Maynooth University to coordinate European project to develop Digital Humanities curriculum – Maynooth University will serve as the coordinating institution for a new initiative to build European expertise in digital arts and humanities. The project has received €300,000 funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, which aims to build skills and employability of Europe’s citizens.


Digital Humanities is a fast-growing field that brings innovative and cutting edge information and communication technologies (ICT) methods to the humanities. It is interdisciplinary in nature, spanning not only the various fields in the humanities, but computer science, engineering, information studies, design and the social sciences.


Along with a consortium of six other universities across Europe, researchers at Maynooth, led by Professor Susan Schreibman and by project partners in Denmark, Greece, Austria, Serbia, the Netherlands and Switzerland, will develop an open-source, multilingual reference curriculum for the digital arts and humanities.


The award will foster innovative teaching and learning practices as part of the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. Specifically, this award will create a reference curriculum for Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-RC).


Welcoming the award, Maynooth University Vice-President for Research, Professor Bernard Mahon, said, “This award is of strategic importance for Ireland. It links our great creative strengths from the arts community with our expertise in digital infrastructures. By building the research platform and curriculum we are setting the standards for how Europe will open and share its heritage. This award will develop the skills needed to serve a vibrant and rapidly changing sector of high economic value and will create opportunities in both digital and creative arts that will serve us culturally and economically for years to come.”


The work of the partnership began on 1 January, 2015, and will run for two and a half years. The DARIAH-RC will feature flexible, localized curriculum materials as well as a central, modular portal that will host, deliver and maintain those materials. The portal will also support the development of new curricula materials and the sustainability of the project after the grant period has ended. The DARIAH-RC represents the first openly accessible Digital Humanities curriculum of its kind and will serve as a model for creating and delivering open-source online educational materials, from which other communities can benefit.


In addition to Maynooth University in Ireland, the Strategic Partnership is comprised of Aarhus University’s DIGHUMLAB (Denmark), “Athena” Research Center (Greece), the Austrian Academy of Science (Austria), Belgrade Centre for Digital Humanities (Serbia), Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and University of Lausanne (Switzerland). The partners represent countries that are either founding DARIAH countries or are working towards Cooperative Partner status, and exemplify a depth of experience within the digital arts and humanities field.


Erasmus+ is the European Union’s programme for education, training, youth and sport, which aims to boost and improve the skills and employability of Europe’s citizens. Throughout the seven-year program, more than four million Europeans will benefit from projects and programmes funded by Erasmus+.


The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the National Agency for the Lifelong Learning Programme: Erasmus+.