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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday February 14, 2013

Updated on Monday July 30, 2018

portrait of Joris Pekel

Joris Pekel

Former Community Coordinator Cultural Heritage , Europeana Foundation

Open Humanities Awards - enter now

The Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Humanities Awards are open! Joris Pekel tells us more...

This week the Open Knowledge Foundation launches the first ever Open Humanities Awards as part of the Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana project. There are €15,000 worth of prizes on offer for 3-5 projects that use open content, open data or open source tools to further humanities teaching and research. Whether you’re interested in patterns of allusion in Aristotle, networks of correspondence in the Jewish Enlightenment or digitising public domain editions of Dante, we’d love to hear about the kinds of open projects that could support your interest!

Humanities research is based on the interpretation and analysis of a wide variety of cultural artefacts including texts, images and audiovisual material. Much of this material is now freely and openly available on the internet enabling people to discover, connect and contextualise cultural artefacts in ways that previously proved very difficult.

We want to make the most of this new opportunity by encouraging budding developers and humanities researchers to collaborate and start new projects that use this open content and data, paving the way for a vibrant cultural and research commons to emerge.

Who can apply?

The Awards are open to any citizen of the EU.

Who is judging the Awards?

The Awards will be judged by a stellar cast of leading digital humanists:


What do we want to see?

The Mapping the Republic of Letters project is a great example of what is possible with humanities data.

We are challenging humanities researchers, designers and developers to create innovative projects using open content, open data or open source to further teaching or research in the humanities.

For example you might want to:

  • Start a project to collaboratively transcribe, annotate, or translate public domain texts
  • Explore patterns of citation, allusion and influence using bibliographic metadata or textmining
  • Analyse and/or visually represent complex networks or hidden patterns in collections of texts
  • Use computational tools to generate new insights into collections of public domain images, audio or texts


You could start a project from scratch or build on an existing project. For inspiration you can have a look at the open-source tools the Open Knowledge Foundation has developed for use with cultural resources.

As long as your project involves open content, open data or open source tools and makes a contribution to humanities research, the choice is yours!

Who is behind the awards?

The Awards are being coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation and are part of the DM2E project. They are also supported by the Digital Humanities Quarterly.

How to apply

Applications are open now! Go to to apply. The application deadline is 12th March 2013, so get going and good luck!

More information

For more information on the Awards including the rules and ideas for open data sets and tools to use, visit