The Open Humanities Awards

The Open Humanities Awards support innovative projects that use open data, open content or open source to further teaching or research in the humanities.

They are coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation and are part of the DM2E project. They are supported by the Digital Humanities Quarterly.

What are they?


Humanities research is based on the interpretation and analysis of wide variety of cultural artefacts including texts, images and audiovisual material. Much of this material is now freely and openly available on the internet enabling people to discover, connect and contextualise cultural artefacts in ways previously very difficult.

We are challenging humanities researchers, designers and developers to create innovative projects that use open content, open data or open source to further teaching or research in the humanities.

For example you might want to:

  • Start a project to collaboratively transcribe, annotate, or translate public domain texts
  • Explore patterns of citation, allusion and influence using bibliographic metadata or textmining
  • Analyse and/or visually represent complex networks or hidden patterns in collections of texts
  • Use computational tools to generate new insights into collections of public domain images, audio or texts

  • You could start a project from scratch or build on an existing project. For inspiration you can have a look at the open-source tools the Open Knowledge Foundation has developed for use with cultural resources.

    As long as your project involves open content, open data and/or open source tools and makes a contribution to humanities research, the choice is yours!

    The competition is open for 1 month - from 13th February until 13th March midnight. The winners will be selected by a panel of prominent digital humanities scholars.

    What are the prizes?



    For the first round here are 15,000 Euros of prizes on offer to support 3-5 projects lasting up to 6 months each. Winners will be given the opportunity to present their work at the world’s largest open knowledge event, OKFestival, in September.



    How do I enter?



    The form has been closed and the judges will look at the entries. Please check regularly for new updates! For questions please contact the Open Knowledge Foundation

    What are the rules?



    The rules for the Open Humanities Awards are as follows:

  • You can enter the Open Humanities Awards if you are an EU resident or an organisation with operations in the EU.
  • All entries must use or depend on open source tools, open data or open content in someway
  • You are allowed to enter ideas which you have already written about, or applications or visualisations which you have already made, prior to the start of the competition.
  • You are allowed to enter ideas, applications or visualisations which you have already entered in other competitions.
  • You can put in as many entries as you like.
  • We reserve the right to amend or add to these rules - so please check back here for the latest version!
  • By entering the competition you accept that we are not liable for any loss, damage, cost, and so on, incurred or suffered by you, and that we cannot accept responsibility for injury or disappointment suffered by you, or technical malfunction, and so on and so on.
  • In addition to these rules, the following will be taken into account when judging the entries:

  • Collaborations between individuals, groups or organisations in different EU member states are encouraged.
  • While not required, using open licenses for any resarch, code, content and data entered as part of the competition are encouraged.
  • Unfortunately we don't have the budget to process entries in all EU languages. We want to devote as much of the sponsorship money as possible to prizes so we ask potential entrants to write their submissions in English, please. Sorry about that.
  • Where can I find existing open stuff?



    The Internet Archive, Wikisource and Europeana have millions of texts, images and metadata about cultural heritage objects the vast majority of which is openly licensed. They are always good places to start.

    The Open Knowledge Foundation's Culture Labs lists a number of useful open-source tools for working with open humanities data and content.