subject for the conversation in this sneak peek-event by the Digital Humanities Research Network.

Screenshot from the database

About the Event

Databases are getting ever more popular among humanities scholars to collect (meta)data about sources, objects, and persons. Less well-known is that relational databases can also be a great help to historians focusing on intangible things such as ideas.

In this seminar, addressed particularly to historians of ideas but open to anyone interested (students & staff), Raf Van Rooy and Federico Aurora will have a conversation with Van Rooy’s PhD project as their starting point. This project concerned a database gathering documentation about the conceptual pair ‘dialect’ versus ‘language’ in the early modern period and resulted in two monographs.

Photo: the monographs resulting from the database.
The monographs resulting from the database.

Their conversation will be the occasion for discussing basic database practices and concepts. It will focus on the perks and pitfalls of setting up a database for one’s research, and on questions of access and sustainability of the database as a digital resource. They will also present some reflections on what the role of libraries and digital scholarship centers can be in supporting researchers who want to use a database in their work.

Skjermdum av en side fra en database
Screenshot from the database.


The conversation will be moderated by Aino Rinhaug of the Digital Scholarship Center.

Raf Van Rooy is MSCA postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oslo (IFIKK) and is currently working on the contribution of Greek migrants to the history of grammatical knowledge in Renaissance Italy. 

Federico Aurora is subject specialist in Greek, Latin and Linguistics at University of Oslo Library where he is also part of the Digital Research Methods group.


This is a sneak peek of an upcoming series of events organized by the Digital Humanities Research Network. 

Emneord: Databases, History of Ideas, Linguistics, Ancient Greek, Digital Humanities
Publisert 11. apr. 2022 17:00 - Sist endret 15. juni 2022 11:19