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.

The awards 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 build upon the research, tools and data of the DM2E project or to create new innovative projects that use open content, open data or open source to further teaching or research in the humanities.
There are two tracks in this second round of the competition:

DM2E track
The DM2E project has developed several tools to support Digital Humanities research, such as Pundit (a semantic web annotation tool) and Omnom (a tool to process mappings from one data format to another and publish the result as Linked Open Data). The project has also developed a software platform, which makes use of open-source tools to build applications on top of the Linked Data produced in the DM2E project as well as the annotations created by scholars using Pundit.
These tools and the platform are fully open source: the code and documentation is available through our DM2E wiki, the data is at Useful background information is also provided through our deliverable D3.3.
For this track, we invite you to submit a project building on this DM2E research, for example:
  • Building open source tools or applications based on the API’s developed
  • A project focused on the visualisation of data coming from Pundit
  • A deployment of the tools for specific communities
  • A project using data aggregated by DM2E in an innovative way
  • An extension of the platform by means of a practical demonstrative application

    Open track
    For this track, all submissions that involve open content, open data and/or open source tools and make a contribution to humanities research are welcome - the choice is yours! 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 final results of our first round winners: Joined Up Early Modern Diplomacy and Maphub, or check out the open-source tools the Open Knowledge Foundation has developed for use with cultural resources.

    The competition is currently closed - details about previous winning projects are available from this final DM2E report.

    What are the prizes?

    There is currently no open round of the Open Humanities Awards.

    How do I enter?

    The competition is now closed for submissions: details about previous winning projects are available from this final DM2E report.

    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.
  • Please note that all data provided by DM2E are released according to the Europeana legal requirements for providing data. The provided metadata can be reused under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero Public Domain Dedication (CC0). Regarding reuse of the underlying content, each aggregation of a cultural heritage object (CHO) and each Web resource represented by the metadata is assigned with one of the available rights statements. These statements define the terms of reuse of the respective content.
  • 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.

    All code and documentation on DM2E tools and data can be found through the DM2E wiki page: the data from DM2E is at