EviDENce

Ego Documents Events modelling – how individuals recall mass violence

Much of our historical knowledge is based on oral or written accounts of eyewitnesses, particularly in cases of war and violence, when regular ways of documentation and record keeping are often absent. EviDENce studies how eyewitnesses have reported on violence, and how this may have changed over time. We use a collection of nearly 500 oral history interview transcripts about the Second World War as well as the ego-documents (diaries, memoires, letters, autobiographies) available in Nederlab, covering a time span of 5 centuries.

Whereas humanities scholars are good at assessing texts for their relevance in relation to a particular topic or research question such as this, automating this assessment process, for example for distant reading or creating large corpora, is known to be problematic, especially when it comes to implicit mentions. EviDENce compares existing NLP methods to detect fragments containing mentions of such an ambiguous concept as violence, in a way that meets the standards of historical research.

Participating organisations

Netherlands eScience Center
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Social Sciences & Humanities
Social Sciences & Humanities
KNAW Humanities Cluster
NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Open University in the Netherlands

Output

Digital technologies to analyze eyewitness accounts of mass violence

Author(s): Netherlands eScience Center
Published in 2017
  • 1.
    THE EVENT-DETECTION GAP Manual vs. automatic event detection in historical research
    Author(s): Hogervorst,Susan, Brugman, Hennie, Buitinck, Lars, van Erp, Marieke, Klijn, Edwin, Kouw, Wouter, de Vos, Martine, Willemsen, Jeroen
    Published in 2018
  • 2.
    THE EVENT-DETECTION GAP Manual vs. automatic event detection in historical research
    Published in 2018

Team

SH
Susan Hogervorst
Principal investigator
Open University
Meiert Grootes
Meiert Grootes
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Jisk Attema
Senior eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
WK
Wouter Kouw
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
MdV
Martine de Vos
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
MvE
Marieke van Erp
Co-Applicant
KNAW Humanities Cluster
HB
Hennie Brugman
Co-Applicant
KNAW Humanities Cluster
JW
Jeroen Willemsen
Co-Applicant
Open Universiteit Nederland
EK
Edwin Klijn
Co-Applicant
NIOD Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen

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