Information Science and the Digital Humanities


ISI 2017 Workshop on the Relationship of Information Science and the Digital Humanities

Photo credits: The header image is kindly provided by Grégoire Jeanneau via

Date: March 15, 2017, 2 – 6 pm
Venue: Berlin School of Library and Information Science
Deadline for position papers: February 16, 2017
Workshop website:

Workshop organizers:

  • Manuel Burghardt (University of Regensburg, Media Informatics Group)
  • Markus Kattenbeck (University of Regensburg, Information Science Group)
  • Vivien Petras (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin School of Library and Information Science)


Digital technology is fundamentally changing the way how we do research (Berry, 2011). For the humanities, digital tools and resources are particularly challenging, as they study complex, highly ambiguous cultural artifacts (e.g. poems, paintings, symphonies) and therefore have a long tradition of using hermeneutic, qualitative methods. However, we are at a tipping point, where many of these cultural artifacts are available in digital form, and thus force the humanities to ask new questions and to apply new, quantitative methods (Jockers, 2013, p. 4). This development has been coined the digital humanities, and has been thriving over the last couple of years. While the digital humanities themselves are discussing about how to define and demarcate this new, interdisciplinary field of study (Berry, 2012; Gold, 2012; Terras, Nyhan, & Vanhoutte, 2013), information science is currently also discussing its relationship to the digital humanities (Balck et al., 2015; Balck, 2016; Burghardt, et al., 2015; Frank, 2016; Gladney, 2012; Hobohm, 2015; Robinson et al., 2015; Sula, 2013; White & Gilbert, 2016).

The goal of the ISI 2017 satellite workshop is to contribute to this ongoing discussion and to negotiate the relation of information science and the digital humanities by bringing together people from both fields. Workshop participants are asked to present concrete examples that highlight similarities and differences, synergies and rivalries between the two fields. On the basis of these examples, which may include personal experiences from research projects, curricula in academia, funding strategies, etc., we will systematically investigate the relation of information science and the digital humanities.


The satellite workshop will be held at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science and will begin after the official closing ceremony of the International Symposium of Information Science (ISI, 2017, on March 15, from 2 – 6 pm.

The workshop may be attended by (1) participants who want to present a specific example for the relation of information science and the digital humanities, and by (2) general participants, who want to join the discussion. This workshop is free of charge (workshop registration via email is required). If you are planning to participate in the workshop, please send an email to Manuel Burghardt ( or Markus Kattenbeck ( until February 16, 2017. The goal of the workshop presentations is to share different examples of projects / case studies / curricula / etc. that are stimulating discussions about the relation of the two fields. Potential topics for short workshop presentations include the following:

  • Relationship of curricula in DH and IS
  • Teaching information literacy for the humanities
  • Digital libraries and research data management for the humanities
  • Information infrastructures and virtual research environments for the humanities
  • Information behavior in the humanities
  • Humanist-computer interaction: Tool science and user interface design

If you are going to present an example in the workshop, please attach a short position paper that summarizes your personal opinion on the relation of information science and the digital humanities (1-2 pages) based on any of the these topics. Participants who have had their position paper accepted by the workshop organizers will have approx. 15 minutes of time to present their topic and position to the other participants. All presentations will be discussed in the workshop to investigate the relationship of information science and the digital humanities. There will also be final discussion to wrap up the overall workshop topic.


  • Balck, S., Büttner, S., Ducks, D., Lehfeld, A.-S., Schneider, E., & Vietze, E. (2015). Mit den Informationswissenschaften von Daten zu Erkenntnissen. In DHd 2015, Graz.
  • Balck, S. (2016). (X)Disziplinarität der Informationswissenschaft. LIBREAS. Library Ideas, 30.
  • Berry, D. M. (2011). The Computational Turn. Thinking About the Digital Humanities.
  • Berry, D. M. (2012). Understanding Digital Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Burghardt, M., Wolff, C., & Womser-Hacker, C. (2015). Informationswissenschaft und Digital Humanities. Information – Wissenschaft & Praxis, 66(5–6), 287–294.
  • Frank, I. (2016). Fortschritt durch Rückschritt — vom Bibliothekskatalog zum Denkwerkzeug. Eine Idee. LIBREAS. Library Ideas, 30.
  • Gladney, H. M. (2012). Long-term digital preservation: A digital humanities topic? Historical Social Research, 37(3), 201–217.
  • Gold, M. K. (2012). Debates in the Digital Humanities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Jockers, M. L. (2013). Macroanalysis. Digital Methods & Literary History. University of Illinois Press.
  • Hobohm, H.-C. (2015). Transdisziplinäre Aspekte der Informationswissenschaften als Kernaufgaben der Informationsberufe. In Informationswissenschaft: Theorie, Methode und Praxis / Sciences de l’information: théorie, méthode et pratique, 4(1).
  • Robinson, L., Priego, E., & Bawden, D. (2015). Library and Information Science and Digital Humanities: Two Disciplines , Joint Future? In C. Pehar, F.; Schlögl, C. & Wolff (Ed.), Re:inventing Information Science in the Networked Society. Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Information Science, ISI 2015 (pp. 44–54). Glückstadt: Verlag Werner Hülsbusch.
  • Sula, C. A. (2013). Digital Humanities and Libraries: A Conceptual Model. Journal of Library Administration, 53(1), 10–26.
  • Terras, M., Nyhan, J., & Vanhoutte, E. (2013). Defining Digital Humanities – A Reader. Farnham (UK): Ashgate Publishing.
  • White, J. W. & Gilbert, H. (2016). Laying the Foundation. Digital Humanities in Academic Libraries. Purdue University Press.

*Photo credits: The header image is kindly provided by Grégoire Jeanneau via

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