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Meet the Teams: HuNI Virtual Lab

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Team: HuNI Virtual Lab

Country: Australia

Team Leader: Conal Tuohy

Team Members: Alex Hawker, Deb Verhoeven, Richard Rothwell, Kerry Kilner

The HuNI (Humanities Networked Infrastructure Virtual Lab) project @HuNIVL will integrate a number of important cultural datasets in Australia and align them to a common ontology, store the data in a linked data store store, and will also build what is termed a ‘Virtual Laboratory’ (VL). A VL is an online environment of tools and services to allow specialist researchers to come together to perform certain computational research tasks with the possibility of uncovering new insights and research into Australia’s cultural landscape.

The HuNI demonstrator the team want to empower the LODLAM with a means to extend current scholarly and collection data practices, using linked data, to support enhanced resource discovery. The power of data translation and ontology building can be put into the hands of the people through the development of digital methods, i.e. data captured in triples and linked that can then be pumped out into the linked data cloud. The approach defined in the HuNI demonstrator is designed to be reused to enable humanities researchers and information professionals in the GLAMs to become linked data “”makers”” and linked data service providers themselves.

Multiple scholarly humanities datasets will be harvested in, transformed, aggregated and linked around a common ontology: Australian Media History Database; Media Archives Project; AustLit; Australian Dictionary of Biography; Design and Art Australia Online; Australian Women’s Register; Encyclopedia of Australian Science; Colonial Australian Popular Fiction; Find and Connect Victoria; eMelbourne: the Encyclopedia of Melbourne; Chinese-Australia Historical Images in Australia; Reason in Revolt, Source Documents of Australian Radicalism; Guide to Australian Business Records; Australian Trade Unions Archive; Circus Oz Living Archive; Australian Film Institute Research Collection; PARADISEC; AusStage; AUSTLANG; bonza; and National Library of Australia Party Infrastructure.

The HuNI project is a partnership between 13 organisations and is led by Deakin University in Melbourne. Central to this partnership are the two lead development agencies – VeRSI and Intersect Australia – who are responsible for hosting Team HuNI and building the HuNI technical and ontological components through the successful execution of the project plan. The remaining ten partners (Macquarie University, University of Queensland, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, RMIT, AIATSIS, Flinders University, University of Western Australia, and ACMI) are contributing as co-operators and co-developers by providing a significant cultural dataset and/or tool for integration into the HuNI Virtual Lab, and actively engaging in the HuNI community.


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