Wikibase as Research Data Infrastructure for the Humanities

at Centre for History of Culture

Between 2015 and 2019, we gathered a lot of historical data as part of a research project in the history of photography at the University of Lausanne. The data was first collected through a custom Filemaker database, which ultimately proved unsuitable for the quantity and quality of the generated data we were working with.

We wanted a new tool that was flexible enough to support all types of historical data, but also an infrastructure that could support linked data practices and methodologies.

After some research, I came across Matt Miller’s blog post, where he describes how he successfully used Wikibase – the software behind Wikidata – for Linked Jazz, a fascinating research project in the field of ditigal humanities at the Pratt Institute.

After some testing, we have now a local machine successfully running an Wikibase instance on OSX with our data.