Collaboration, Preservation and Sustainability in Digital Humanities: a question of time

Olivier Aubert (, Nantes Université, France

Jasper Stratif (, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


This paper discusses interdisciplinary collaborative practices based on the AdA project (meaning “Affektrhetoriken des Audiovisuellen” in which institutionally situated research groups from computational sciences and film studies developed approaches for the analysis of the temporal dynamics of audiovisual expressivity by bringing together a theoretically informed methodology of film analysis and computational video analysis and semantic video annotation. A corpus analysis of audiovisual rhetorics on the financial crisis (2007–) required the groundwork for a collaborative annotation process and resulted in the structured vocabulary of the AdA Ontology (Bakels et al. 2020). The annotation process was carried out with the open-source-software Advene (Aubert et al. 2005, In an earlier publication (Aubert et al. 2021), we already presented how co-building a Digital Humanities tool could be seen as instrumental genesis. In it we concentrated on the iterative development of a visualisation framework (see figure 1) to highlight the need for a common language and for the consideration of time needed for collaboration.


We would like to pursue the reflection on the instrumental genesis (Rabardel, 1995) of collaboration tools along the time dimension. We saw that every step of tool development for such qualitative and exploratory research requires time: may it be for tool sketching, development, testing, or documenting its usage for manual annotation.