Biographical Data in a Digital World – Amsterdam, 9 April 2015

The proceedings of Biographical Data in a Digital World are now online at CEUR!

Video of the live stream

Video of the whole day here.


Slideshow here.

Information about submissions for the proceedings

Deadline for submission: May 31th (no extensions!)
Notification: June 15th
Deadline for editorial changes: June 29th
Publications online: July 6th

Paper length: two columns, 8 pages (excluding references). Instructions for authors and stylesheets for Word, Open Office and LateX are available here.

Additional reviewing/editorial round:
1) Particular focus: are comments from reviewers on the first submission addressed (where appropriate)
2) Use the stylesheets.
3) In case of doubt, contact us!




Rockstart, in the center of Amsterdam, close to the Dam Square.

Herengracht 182
1016 BR Amsterdam

Google maps


Abstracts of the papers can be found here.

9:00-9:30 Registration and coffee/tea
9:30-9:40: Word of welcome (Serge ter Braake and Antske Fokkens)
9:40-10:30: Keynote Prof. dr. Paul Arthur, University of Western Sydney – Re-imagining a
Nation Using Biographical Data

10:30-12:15: Session 1: Bringing Biographical Data Online (Chair: Ronald Sluijter)

10:30-10:40: Team Deutsche Biographie, Bernhard Ebneth and Matthias Reinert – From biographies to data curation – the making of
10:40-10:50: Vanessa Hannesschläger and Katharina Prager – Ernst Jandl and Karl Kraus: Two Lives in Bits and Pieces
10:50-11:00: Bärbel Kröger and Christian Popp – Germania Sacra Online – The Research Portal of Clerics and Religious Institutions before 1810

11:00-11:30: Discussion & Coffee

Session 2: Mining Characteristics (Chair: Eveline Wandl-Vogt)

11:30-11:45: Shivani Poddar, Venumadhav Kattagoni and Navjyoti Singh – Personality Mining from Biographical Data with the “AdjectivalMarker” Technique
11:45-12:00: Firas Dib, Simon Lindberg and Pierre Nugues – Extraction of Career Profiles from Wikipedia

12:00 – 12:10 Poster pitches

12:10-13:30 Lunch and Posters (Chair: Ronald Sluijter)

– Marie-Charlotte Le Bailly – Biographies of People on the Move and Cultural Heritage in a Digital Era. Participative and biographical collecting at the Red Star Line Museum Antwerp
– Serge ter Braake and Antske Fokkens – How to Make it in History. Working Towards a Methodology of Canon Research with Digital Methods
– Hans-Ulrich Krieger and Thierry Declerck – An OWL Ontology for Biographical Knowledge. Representing Time-Dependent Factual Knowledge
– Roser Morante and Antske Fokkens –  The expression of uncertainty in Dutch biographies
– Gearóid Ó Cleircín and Brian Ó Raghallaigh – Breathing new life into a canonical collection of Irish-language biographies
– Irene Russo, Tommaso Caselli and Monica Monachini – From facts to discoveries: visualising Holocaust deportees’ lives

13:30-15:00 Session 3: Group Portraits and Networks (Chair 1: Serge ter Braake; Chair 2: Thierry Declerck)

13:30-13:45: Ming-Kin Chu – Prosopographical survey of lecturers at the Directorate School in early Northern Song China (960-1050)
13:45-14:00: Lonneke Geerlings – Intersectionality in Social Network Analysis. Visualizing biographical data: a case study of Rosey E. Pool’s correspondence archive
14:00-14:15: Bram Vannieuwenhuyze – Who’s who in late medieval Brussels

14:15-14:30: Sophia Stotz, Valentina Stuss, Matthias Reinert and Maximilian Schrott.- Interpersonal relations in biographical dictionaries. A case study.
14:30-14:45: Elian Carsenat and Tania Vichnevskaia – Applying onomastics to scientometrics to evaluate Diaspora engagement in Scientific Networks
14:45-15:00: Mark Bell and Sonia Ranade – Traces Through Time: a case-study of applying statistical methods to refine algorithms for linking biographical data

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30-16:30 Session 4: Automatic Text Analysis and Visualisations (Chair 1; Antske Fokkens; Chair 2: Thierry Declerck)

15:30-15:45: Matvey Kolbasov, Anastasia Bonch-Osmolovskaya – Tolstoy Digital: mining biographical data in literary heritage editions
15:45-16:00: Nico Randeraad, Christophe Verbruggen and Thomas Dhaeninck – Visualizing longitudinal data. Rooted cosmopolitans in the Low Countries, 1850-1914

16:00-16:15 Daniel Shakespear – Interactive Genealogy Explorer
16:15- 16:30 Andre Blessing, Andrea Glaser and Jonas Kuhn –  Biographical data exploration as a test-bed for  a multi-view, multi-method approach  in the Digital Humanities

16:30-17:15: Discussion & Final remarks (Chair: Susan Legêne)

Dinner (at own cost)


This conference welcomed circa 60 people.

Organizing committee:

Serge ter Braake, VU University Amsterdam
Antske Fokkens, VU University Amsterdam / Netherlands eScience Center
Ronald Sluijter, Huygens ING The Hague
Thierry Declerck, DFKI GmbH and Saarland University
Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Program committee:

* Paul Arthur, Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney
* Victor de Boer, Computer Science, Web & Media, VU University Amsterdam
* Marc Boone, History, Ghent University
* Georgeta Bordea – Insight, Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway
* Matje van de Camp,
* Philip Carter, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
* Gearóid O Cleircín, Dublin City University
* Marten Düring, Digital Humanities Lab, Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe
* Marieke van Erp, Computational Linguistics, VU University Amsterdam
* Christine Gruber, Österreichische Biographisches Lexikon, Österreichisches Institut für Neuzeitforschung
* Pim Huijnen, History, Utrecht University
* Eero Hyvönen, Semantic Computing Research Group, Aalto University
* Hans-Ulrich Krieger, DFKI GmbH, Language Technology Lab
* Jonas Kuhn, Institut für Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung (IMS), Universität Stuttgart
* Stella Markantonatou – Institute for Language and Speech Processing, Greece
* Malte Rehbein, Digital Humanities, University of Passau
* Matthias Reinert – Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
* Anneke Ribberink, Co-founder European Journal of Life Writing
* Toma Tasovac, Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities
* Jo Tollebeek, History, University of Leuven
* Jane Winters, Digital History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
*Kelly Zervanou, Information and Computing Sciences, University Utrecht
*Joris van Zundert, Digital and Computational Humanities, Huygens ING, The Hague


Original Call for Papers (closed)

The digital age has changed the way academics work in every discipline. Computers allow for the processing of digital data much faster than humans can do, they are able to show patterns and statistical analyses and can detect links that otherwise would be hard to find. This conference explores whether and how, in the field of digital humanities, biographical data are special. Biographies are interesting for analysis with computer techniques, since individuals share a set of common characteristics that can be relatively easily identified by a machine, such as a birthdate, a partner, a profession, and a network. Tools and approaches from the digital humanities can be used for both quantitative analyses of such data and for providing leads for more qualitative research questions.

This conference aims at bringing together researchers from both the humanities and the computer sciences to exchange experiences, methods and practices with respect to ICT mediated quantitative and qualitative analysis of biographical data. What can we do already with computational methods with the huge amount of digital biographical data that is available? What will we be able to do in the future? What will we not be able to do?

We invite papers/abstracts with a maximum of 2.500 words (excluding bibliography and footnotes), which will undergo a single blind peer review process. After acceptance papers can be extended to 6.000 words.  Accepted papers will be published in online proceedings.

Topics which may be addressed include, but certainly are not limited to:

1) Mining biographies for structured information
2) Biographies and linked data
3) Using biographical information for quantitative analyses
4) The canonization of people and events in history
5) The use or uselessness of big data for biographical research
6) Visualizing biographical data
7) Biographical Dictionaries
8) Dealing with biographical data in heterogeneous datasets
9) Practices in digitizing and converting biographical data to a software interpretable format
10) Automatic biography generation
11) Biographies across countries and cultures
12) Standards, vocabularies and best practices for the encoding and processing of biographical data

Important Dates

Deadline for the paper submission: Monday 2 February 2015, 08:00 GMT.
Last revisions/resubmissions: Tuesday 3 February 2015, 08:00 GMT.
Notification of acceptance: 2 March, 2015
Date: 9 April, 2015
Deadline final papers: 30 May, 2015


Paper submission Papers should be submitted through EasyChair.



For further details please contact Serge ter Braake or Antske Fokkens