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Published on Monday, June 05, 2023


Reimagining Annotation for Multimodal Cultural Heritage is an international conference that will be held in Rennes, France from 7th-9th February 2024. The conference looks to explore questions around digital annotation in the humanities and the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) across three primary axes: tools, methods and projects. We seek to discover the extent of digital tools for the navigation of multimodal document networks, the creation of data-driven interfaces and the implementation of close and / or distant reading techniques; the epistemological questions that these tools allow to emerge and how research in the humanities is changing; and projects that make use of these tools.



Rapid advances in digital technology are constantly expanding the ways in which we can annotate multimodal documents, be they texts, images, videos, sounds, web pages or code. Cultural heritage institutions have embarked on ambitious campaigns to digitize their collections; at the same time, born digital heritage joins archival collections. The valorisation of digital heritage, especially audiovisual documents and multimodal corpora, is becoming a major issue for both cultural institutions and researchers. One of the answers consists of creating annotation interfaces or automating annotation thanks to computational techniques, both for close and / or distant viewing analysis.

Reimagining annotation for multimodal cultural heritage makes for an exciting and stimulating landscape, but also engenders a host of epistemological questions. How can we engage with and organize the informational hierarchies that emerge from these methods? What are the affordances and limits of close and distant reading methods and how can we articulate these two approaches? Faced with a multiplication of approaches and interfaces, how can we consolidate research and resources to encourage cumulative, collaborative work to occur? What becomes of the document’s ontology — notably in the context of time-based media and the analysis of creative processes — when it integrates a network of annotations, readings and decompositions? 

This conference seeks to interrogate these questions across three primary axes:

  • Axis 1: Tools. We wish to interrogate the tools available for the annotation of multimodal data and cultural heritage. What is the state of the art, what tools are available to researchers? What are the issues developers face when dealing with multimodal data and especially audiovisual data? How do developers overcome the friction between powerful computational methods and users?

  • Axis 2: Methods. We wish to interrogate the methodologies for engaging with multimodal data and cultural heritage. How has annotation in the digital humanities developed with the emergence of computational techniques? What are the new approaches they allow for? How will the field develop from an epistemological point of view?

  • Axis 3: Projects. We wish to shine a light on projects that have interrogated these first two axes in academia and the GLAM sector. 

We encourage researchers and cultural professionals from a large number of fields who work along these axes to contribute: the digital humanities and GLAM professionals, the performing arts, theater, cinema, music, visual art, history, video games, conservation and archival professionals, as well as cultural heritage institutions.


The conference will be hosted at Rennes 2 University and the MSHB (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme en Bretagne) (Rennes, France). It will be possible to attend the conference online. Prior to the conference, the participants will have the possibility to attend a day-long workshop which will be the opportunity to showcase a new tool based on IIIF for the annotation of multimodal corpora. More information about the workshop shall be communicated soon.


11/04/2023: Publication of call.

15/09/2023: Abstract submission deadline.

23/10/2023: Notification of accepted abstracts.



Papers : Abstract of 500 words.

Posters : Abstract of 500 words.


All the papers will be recorded before or during the conference and edited with MemoRekall-IIIF. They will be published as an open source multimodal book online for the conference.


Scientific Committee

Organization Committee

Indicative Bibliography

  • Arnold, Taylor, Stefania Scagliola, Lauren Tilton, and Jasmijn Van Gorp. “Introduction: Special Issue on AudioVisual Data in DH.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 015, no. 1 (March 5, 2021).
  • Arnold, Taylor, and Lauren Tilton. “Distant Viewing: Analyzing Large Visual Corpora.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 34, no. Supplement_1 (December 1, 2019): i3–16. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqz013.
  • Bachimont, Bruno. Patrimoine et numérique: technique et politique de la mémoire. Médias et humanités. Bry-sur-Marne: INA, 2017.
  • Bardiot, Clarisse. Performing Arts and Digital Humanities. From Traces to Data. Wiley-ISTE, 2021. https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-03884691.
  • Bellia, Angela. “Towards a New Approach in the Study of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” 2019. link..
  • deLahunta, Scott, K. Vincs, and Sarah Whatley. “On An/Notations.” Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts 20, no. 6 (2015): 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2015.1111036.
  • Drucker, Johanna. “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 005, no. 1 (March 10, 2011).
  • Duranti, Luciana, Corinne Rogers, Julie Mcleod, Elizabeth Shepherd, Fiorella Foscarini, Basma Shabou, Patricia Franks, et al. “Trusting Records and Data in the Cloud: The Creation, Management, and Preservation of Trustworthy Digital Content,” September 1, 2019. https://doi.org/10.29085/9781783304042.
  • Jeanneret, Yves. The Trace Factory. 1st edition. Wiley-ISTE, 2020.
  • Manovich, Lev. “Data Science and Digital Art History.” International Journal for Digital Art History, No. 1, 2015, Pp. 12-35, June 1, 2015. https://www.academia.edu/13630995/Data_Science_and_Digital_Art_History.
  • Mee, Erin B. “Born-Digital Scholarship.” TDR: The Drama Review 62, no. 3 (2018): 8–9.
  • Rinehart, Richard, and Jon Ippolito. Re-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory, 2014. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/7975.001.0001.
  • Smits, Thomas, and Melvin Wevers. “A Multimodal Turn in Digital Humanities. Using Contrastive Machine Learning Models to Explore, Enrich, and Analyze Digital Visual Historical Collections.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, March 15, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqad008.


  • Rennes, France (35)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


  • Friday, September 15, 2023


  • annotation, video, mutlimodal, network, close, distant, reading, ai


  • Clarisse Bardiot
    courriel : clarisse [dot] bardiot [at] univ-rennes2 [dot] fr
  • Jacob Hart
    courriel : jacob [dot] hart [at] univ-rennes2 [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Jacob Hart
    courriel : jacob [dot] hart [at] univ-rennes2 [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Reimagining Annotation for Multimodal Cultural Heritage », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, June 05, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1baa

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