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Digital Heritage Seminar: The Visual Digital Turn – Computer Vision and the Humanities

Online event

22 February 2022
14:00 - 15:30

This event has passed.


22 February 2022
14:00 - 15:30

Event type

Online event




Digital Heritage Seminar: Image Processing


KBR invites you to attend a scholarly series on digital cultural heritage: the KBR Digital Heritage Seminar, in cooperation with ULB-UGent-VUB-UCL.

In this series from February to June 2022 we will virtually host three academic scholars in presenting their work on cultural heritage and specifically on image processing.

“The devil is in the details!” When it comes to digital cultural heritage, this is as true as “The devil is in the images!” Great efforts have been devoted to the digitization of original collections in the cultural heritage. On the one hand, this helps greatly in promoting the collections and in allowing the general public to have much easier access to the collections (e.g. by publishing the images on websites like our digital library Belgica). On the other hand, technologies still need to be advanced in order to fully exploit the information (e.g. texts) that are still locked behind the digitized images.

In this series, we are very honored to have three researchers who have rich experiences in image analysis and especially for extracting information from digitized collections.



Thomas Smits, University of Antwerp


“The Visual Digital Turn: Computer Vision and the humanities”

Digital humanities research has focused primarily on the analysis of texts. However, digital and digitized sources also contain large numbers of images. Using several research projects as examples, I’ll discuss how scholars in the humanities can apply computer vision techniques in their research. Among other things, these new visual AI methods allow researchers to analyze patterns of (re)circulation of images, analyze patterns of media (use), analyze patterns in visual content at scale, analyze patterns of representations (gender/social class), analyze patterns in visual scenes and analyze patterns of visual style. In short, I’ll show how these techniques have opened up the visual side of the digital turn.


Practical information

Registration is free but mandatory. The morning of the event you will be sent the link to the meeting and the etiquette to follow. Should you have any further questions please email gna.yh@xoe.or.

Duration: 1,5 hours

Register here



About the speaker

Thomas Smits is a PostDoc at the Implicit Bias project at the University of Antwerp. Interested in the intersection of history, visual culture and computational methods, he is author of the prize-winning The European Illustrated Press and the Emergence of a Transnational Visual Culture of the News, 1842-1870 (Routledge, 2020). Recent work has been published in New Media and Society, Memory Studies, Visual Communication and Social Movement Studies.