Digital Sources

We capture, preserve, and provide access


Welcome to the Digital Humanities Lab


University of Basel

We are a technology-based lab in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Basel with more than 20 years of practice in interdisciplinary research. Our roots are in photography, starting in the 1920s, leading us in the early 1980s to digital imaging and the long-term preservation of digital data. Knora, our web-based virtual research environment, aims to bridge the gap between the production of digital sources and their preservation, allowing researchers to work collaboratively with different types of primary and secondary source material.

Digital information lasts forever or five years, whichever comes first | Jeff Rothenburg

More than 20 years of practice in interdisciplinary research

International Image Interoperability Framework

Our goal is to promote and enhance IIIF server technology for archiving. We are about to use the on the fly transcoding for video as well, to be able to offer a full feature media sever, optimized for archival purposes.

Database and Data Modeling

We are RDF experts and have rich knowledge in designing ontologies, performant data base designs, that fulfill the highest needs regarding interoperability and simply maintenance.

Web Graphics Library

We are using WebGL for the visualization of RTI images and photographically gained textures, that can be applied on 3D meshes.

Color Science, Color Management, Color Technology

We have a deep knowledge in color science, color transforms. We are doing research in color vision and high fidelity color renderings.

Storage Architecture

We make use of state-of-the-art technologies for simple, functional and efficient storage solutions. We consult multiple archives and museums.

Analogue and Digital Photography

Our roots are scientific photography and we still take care on that topic. We have rich knowledge in analogue and digital photography, studio techniques, reproduction of artwork and new computational methods.

Can the future Web change the way people work together and advanced knowledge in a small company, a large organisation, a country? | Tim Berners-Lee

Our main team

Prof. Dr. Lukas Rosenthaler

Management Team

+41 (0) 61-207-04-90

lukas.rosenthaler@unibas.ch

Bernoullistrasse 32, 4056 Basel
Room 022 A


My research is focused on the longevity of audio-visual cultural heritage and its use in the digital age. Key aspects are:

  • New tools for the use of digital sources (virtual research environments)
  • Digital archiving and archives (digitization, access, long-term archival, and longevity of digital information)
  • Restoration/reconstruction of visual media, especially moving images

Membership

Dr. Peter Fornaro

Management Team

+41 (0) 61-207-04-87

peter.fornaro@unibas.ch

Bernoullistrasse 32, 4056 Basel
Room 022 B


I studied electrical engineering, physics, photography, and business administration. My research covers modern camera technology, innovative scanning methods like Reflection Transformation Imaging (RTI), colour science, and digital preservation.
In my lectures I teach media technology, colour science, and photography. I am also responsible for scanning projects and for financial and business matters.

Download Curriculum vitae


Membership

When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls! | Ted Grant

Our activities: Research, Lectures and Services

DaSCH

since 2017

Data and Service Center for the Humanities DaSCH

Research data in the humanities needs to be sustainable, and access to digital resources must be possible over a long period. Only if these prerequisites are fulfilled can research data be used as a source for new projects. Reliability is another fundamental requirement so that digital sources can be cited, reused, and quoted. The Data and Service Center for the Humanities, located in Switzerland, aims to help solve this problem. It offers a centralized infrastructure based on flexible and extensible software, modern technologies, and open standards. This makes it straightforward to migrate existing humanities research project databases with limited life spans to a standards-based form for long-term preservation and reuse. We will demonstrate the basic concepts behind this proposed solution and our initial results.

Pilot project (2013-2015): Final Report

Farbenlehre

2018-2021

The reception history of Goethe's "Zur Farbenlehre" in Berlin 1810–1832

The main of the project is to analyse the reception of Goethe’s 1810th work „Zur Farbenlehre“ (About the Theory of Colours) in Berlin in the first decades of the 19th century. Goethe claimed, his work has elicit mostly hostile reactions and got only seldom support. The work vanished soon after his publication, Goethe suggested. Reviews and critical remarks in the scholarly literature support this view.

In contrast, there are cues about the strong influence of Goethe’s work in Berlin over more than two decades. Scholars and scientists admitted in public to his „Farbenlehre“. Institutes were founded to support Goethe’s theory. Lectures were given on Goethe’s theory by L. von Hennings et al. And the painter Raabe travelled to Italy, to popularise Goethe’s „Farbenlehre“. In these processes Goethe was more than a passive spectator. He was actively involved in planning and evaluation of Raabe’s travel or Hennings’s lecture series, a ‚success story‘ of Goethe’s theory.

The project analysis for the first time this history of reception in his contexts. It take aim to unlock and to comment the historical sources and to evaluate systematically the detail of this outstanding historical processes. The results will be published as a monography in print and digital, linked with the sources and background information. The whole of the historical material (documents, transcriptions, comments) will be available online for further research. By doing so, the project will make an important contribution to the research on Goethe, to the history of sciences, the history of the Prussian cultural politics and on the bourgeois society in the first half of 19th century.


entwurf-goethe-wortbild-3
Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749–1832) hat der Nachwelt den Eindruck überliefert, sein 1810 erschienenes Werk „Zur Farbenlehre“ sei vor allem angefeindet worden und bald aus der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung verschwunden. Das bisherige, auf der Auswertung von Rezensionen und von kritischen Erwähnungen in Monographien und in Lexika basierte historische Bild hat diese Auffassung gestützt. In direktem Gegensatz dazu steht die tatsächliche Erfolgsgeschichte seiner „Farbenlehre“ in Berlin, wo das Werk über mehrere Jahrzehnte einen weitreichenden Einfluss auf Wissenschaft, Kunst und Gesellschaft ausgeübt hat.

Im Rahmen des Forschungsprojekts wird der umfangreiche Quellenbestand zur Rezeption von Goethes Farbenlehre – Briefe, Tagebücher und Vorlesungsmanuskripte, aber auch zeitgenössischen Buch- und Zeitschriftenpublikationen – gesammelt, editorisch bearbeitet und ausgewertet. So entsteht ein Überblick über die komplexen Zusammenhänge, die beteiligten Personen und über die Wirksamkeit außerhalb von Berlin, unter Berücksichtigung der Resonanz, die eine solche Förderung seines Werks „Zur Farbenlehre“ bei Goethe und in seinem Kreis hervorrief.

Die in dem Projekt zusammengeführten amtlichen und privaten Quellen werden nicht nur erstmals einen geschlossenen Eindruck des vielgestaltigen Einflusses von Goethes „Farbenlehre“ auf Naturwissenschaften, Philosophie und bildende Kunst vermitteln, sondern ihre Auswertung wird auch ein neues Licht auf die Bedeutung Goethes für die preußische Kulturpolitik im ersten Drittel des 19. Jahrhunderts und auf das gesellschaftliche Leben in Preußens Hauptstadt Berlin werfen. Außerdem leistet das Projekt einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Goethe-Forschung.

Die Ergebnisse des Projekts werden in einer Monographie zusammengefasst, die sowohl gedruckt als auch in elektronischer Form veröffentlicht werden wird. Das gesamte Quellenmaterial – digitalisierte Dokumente, Transkriptionen und Kommentare – wird zudem in einem Online-Rechercheportal zugänglich gemacht und kann so für weitere Forschungsfragen nachgenutzt werden.

Das Projekt ist ein Kooperationsvorhaben des Digital Humanities Labs der Universität Basel, des Instituts für Philosophie, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte der Technischen Universität Berlin und der Niedersächsischen Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen. Es wird vom Schweizerischen Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung und von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft gefördert.

Von der Basler Arbeitsstelle werden die Quellen gesammelt. Ihre Erschließung, Edition und wissenschaftshistorische Auswertung erfolgt in enger Zusammenarbeit durch die Arbeitsstellen in Berlin und Basel. Darüber hinaus konzentriert sich den Kompetenzen entsprechend die Berliner Arbeitsstelle auf die philosophischen und die Basler auf die kunsthistorischen Aspekte des Projekts. Die Göttinger Arbeitsstelle erstellt für das Projekt eine digitale Umgebung für das kollaborative Edieren der Dokumente. Darüber hinaus wird in Göttingen eine Präsentationsumgebung entwickelt, in der die Texte mit den digitalisierten Dokumenten vorgehalten und später online und frei zugänglich recherchierbar sein werden.

NIE — INE

since 2016

Nationale Infrastruktur für Editionen - Infrastructure nationale pour les éditions

Swissuniversities' program "Scientific information: access, processing and safeguarding" is funding a project submitted by the FEE Forum für Edition und Erschliessung for the creation of a "National Infrastructure for Editions" (NIE - INE). The University of Basel and its partners in Berne, Geneva and Zurich, together with the University Library of Basel and the Central Library of Zurich, receive 2.36 million Swiss francs of more than 5.26 million Swiss francs.

Within the scope of the proposed project, a national infrastructure (work and publication platform) is to be created for editions (NIE - INE), which is open to all scientific edition projects in Switzerland. The platform is designed to meet the specific needs of large and complex edition projects and, in particular, to ensure the electronic publication and long-term availability of research data and results in a central area of ​​national humanities research. The NIE - INE will fill the existing gap between the research and the existing and planned offers of the memory institutions. The basis for the new development are recognized and tested instruments of the Digital Humanities.

The development of the NIE - INE is shared by key stakeholders in all affected areas. The overall project is coordinated by the Forum for Edition and Development (FEE) of the University of Basel, which bundles the scientific disciplines and competencies of the entire disciplines and guarantees the overall management. The central partner is the Data- and Service Center for the Humanities (DaSCH). This SAGW company, which is currently operating in pilot operation, will start regular operations in 2017 and will keep the edition platform created in the NIE-INE available in the long term. As a technology provider, the Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab) of the University of Basel ensures the coordination of the technical issues and coordinates the development of NIE - INE with the development of the basic technology used.