New Research Project DigiNUMA: Digital Solutions for European Numismatic Heritage

DigiNUMA is a new project combining Digital Humanities, participatory heritage, semantic computing, museum collections management, and archaeological/numismatic studies to address challenges in creating, publishing, and analysing archaeological cultural heritage ‘big data’, with specific reference to coin finds made by the public.

A new research project has been launched jointly by the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, Finland,  funded by grants from the Helsinki Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. DigiNUMA investigates solutions in data harmonisation and dissemination of pan-European cultural heritage through interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches. Using Finnish and English numismatic data as a test case, the project will create ontological infrastructure and a proof-of-concept data model for finely-grained Linked Open Data (LOD) harmonisation across national and international databases for cultural heritage data, and tests it through a broad suite of Digital Humanities analyses.  

DigiNUMA therefore seeks to engage with the following challenges and opportunities created by the digitisation of society: (1) The need for digital solutions in archaeological cultural heritage management stemming from the vastly increased amount of information generated by the public, specifically the growing number of archaeological finds recovered by metal-detectorists and other public finders in European countries, including Finland and the UK; (2) The pan-European need to develop an internationally operable and harmonised LOD infrastructure for using cultural heritage data from different countries in research; (3) Increasing the accessibility and democratisation of cultural heritage data among different audiences, including outside the archaeological and scientific community.

In response to these needs DigiNUMA proposes (1) to produce a ontology and a new data model for recording numismatic data in Finland, with reference to international cultural heritage data harmonisation; (2) to test and interpret the data through Digital Humanities analyses;  (3) and to develop a proof-of-concept pilot for a RahaSampo (CoinSampo) data and public access heritage service demonstrator with built-in apps for creating data analysis and visualisations, as a model for disseminating archaeological cultural heritage data within an international context. This service can be integrated with the recently launched FindSampo Finnish public finds data service and online portal. The larger research context the project engages in is therefore the study of the potential offered by data harmonisation strategies in developing digital heritage services. 

Learn more about DigiNUMA here.