HuNI pot of cultural data launched

Research news
27 October 2014
A new platform will provide a hive of activity for humanities and creative arts researchers.

Whether researchers are seeking information on Gallipoli, Barry Humphreys, or modern Australian furniture, they now have access to a database that is likely to provide an answer - and lead to creative new directions for their thinking.

The Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) (pronounced “honey”) platform is the biggest humanities and creative arts database ever assembled in Australia. 

The platform was launched by Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane Den Hollander, on October 24, and has been created by a consortium of 13 Australian universities and cultural agencies.

Professor Deb Verhoeven, HuNI Project Director and Chair in Media and Communication within Deakin’s Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention, said that HuNI will “help people discover and share cultural information and - through innovative online tools - encourage creativity and a greater appreciation of our shared history.”

The national Virtual Laboratory project was developed as part of the Australian government’s NeCTAR (National e-Research Collaboration Tools and Resources) program.

Professor Verhoeven explained that the HuNI data covers all humanities and creative arts disciplines and brings together information about the people, works, events, organisations and places that make up the country's abundant cultural landscape.

“It will provide access to digitised information from over 30 significant cultural collections, contributing more than a million items to HuNI,” she said. “HuNI will be enriched through ‘crowd sourcing,’ with researchers continuously making connections and creating meaningful data that will be available to all.”

“One of the most significant benefits of HuNI is its sensitivity to the research process," she added.

"HuNI fosters serendipitous discovery – the X factor of humanities and creative arts research – and is underpinned by the idea that, in the research context, non-logical connections can be just as important as logical ones for creating breakthroughs.”

“Six Degrees of HuNI” competition.

A nationwide competition will encourage users to create an imaginative journey through the HuNI data from a common starting point - the Dame Edna Everage record. The competition is open until November 28, with up to three winners each receiving a $200 Amazon voucher.

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Deakin Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane Den Hollander, HuNI Project Director, Professor Deb Verhoeven and Deputy Director of NeCTAR, Dr Nigel Ward. Deakin Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane Den Hollander, HuNI Project Director, Professor Deb Verhoeven and Deputy Director of NeCTAR, Dr Nigel Ward.

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