Using Drupal for Digital Humanities projects


The term Digital Humanities (DH) evolved in the last decade. Roughly spoken it sums up computation methods that are used by humanities scholars in their research. Additionally, it also describes a mindset to reflect on changes that the "digital turn" has on society and especially on research.

I want to start my session with a brief definition of DH. For this reason, I will highlight some projects that use DH methods. I will explain the specific approaches and which digital tools humanities scholars frequently use.
The FAIR data principles are helpful in describing important DH workflows. FAIR stands for: Findable - Accessible - Interoperable - Re-usable.

I will then talk about the usage of Drupal in DH projects. As an example, there is WissKI, a Virtual Research Environment that build up on Drupal 8. However, more often Drupal is used only as a way to present research results.

The intent of this session is to discuss, if and how Drupal can be stronger integrated into DH workflows. With the rise of decoupled approaches, it seems to me that there is a great opportunity to go beyond the presentation layer. Instead, if Drupal allows a combination of data harvesting, curating, processing, and publishing, this could be a strong incentive for future development of small and medium-sized DH projects.

As an example I will present a Drupal 8 project in development, that is a database on theatre performances in Austria. There I integrated some DH methods. Based on this experience, I outline some challenges and a vision for the handling of data pools and the applicableness of Drupal for DH projects.

For attendees of the sessions experience in working with research data in the humanities is a benefit, but it is not a requirement. A basic interest on scholarly research in the humanities could be helpful.

Attendees should ideally take away an introduction to the challenges of Digital Humanities and how Drupal can be used and accordingly evolved to enable an easier development of DH projects.

Session Track


Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 - 13:00 to 13:25
Lehar 2