Cultural Heritage

EMOTIVE - Εmotive virtual cultural experiences through personalized storytelling

EMOTIVE is a Research and Innovation Action funded under H2020–Social Sciences & Humanities Cult-coop 8 Virtual Museums call. It aims to use emotional storytelling to dramatically change how we experience heritage sites. For heritage professionals, the Emotive application will provide a powerful storytelling engine and a set of rich digital media assets that can be used to create detailed characters and narratives featuring archaeological sites or collections of artefacts. For visitors, Emotive will offer dramatic, emotionally engaging stories that can be experienced while at a cultural site or remotely. Wherever visitors are, they can follow characters, look for clues and explore environments alone or with family and friends. The University of Glasgow team brings to EMOTIVE in-depth understanding of the needs of both cultural heritage professionals, as well as diverse visitor groups and end users. It will contribute numerous research, user-centred design and production, and evaluation activities to the project, taking advantage of the real cultural heritage context of The Hunterian’s Antonine Wall display (one of the two UNESCO World Heritage sites used at EMOTIVE case studies) to collect user requirements and evaluate EMOTIVE prototype tools. The other EMOTIVE partners are: EXUS Software Ltd-SME, UK; ATHENA RC-Research Centre, Greece; University of York, UK; INRIA Sophia-Antipolis-Research Centre, France; CNR-Research Centre, Italy; DIGINEXT-Company, France; Noho-SME, Ireland - UoG: €241,891
Funder: EC H2020
Dates: 11/2016-10/2019

Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation

The Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation brings together academics and cultural heritage professionals to investigate the use of digital cultural resources by diverse user groups. Coordinated by Dr Maria Economou, the network examines how digital cultural resources impact learning, research and public engagement within cultural heritage organisations. What is the impact of these resources, and how can this be quantified and recorded in order to help organisations use them to their fullest potential?

The project’s main case study is the re-development of the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, which is due to open in 2016 and will house the collections of Glasgow Life, The Hunterian of the University of Glasgow and the Moving Image Archive of the National Library of Scotland. The network will consider the applicability of digital technologies to the Kelvin Hall project, and also study the characteristics of Glasgow’s wider cultural landscape. By using a variety of methodologies and perspectives drawn from museology, computing science, the digital humanities and the social sciences, the project places Glasgow’s cultural offerings within a wider, international discussion concerning how and why digital cultural resources are used by both cultural heritage organisations and their diverse audiences.

Over the two years of the project, network partners will organise a variety of events including four workshops, a knowledge exchange forum for cultural professionals, an international symposium and a public open day for exploring the digital collections at the newly-opened Kelvin Hall.

Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation

Funder: Royal Society of Edinburgh

Dates: January 2015 – December 2016

Kelvin Hall Open Collections

The redevelopment of the Kelvin Hall is major capital project between Glasgow Museums, The Hunterian (University of Glasgow) and the National Library of Scotland Moving Picture Archive to provide a new cultural hub that includes major collection storage space, public access, research and teaching facilities. As part of this project an online collection system is being developed to provide integrated access across the partners collections. The system utilises the OAI-PMH protocol to automatically harvest data from the partners collections management systems. The development of a map based interface and social media integration will provide additional functionality beyond standard search, sorting and filtering features. From the outset the system will be optimised for mobile devices to support in-situ exploration and engagement with the collections. The system will provide an ongoing open source platform for experimentation in cross-collection access, delivery, UGC, co-curation and visualisation.

Facilitate Open Science Training For European Research (FOSTER)

FOSTER is a coordination initiative that aims to support different stakeholders, especially young researchers, in adopting open access in the context of the European Research Area (ERA) and in complying with the open access policies and rules of participation set out for Horizon 2020 (H2020).


Dates: February 2014-February 2016

Travellers’ Tails project - ‘The Kangaroo and the Moose’ Hunterian exhibition

The Travellers' Tails project is a collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich, The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, The Horniman, The Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby. The project investigates the themes of exploration, art and science inspired by the National Maritime Museum's recent acquisition of the 'Kangaroo' and 'Dingo' paintings by the English painter George Stubbs.The Hunterian created a special exhibition, The Kangaroo and the Moose, with the Kangaroo as its centrepiece when the painting was on loan to The Hunterian between 2 October 2015 and 21 February 2016. The Kangaroo was commissioned from Stubbs by the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, immediately following his part in Captain James Cook’s 'first voyage of discovery' to the Pacific and first landing in Australia (1768–71). The Hunterian positioned the Kangaroo in relation to its own famous paintings of New World  animals by George Stubbs that were commissioned by the Hunterian’s founder Dr William Hunter together with related natural history specimens, artefacts and prints  that commemorate the European discovery of Australia. The exhibition explored key themes such as the representation of nature and early theories of extinction against the backdrop of the scientific and artistic dialogues between the painter George Stubbs and the scientists William Hunter and Joseph Banks. The presentation of the Kangaroo was linked to objects and specimens in the Museum’s permanent displays through a digital trail. Dr Maria Economou co-ordinated the design of the digital trail and the evaluation of student and visitor engagement and exhibition impact. The evaluation research studied the effect of the digital trail on different visitor groups (both onsite and online), visitors’ understanding of the exhibition themes, as well as the effect of student co-curation, co-creation and public engagement activities.

Travellers' Tails project

The Kangaroo & the Moose Digital Trail

Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund

Dates: July 2014 – June 2018

Study of use of online museum catalogues

The project examines how online museum catalogues are accessed and used by end users and studies the profile of different user groups. This builds on previous EU-funded research by Dr Economou which analysed the web access logs of three museums in Greece, the UK and Spain: the Benaki Museum (Athens), the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford), and the Diocesan and Regional Museum of Lleida (Lleida). The current project extended this work by including the case study of The Hunterian online catalogue and the organisation’s move from the old INKA system designed in-house to the new KE-Emu collections management system and its web front-end. It looks at the strategic aims of a university museum and the audience it addresses and investigates if this is reflected in the online use of the digital collections and related resources. This will be compared with the analysis of use of the Kelvin Hall collections portal, which will merge the collections of Glasgow Museums (Glasgow Life) and the Moving Image Archive of the National Library of Scotland and will examine the effect of different institutional contexts (local authority and national cultural organisation), targeted audiences, as well as specific interface design choices are having on the use of digital collections.

Hunterian Collections

As part of the move to The Hunterian’s new storage, study and research facilities at Kelvin Hall in September 2016 a major programme of collection assessment, description, photography and packing. Underpinning this move is the implementation of The Hunteiran's new collections management system using the EMu software system.

Funder: The Hunterian & Information Studies (building on EU Matching Funds (2007-2011) & FP6 Marie Curie EST CHIRON project (2004-08))

Hunterian Collections Page

Dates: May 2015 – ongoing

Digital Humanities

Ingenious (Digital) Impressions

Ingenious (Digital) Impressions provides a platform for emerging new voices in Book History, creating a digital display of the 2015 Hunterian ‘Ingenious Impressions’ exhibition of the University’s incunabula. Funded by the University’s Chancellor’s Fund, the project offers Honours Undergraduate students, Taught Masters Students and early stage PhD candidates the opportunity to engage in original research using the Library’s newly launched Glasgow Incunabula Project and to communicate this research to academic and public audiences. The resulting website and App will ensure the unique collections at Glasgow are properly showcased and advertised to students of the book, researchers of book history, and the general public, and will provide a much-needed point of access to the Glasgow Incunabula Project catalogue which inspired the 2015 exhibition. Thus, this project offers students the opportunity to work with an inimitable collection of material objects, develop their independent research skills, and strengthen their communication and team-working skills. The intention of the project is that working with rare materials will spark interest in under-studied items from the collection and encourage future undergraduate and postgraduate research.
Funder: University of Glasgow Chancellor’s Fund

Europeana Research

Information Studies is included in the Europeana DSI2 to lead the Europeana Research Advisory Board, and to carry out a series of activities to increase research use of content and metadata. This research will have two main outcomes: First, it will provide evidence for the Europeana Content Strategy, identifying both new content that can be made accessible via Europeana and technical and policy approaches to enriching access to this content. Secondly, the research will provide evidence to both the research community and Europeana to demonstrate the value and impact of Europeana for research.

Europeana Research

Funder: European Commission
Dates: May 2016-May 2017

Listening to British Cultures: listeners' responses to music in Britain, c. 1700-2018

Lorna Hughes is co-Investigator in this project, led by the Open University. This project will analyse the listening experience in Britain in the period c.1700-2018, emphasising the written testimony of the impact of music, and developing a new way of studying how and what music communicates, and that it can, when gathered as a mass, inform novel approaches to musicology.

The project will combine empirical research methods effectively with digital research methods. It does not aim merely at gathering 'big data', but sets out to use that data to support a traditional strength of humanities research - close reading of texts to underpin the writing of historical narratives. It builds on the Listening Experience Database (LED) project (2013-15,, which established a methodology for collecting accounts of listening experiences in any period or culture, and a tool, in the form of a Linked Open Data database, for its storage and analysis. The project will benefit museums, libraries and archives - in particular, specific institutions with which the team will be working - by informing understanding of and increasing exposure to their collections. It will develop and document a clear methodology for using digital content in humanities research, including large-scale data sets such as social media archives that are currently difficult to use. It will establish data modelling practices transferable to other projects and create data assets of value to both academics and other users such as the media (for example, rich data about a wide range of music).

Listening and British Cultures

Funder: AHRC
Dates: March 2016-Feb 2019

Living Legacies 1914-18 First World War Enagegment Centre

The Living Legacies 1914-18 Engagement Centre is a hub of knowledge exchange and research coproduction, integrating community researchers within a framework of arts and humanities expertise and scholarship in five key areas of research: Digital technologies and research; performance studies; material cultures and archaeology; migration history; and museum studies, focussing on key FWW commemorative events and anniversaries. The Centre is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) until December 2016.
As Co-Investigator, Lorna Hughes is leading a programme of research on the impact of the digital commemoration of the First World War. The First World War has seen a digital 'big bang', with more digital activity funded through disparate initiatives internationally than any other historical period. This has created a lot of digital resources as well as community engagement, but there has been very little formal analysis of the impact of these digital outputs, and how they are used: where evidence exists, it is often anecdotal. This has also raised a big gap in existing knowledge, which is the impact and sustainability of all the investment in digital outputs related to the commemoration of the First World War. A comprehensive study on the cultural value of the digital commemoration will be completed in 2016.

Living Legacies 1914-18

Funder: AHRC
Dates: January 2014- December 2016.


The European Science Foundation funded the Research Network in Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities (, to look at the practice of digital humanities across Europe, and to understand what researchers need in order to do digitally enabled research in the future. From a detailed programme of methodologically focused activities, a publications programme is now underway. Coordinated by Lorna Hughes (Information Studies), this will develop a series of bublications based on activities organised by the NeDiMAH working groups in key digital humanities methodological areas: Space and Time; Information Visualization; Linked Data and Ontological Methods; Developing Digital Data; Large-Scale Text Collections; Scholarly Digital Editions; and the description and representation of digital humanities methods.


Funder: European Science Foundation
Dates: 2011-2015 (Network); 2015-17 (publication phase).

NeMo: The Nedimah Methods Ontology

The NeDiMAH Methods Ontology (NeMO) is a comprehensive ontological model of scholarly practice in the arts and humanities, developed through the ESF Research Network NeDiMAH. The project is led by the Digital Curation Unit, Athena Research Institute, Greece. NeMO is a CIDOC CRM-compliant ontology which explicitly addresses the interplay of factors of agency (actors and goals), process (activities and methods) and resources (information resources, tools, concepts) manifest in the scholarly process. It builds on the results of extensive empirical studies and modelling of scholarly practices performed by the Digital Curation Unit in projects DARIAH andEHRI. NeMO incorporates existing relevant taxonomies of scholarly methods and tools, such as TaDIRAH, the and Oxford taxonomies of ICT methods, DHCommons, CCC-IULA-UPF and DiRT, through appropriate mappings of the concepts defined therein onto a semantic backbone of NeMO concepts. It thus enables combining documentary elements on scholarly practices of different perspectives and using different vocabularies.

NeMo: The Nedimah Methods Ontology

Funder: European Science Foundation (2011-15)
Dates: Ongoing

Digital Humanities Network Projects

Early Cinema in Scotland

The central aim of this School of Culture and Creative project is to produce a comprehensive account of the early development of cinema in Scotland. Information Studies are developing the underlying databases, including geo-databases, and websites.

Dates: 2012-2015

Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde, K. P. Moritz, digital edition

Funded by:  British Academy Main contact:  Sheila Dickson Start date:  2008 End date:  2008

Runaway Slaves in Britain: bondage, freedom and race in the eighteenth century

Funded by:  Leverhulme Trust Main contact:  Professor Simon Newman Start date:  2015 End date:  2017

Situating Pacific Barkcloth Production in Time and Place

Funded by:  AHRC Main contact:   Frances Lennard Start date:  2016 End date:  2019

The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler: A Catalogue Raisonné

Funded by:  Leverhulme Trust, Lunder Foundation Main contact:  Professor Margaret F. MacDonald Start date:  2014 End date:  2017

Fragments of the Republican Roman Orators

Funded by:  European Research Council (ERC) Main contact:  Professor Catherine Steel Start date:  2012 End date:  2017

Information Management & Analysis

Technology assisted sensitivity reviewing of born-digital records

Governments around the world have encountered serious difficulties with born-digital records, including e-mail and word processed documents.  Large numbers of documents have been created without having security classifications attached to them.  In addition, many records are neither structured nor captured into official systems.  A particular concern is that records containing sensitive personal data or confidential information may become public at a time when this is inappropriate.

Project Partners: The National Archives of the UK, National Archives of Malawi, Prof Iadh Ounis (Computing Science), Dr Craig McDonald (Computing Science) and Dr Alistair Tough (Information Studies).

Funder: EPSRC

Digital Curation Centre

The DCC provides a national focus for research into the preservation and management of digital research data. Most recently we have been building capacity and capability for Research Data management via a series of institutional engagements.


A living lab organised in conjunction with CLEF (2014-16) in which researchers can develop news recommendation algorithms and have them tested by millions of users in real-time.


A task at NTCIR-12 on different methods of retrieval and access of lifelogging data.

New generation's interactive information behavior in information systems with gamification

Funder: Asia Research Center at Nankai University
Project partner: Nankai University, China
Duration: 2 years
Start: January 2016
Funding: 20,000 CNY

New generation and interactive information retrieval system with gamification and beyond

Funder: Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China,Program for Changjiang Youth Scholars
Project partner: Nankai University, China
Duration: 3 years
Start: January 2016
Funding: 300,000 CNY

Research on key technologies of dynamic data models in a big data environment (Translation of Chinese project title)

Funder: Natural Science Foundation of China
Project partner: Northeastern University, China
Start: January 2015