Ernesto William De Luca




| ITC-IRST | EURAC | OVGU-Magdeburg | TU-Berlin | FHP | GEI | All |

Georg Eckert Institute
for International Textbook Research.
Member of the Leibniz Association


  • Project: Children and their World ( 2015 - Current )

    A group of researchers from the Georg Eckert Institute (history), the University of Hildesheim Foundation (information sciences) and the German Institute for International Educational Research in cooperation with the TU Darmstadt (computational linguistics, software development) constituted itself in May 2014. The researchers are to be joined by project partners from the library of the University of Braunschweig, the University of Zürich, the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities and the Bavarian State Library. The aim of the project is to forge new, transdisciplinary paths in research on children’s images of their world in the period under investigation, routes to knowledge which may transcend the limits of the established qualitative methods currently in use and could therefore have the potential to shift the boundaries of historical research in this area. Funded through the Leibniz Competition, the project seeks to harness the tools previously employed successfully in other areas of the digital humanities, such as topic detection and opinion mining, for the use of historians working on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will aim, to this end, to reconstruct intertextual connections, identify and highlight thematic clusters, and cast light on semantic fields, for the purpose of both generating quantitative findings and interpreting them as we place them in their historical context. Further, we expect the project generates hypotheses which historians will be able to examine and refine using hermeneutic exploration of selected works. Specifically, we will analyse the frequencies with which particular words occur, the use of grammatical forms, the appearance of semantic fields and the ways in which historical topics and figures are positioned in these texts. We are committed to enabling our project to bear fruit in the long term, and so will be aiming, along with presenting the approaches we develop to the research community, to make our findings available in digital form, on a permanent basis wherever possible..
  • Project: CLARIN-D Modern History ( 2015 - Current )

    Discipline-Specific Working Groups are central constituents of the CLARIN network (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure), which is working across Europe to develop research infrastructure for language resources for the humanities and social sciences; the German branch of the project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The CLARIN Working Group on Modern History, based at the Georg Eckert Institute, was launched in September 2014. The Discipline-Specific Working Groups represent key points of intersection and interaction between CLARIN-D and research communities in specific disciplines; they act as advisory and support services for the incorporation and curation of priority research data and tools. The Georg Eckert Institute is involved in a curation project pertaining to its digital textbook holdings since february 2015. The historians who make up the Working Group on Modern History are dedicated to exploring the question of which resources should be made available in digital form for research in their discipline, which standards should be employed in this undertaking, and which digital methods and tools might benefit historians’ work with these resources and open up new research pathways. Headed by Prof. Simone Lässig and Ernesto W. De Luca, the Working Group is further investigating the issue of the extent to which the upcoming field of digital humanities is giving rise to new research questions and methodological approaches. The group currently consists of members of the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities, Humboldt University Berlin, the Institute for the History of the German Jews, the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, the Max Weber Foundation, the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, the German Historical Institutes in Rome and London, the German Institute for International Educational Research and the Georg Eckert Institute. Curation projects devised and supervised by the Working Group will engage with existing services provided by the CLARIN-D service centres, evaluate them and drive their ongoing development in line with historians’ specific academic needs. In this way, the Working Group will help ensure that the research questions and interests of historical research, specifically historical research into education, are adequately reflected in European research infrastructures, thereby enabling these infrastructures to continue improving..
  • Project: WorldViews. The World in Textbooks ( 2015 - Current )

    Since February 2015, the departments Europe and DIFI have been developing a research infrastructure that will integrate data storage for digital projects at the Georg Eckert Institute. This will dramatically improve interoperability and re-usability, rendering it easier to evaluate research results using tools and methods from digital humanities. Moving beyond the dimension of content, WorldViews is of fundamental importance to the further development of our institute’s infrastructure. Much of the GEI’s research infrastructure and many transfer projects are currently being standardised and integrated. WorldViews works towards high standards and aims to render the data from GEI projects usable in the long term – long after a project’s duration. By drawing on structures already in place, such as those developed in the course of the large-scale digital humanities projects, we are searching for ways in which to overcome technological isolated applications and to secure interoperability. Semantic methods play just as important a part here as long-term availability and the conversion of metadata. We are working with standardised data with a view to using the data within the semantic web..
  • Project: Edumeres ( 2015 - Current )

    Edumeres provides a central access point to the Georg Eckert Institute’s research-oriented information and communication infrastructure. Straddling national and disciplinary boundaries the portal brings together a multifaceted range of tools and materials through the access it provides to academic works and research and makes them available to the widely dispersed community of textbook and educational media researchers and practitioners..
  • Project: International TextbookCat ( 2015 - Current )

    The TextbookCat research instrument provides a welcome extension to the library OPAC system and is a search tool that dramatically improves the search possibilities within the textbook collection. The difficulties encountered when conducting textbook research using conventional search methods were a key consideration in the design process, as short textbook titles such as “Terra” produce little in the way of meaningful search results. This desideratum is one frequently broached by researchers and has been taken as the basis for a corresponding search tool which is tailor-made for the specific requirements of textbook searches. The TextbookCat employs an internal classification system in order to categorise textbooks according to applicable country, education level and subject. Additional categories of federal state and school type are provided for German textbooks and international textbooks can be filtered according to language. Any search results containing material that is not available online, will include details regarding whether it is available for loan. The International TextbookCat pilot project further developed the idea of the TextbookCat and augmented the textbook collection with the inventories of international partners. The project is currently focussing on combining the textbook databases of three institutions: the Georg Eckert Institute, the University of Turin and the National Distance Education University in Spain, in order to create a joint reference tool. Workflows and system architecture are being developed that in the long-term will enable further institutions to participate with relatively little effort on their part..
  • Project: GEI-Digital ( 2015 - Current )

    In 2009 the GEI began to digitalise its historical textbook collection. This long-term project aims to build up and develop a virtual library of German historical textbooks on selected subjects. As far as possible, all teaching materials available in German libraries dating from the 17th century through to the end of the National Socialist era, which are often difficult to access otherwise, are being virtually consolidated, both in form and content. These sources will thus be rendered available, barrier free, to a wide circle of researchers..