Computational methods provide ever more new research opportunities in humanities and social sciences, and digitalization rapidly change ways in which research is done. Digitalization and its applications, e.g., the web with its data, services, and applications, is closely related to the challenges of globalization and are changing the society in fundamental ways. These changes create a growing need for research and education in multidisciplinary digital humanities.


In our vision, the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki capital area constitute a leading international hub of Digital Humanities research, education, and application development. Heldig is the facilitator of large scale collaboration and infrastructures needed at the University of Helsinki (UH) and between other universities, research centres, memory organizations, public organizations, and companies.


The challenges of digitalization can be tackled by re-focusing, joining, and coordinating the intellectual and other resources in humanities, social sciences, and computer science across faculties, universities, and other stakeholders in the Helsinki capital area. Heldig is a major Finnish strategic effort 2016-2020 to take this step to the digital future.

Our mission is to foster the use of computational methods in humanities and social sciences, open data science, and the deployment of the research results for societal benefit. We pursue this by establishing new research and education areas in 1) computational methodologies and tools for humanities and social sciences and in 2) digital humanities and globalization. Several new tenure track professor chairs will be established at the UH in 2016-2020. The novel topics in computational methodologies include applied data analysis in humanities and social sciences, digital social science, digital innovations in consumer behaviour, and big data learning analytics. In digital humanities and globalization, the focus is on global interactions, religion and digital world, Russian big data methodology, and legal research on digitalization.

In addition, Heldig advances several current strengths and initiatives at the University of Helsinki in the areas of natural language processing, computer aided linguistics, research on social and psychological aspects of digitalization, smart cities, quantitative social sciences, and digitized cultural heritage.

Strategic  Focus Areas

Heldig focuses its work on four strategic areas:

  1. Research. Using and developing computational methods, tools, and services for research in humanities and social sciences. Studying aspects of digitalization as phenomena.
  2. Education. Providing DH education and data infrastructure for students, researchers, and application developers
  3. Infrastructures. Support for digitizing, enriching, and publishing data and knowledge that is needed in DH research and is produced by it
  4. Society. Fostering the utilization of the research results in the society

A key mission of Heldig is to establish a collaboration network between the Digital Humanties related fields in seven different faculties at the University of Helsinki, and beyond this: close collaboration with Aalto University and other organizations active in Digital Humanities in the Helsinki area is an essential part of the work at Heldig, as well as collaboration with the international Digital Humanities community.