About Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities

Most content is not well structured and easy to search across; in fact most content that has been created does not exist in digital form and is locked away in archives and libraries. ADAPT works with noisy and difficult to understand content, such as the manuscripts stored in the National Famine Archive at Strokestown, to create advanced digital representations that enable deep scrutiny and understanding. This process uses technologies such as named entity recognition, semantic uplift and personalisation to offer users rich methods to explore the connections across large volumes of documents.

Through these technologies, ADAPT helps discover the hidden secrets in these documents and helps researchers and family members discover the origins of the missing 1,490. The technologies pioneered on this historic archival material have direct relevance to how people and businesses deal with noisy content, such as incoming mobile notifications or large volumes of customer information, enabling ADAPT to produce ground-breaking discoveries in digital content technologies.

Meet the researchers

Prof. Owen Conlan is an internationally recognised researcher and leader in the fields of User Modelling, Adaptation, Personalisation and Adaptive Hypermedia research. He leads and is the champion for the Digital Humanities research theme within Trinity College and is the co-director of the Digital Humanities Research Centre in TCD.





Prof. Séamus Lawless is an Assistant Professor in the discipline of Intelligent Systems in the School of Computer Science and Statistics in Trinity College Dublin. Séamus’ research interests are in the areas of information retrieval, information management and digital humanities with a particular focus on adaptivity and personalisation The common focus of this research is Digital Content Management and the Application of Technology to Support Enhanced, Personalised Access to Knowledge. This research has a strong user focus and all of his work aims to improve the experiences of users when interacting with content and information systems.




Gary Munnelly is a PhD student in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. He works for the ADAPT Centre. He is currently conducting research into the effectiveness of Named Entity Disambiguation as an Information Extraction tool for cultural heritage collections. He is interested in discovering new ways working with cultural heritage collections given their unique characteristics.

Laura Grehan of ADAPT interviewed these researchers. View their answers and thoughts on the following questions…

Larua asks Prof. Owen Conlan…

What is the ADAPT Centre?

Why is ADAPT participating in the National Famine Walk?

Prof. Owen Conlan…

What is Digital Humanities?

Prof. Seamus Lawless and Gary Munnelly give their thoughts…

Why do we need Computer Scientists to work on events like the National Famine Walk?

How can the National Famine Walk enhance our understanding of the Great Famine?

How can Digital Humanities bring to life stories from archives like the Irish National Famine Museum?

What are the benefits of digital humanities or what value do they bring to the user?

What other Digital Humanities projects have you worked on?

What kind of Digital Humanities technologies help bring to life cultural heritage collections?

What’s your favourite part of your work?