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Digital Heritage Seminar: Detection and Tracking of Events in Historical Press Documents

Online event

30 March 2023
14:00 - 15:30

This event has passed.


30 March 2023
14:00 - 15:30

Event type

Online event




Digital Heritage Seminar: Historical Newspapers in the Digital Age

Newspapers constitute a vast reservoir of knowledge about the past. Given the rich textual and visual documentation of events, people, places, organisations, etc. that they contain, they have long been a favourite source for humanities scholars. The massive digitisation of historical newspapers in the past two decades has dramatically changed the ways in which researchers can make use of these sources. Traditionally, they were faced with the challenge of manually perusing physical or microfilmed newspaper copies, a time and labour intensive affair.

Today, the challenge is rather excess of data. The increasing digitisation and provision of example OCRed full text and segmented images of historical newspapers provides researchers with new tools and opportunities for studying the past.

In this series we showcase three research projects that have implemented digital tools in investigating different phenomena in corpora of digitised historical newspapers.



30 March 2023 at 2pm CEST (GMT +2)

Guillaume Bernard – Detection and Tracking of Events in Historical Press Documents



Current campaigns to digitise historical documents from all over the world are opening up new avenues for historians and social science researchers. The understanding of past events is renewed by the analysis of these large volumes of historical data: unravelling the thread of events, tracing false information are, among other things, possibilities offered by the digital sciences.

This research work focuses on these historical press articles and suggests, through two opposing strategies, two analysis processes that address the problem of tracking events in the press. A simple use case is for instance a digital humanities researcher or an amateur historian who is interested in an event of the past and seeks to discover all the press documents related to it. Manual analysis of articles is not feasible in a limited time. By publishing algorithms, datasets and analyses, this work is a first step towards the publication of more sophisticated tools allowing any individual to search old press collections for events, and why not, renew some of our historical knowledge.


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.

Duration: 1,5 hours

Should you have any further questions please email oerpug.qrfrher@xoe.or.

Register now



About the speaker

Guillaume Bernard is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of La Rochelle, specialised in the analysis of historical documents, especially news and heritage documents.



This series is co-organised by KBR’s Digital Heritage Working Group which includes the involvement of the following BELSPO funded projects:

In cooperation with the ULB Information and Communication Science Department.