Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities comprise practises and methods of digitalisation and dissemination of research approaches and results in the humanities. Baltic Borderlands' doctoral students apply these digital methods in different ways. We will introduce and describe their digital approaches here. The digital humanities have become a considerable part of researching the borderlands of the Baltic Sea region. Particularly mapping tools and databases became very useful in analysing shifting and overlapping spatial units, social and cultural spaces. Therefore, our doctoral students started enthusiastically to reflect and discuss current digital options for their research. To increase their knowledge in the field, we introduced intensive workshops like the "Brown Bag Lunch" where internationally reknown academics engage with our doctoral students, discussing innovations in the digital humanities.

Digital Projections of Early Modern Space

A Modern Story Map of the Palatine Wedding Journey of 1613, Dr. Taylor-Poleskey

(Workshop, 29th May 2017)


Dr. Taylor-Poleskey's general scholarly interests are in cultural exchange, material culture, court culture, and the history of everyday life in early modern Europe. Her dissertation explored the rise of the House of Brandenburg-Prussia in the 17th century through the lens of its food culture. Taylor-Poleskey enjoys using new, digital tools to illuminate and narrate history. She developed “Journey up the Rhine,” an interactive map of the 1613 Palatine wedding journey, has been a research assistant for the Mapping the Republic of Letters Project and worked on visualizing the intellectual networks of the Grand Tour to Italy in the eighteenth century. For more about her work, please visit her website:

From Iceland to Jerusalem - the Itinerary of Nikulás of Munkaþverá as a web edition.

The Digital and the Humanities

Fabian Schwabe (Tübingen)

(Workshop, 8th November 2017)

Dr. Schwabe's scholarly interests are in the fields of Old Norse philology, manuscript culture, (digital) scholarly editions and the Scandinavian Middle Ages. In his dissertation, he analyzed the language of an Icelandic saga manuscript from the 14th century. Due to his job as a teacher in Digital Humanities, his interests became combined with digital methods as data modeling, and the use of markup languages and web technologies. In his recent projects, he unites his interests and teaching responsibility. The results are mainly between research and education like interactive maps, editions, and the blending of both. More about his work, you can find on the website of his institution: http://www.escience.uni-tuebin<wbr />

Martin Kerntopf

Border Effects in the Baltic Sea Region: Changing Normative and Structural Implications through Dissolved Borders, and New Interaction Opportunities for the States of the Baltic Sea Region

In my project I am tracing the influence of IGO related norms on different cross-border movements (e.g. goods, persons, capital, etc.) across two regions (Baltic Sea Region and South China Sea Region) and severak dyadic state sets over a time frame from 1951 to 2015. The statistical analysis of the data sets is conducted with R, changes and fluctuations in the border configurations between the respective dyads are visualized with ggplot2, Plotly, circlize, and other R packages in the form of (dynamic) graphical formats like plots, graphs, and maps.

Tools used:

Main Packages:

Sven Ristau

Economic Integration and Debordering Processes in the Baltic Sea Region: The Development of Steam Shipping in the 19th century

Das Profil meiner Doktorarbeit verbindet wirtschaftsgeschichtliche und wirtschaftsgeographische Methoden und erfordert die Anpassung von komplexen Modellen vor allem der raumwirtschaftlichen Analyse an die Gegebenheiten des 19. Jahrhunderts. Der Zugang zu Daten und Informationen führt zu einer Einschränkung von z.b. hafenanalytischen Modellen. Meine Arbeit untersucht Raum und wirtschaftliche, politische sowie zum Teil auch gesellschaftliche Zusammenhängen auf drei
verschiedenen Skalenebenen. Um diese Modellhaft zu beschreiben und darzustellen nutze ich das Vektorgrafik Programm Inkscape. Siehe auch:
Ein Fokus meiner Forschung liegt desweiteren auf der Visualisierung räumlicher Veränderungen von Wirtschaftsräumen und deren Einflussbereichen. Langfristig plane ich dazu die Verbindung meiner
Quellenanalysen mit historischen Karten. Die Darstellung wird mit dem Project "R" erfolgen. Dies hilft statistische Daten und Grafiken zusammenzufassen und nach selbst gewählten Parametern auf historischen Karten georeferenziert anzuwenden. Insgesamt verspreche ich mir von Methoden der Digital Humanities eine erleichterte Auswertung vielfältiger Daten und einen schnelleren Zugang
zu Zusammenhängen und Verbindungen sowie die Darstellung der Ergebnisse auf Karten, Plänen und Modellen.

Torsten Veit

Craft in Borderlands. The Stuccoist Johann Michael Graff and his Contribution to the Transregional Prevalence of a Specific Formal Language concerning Late-Baroque Interior Decorations in the Eastern Baltic Sea Region of the 18th Century

In my PhD-project I try to detect processes that led to stylistic diffusion from Upper Bavaria to Prussia into the Baltic Sea Region and its hinterlands. An important aspect within this investigation is the fact of communication and how information was transported. In this case networks of craftsmen need to be identified and visualized to come to deeper understanding of interpersonal relations. For this I use two tools. Gephi to create and visualize networks in different style using different algorithms. By using the Geolayout-Plugin and the shp-Export it is possible to plot the data of gephi to an original map of the 18th century in QGIS. Due to this it is possible to visualize spatial relationships. In addition to this I try to introduce an event-based database to my project. This virtual research environment is based on CIDOC-CRM and creates highly related datasets that can be bound to existing controlled databases. Also a graph-visualization is possible.

Gephi -

WissKI -