EHRI Project Midterm Review Recognizes its Impact on Holocaust Research

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As one of the key technological partners in the EU-funded European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) project, we at Ontotext are proud to share the very positive Midterm Review Report on the work we and our partners have been doing.  

The external reviewer of the project, Professor Richard Marciano from the University of Maryland, commended the efforts of all partners in what he describes as “delivering exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact” halfway through a very innovative project, which is being superbly managed and coordinated.

EHRI, now in its second phase running between 2015 and 2019, aims to transform archival research on the Holocaust by integrating the data, services and expertise of existing Holocaust archival institutions on an unprecedented scale. EHRI’s goal is to allow researchers from around the world to have virtual access to the integrated infrastructure, to integrate archival data in a semantic way, and to provide researchers with innovative digital tools and methods to explore and analyze Holocaust sources.

As a key technological partner in EHRI, Ontotext provides advanced text analysis and semantic search. We are also contributing to vocabularies and ontologies, semantic data integration, tools for publishing EAD archival descriptions and interlinking them with LOD datasets to ensure that EHRI is sustainable, scalable, and accessible to anyone interested in Holocaust research.

Halfway through the project, EHRI is achieving its main objectives to integrate information on essential archival collections and institutions into an innovative online portal infrastructure, and to foster collaborative Holocaust research, writes Professor Marciano.

In the working group on Digital Historiography of the Holocaust, Ontotext works on semantic text analysis (semantic enrichment) and researcher tools, using various Digital Historiography approaches. It supplements the human infrastructure, training, networking, and building of the portal and pioneers the integration of historical work with archival and Big Data computing. According to the reviewer, the work in this group has the potential to broaden social network analysis, text analysis and spatial analysis to Big Data in the social science and humanities and speak to sustainable activities.

Ontotext is in the program committee and will participate in the EHRI workshop DSDH-17: Data Sharing, Holocaust Documentation and the Digital Humanities. Best Practices, Benefits, Case Studies, Università Cà Foscari, Venice, 29 -30 June 2017. So, watch for our paper “Semantic Archive Integration for Holocaust Research: the EHRI Research Infrastructure” in the proceedings to appear on CEUR-WS in early July.

Ontotext will also participate in the international LODLAM Summit 2017, Venice, 28-29 June 2017. If you’d like to exchange experiences or have discussions about LOD for cultural heritage and digital humanities, write to us to arrange a meeting.

In his overall assessment of the EHRI project, Professor Marciano observes: “The mid-point project results are significant enough to suggest the exploration of new sustainable ventures beyond 2019.” To ensure that the collaboration can continue after the EC-funded project, EHRI is preparing a submission to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), and Ontotext is approaching the Binational Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria Israel with a similar purpose.

See how Ontotext applies semantic technology to the cultural heritage and digital humanities fields and watch our webinar to learn how to build narratives on your own.

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