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DIKUSA - Networking digital cultural data in Saxony

Research field:Dictatorship Research
Research focus: Rule and Society
Period: 02.2022–12.2023
Coordination: Dr. Francesca Weil


Forschungstag mit Halbzeitbilanz an der SLUB


Der Projektverbund DIKUSA trifft sich am 15. April 2024 in der SLUB Dresden, um gemeinsam eine Zwischenbilanz zu ziehen, und die Projektziele für die zweite Hälfte der Laufzeit zu schärfen.

Von 13:00-15:30 wird die Vorstellung der Projektergebnisse dabei öffentlich stattfinden.

Zum Programm auf den Seiten des KompetenzwerkD


The Free State of Saxony has launched a joint project with the aim of networking digital cultural data in Saxony. In the DIKUSA project, Saxony's non-university humanistic research institutions will, in their own sub-projects, conduct research of  the Free State's cultural and social history, coordinated by the department KompetenzwerkD of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig. The project's aim is to make the cultural data generated in the institutes - in this case mainly data with geographical context - publicly and sustainably usable. The tools developed for this should also remain usable beyond the subprojects. From 2022 to 2025, the Free State will provide approx. 1.5 million Euro for this purpose.

"In their everyday research, historical and cultural scientists collect manifold data in the most diverse places. The sustainable digital usage of these sources is becoming incrasingly important", Prof. Dr. Hans Wiesmeth, President of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, explains. The project "DIKUSA - Networking digital cultural data in Saxony to set up a technical infrastructure for research on mobility, migration and transformation of places, persons and artefacts in temporal and local perspective", which has now been approved, wishes to make a significant contribution to this. "Over the four year period, we want to develop portals and tools that serve science and with which a wider public can inform themselves: What was the path of artists and scientists, which routes did refugees take, which monuments are located where in the countryside?", PD Dr. Francesca Naether of KompetenzwerkD elaborates.

Taking part in the joint project are the six state-funded, non-university humanities research institutions in Saxony. Under coordination of the KompetenzwerkD, they work on their own sub-projects on Saxony's cultural and social history. To make the resulting cultural data sustainably accessible and usable, standards and models for their publication are developed. All sub-projects share the overarching topic "geographical data" and its digital presentation. Specifically, space-location-relations are to be mapped in their temporal perspective.

For this "triad" of places, persons and events, tools are provided in which the locations, coordinates and areas or surfaces can be displayed across epochs on historical and modern maps. The data networking is funded by cooperations, such as with the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) and the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (ifL). Transferring research to diverse social groups is another important objective of the joint project. The research results and developed tools are therefore made publicly available and will then be accessible as, e.g., interactive maps. Components for school lessons and academic education are planned as well.

The joint project fits in with efforts of the Free State of Saxony to advance the digital humanities. The Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK) has highlighted a particular research policy interest in the joint project in order to further develop the non-university humanities research institutions technically, structurally, methodologically and scientifically.

The following sub-projects will be worked on as part of the joint project:

This action is partly government-financed based on the budget passed by the Saxon State Parliament.