Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam hosts an (inter)nationally acclaimed digital humanities and social science research group, characterized by an explicit interdisciplinary connection between humanities/social science and computer science, embedded in the Network Institute. This excellent research institute supports interdisciplinary digital humanities projects by several competitive internal grant programs. DH@VU collaborates with UvA in the Amsterdam Center for Digital Humanities and AAA Data Science.

Our expertise:

DH@VU has very successfully attracted funding from EU and national science foundations. In most projects we collaborate with private and public partners, e.g. IBM, Lexis Nexis, IENS, Digibron, Rijksmuseum, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, UBVU, Olery, Booking.com, Underlined, Synerscope, 2CoolMonkeys, Van Dale, KLM, etc.

VU also offers students the opportunity to be schooled as digital humanities scholars through a Digital Humanities Minor (collaboration with UvA) and Digital Humanities/Linguistic Engineering master and graduate programs.

Text and social analytics

We focus on modeling understanding of social and historical processes and natural language through:

  1.  Advanced text mining technology that is used to automatically extract knowledge and information from text – ranging from simple statements and facts, to events, concepts, storylines, and perspectives, e.g. opinions or emotions. And ranging from in-depth quality analysis to long term concept mining.
    Projects: Newsreader, Biographynet, QuPiD2 (AAA Data Science), Embodied Emotions, Digibron, Reading between the lines, and the VU-Spinoza projects Understanding Language by Machines.
  2. Social analytics focusing on the dynamic relations between (groups of) individuals, their actions, opinions, and perceptions, as well as on the social implications of these dynamics.
    Projects: AMCAT, Smart Governance, RISIS, Crowd funding  

Linked Data, Web Science and Digital Hermeneutics

VU has prominent expertise in the field of (Semantic) Web Science. We investigate modelling and representation of different forms of knowledge, develop innovative crowd sourcing systems, help to improve search systems and critically research the hermeneutics of data representation.

Projects: CLARIAH, Data2Semantics (COMMIT), Accurator (COMMIT), INVENIT, ControCurator, Agora, Dive+, ARIADNE (Spinlab)

Spatial modelling and data visualization.

Access to large, multimodal/multiscalar? data sets has created both challenges and opportunities. New modelling and visualization tools are required that can cater directly for the needs of Humanities and Social Scientists. At VU we develop new strategies for modelling and visualizing spatio-temporal information, for interactive discovery of meaning across time, and integrating multiple modalities in data representation. Projects: Visualizing Uncertainty (EScience), HERCULES, Mapping the Via Appia, Challenging Testaccio (Spinlab/Archaeology), Finding the limits of the Limes, Portable Antiquities of the Netherlands, Sea and Land Routes in Southern Euboia (Archeology), Mapping Slavery.


Professor of Cultural History | Director of Graduate School of Humanities  | VU University Amsterdam | Faculty of Humanities | Department of Art and Culture, History, and Antiquity

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

Tel: 0031-20-5985484

Email: i.b.leemans@vu.nl


Relevant links

Network Institute:

Computational Lexicology & Terminology Lab (CLTL):

Web & Media Group:

Knowledge Representation & Reasoning group:


Amsterdam Center for Digital Humanities:

Amsterdam Academic Alliance Data Science Program:

Netherlands eScience Center:

VU Department of Communication Science:

VU Department of Organization Science:

Amsterdam Center for Social Media: