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Antwerp Time Machine

Belgium’s Docs Antwerp Time Machine

The University of Antwerp and the local and regional heritage institutions, collaborate in this project. In historical research, it becomes possible to visualize and virtually walk among past generations , and into their houses where we see on thousands of paintings, pictures and postcards. Digital Humanities on the other hand breaths again live and sound in this landscape of history, by opening up a universe of well-preserved, and ever more meticulously analyzed textual sources, which informs us on the lived experience of these people.

The Antwerp Time Machine provides a set of unique assets:

  • Its focus on spatial humanities: the integration of structured and unstructured, textual, visual, cartographic etc. data through space (using GIS)
  • Its long chronological term: high-density concentration of data for six centuries, with excursions into the medieval and pre-medieval past
  • Its focus on complexity, for instance in the development of transcription algorithms for complex texts such as texts with a lot of alterations, additions, multiple authorship etc… – the majority of historical archives
  • Its focus on the micro-level: aiming to move beyond a mere ‘streetview’ of the past, entering individual houses and livelihoods, and linking data at the level of people & places.
Year of implementation Ongoing
Target researchers, scholars

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