Featured Projects

See how others use Heurist to power their research.

There are more than 1500 databases on Heurist’s servers, used by all kinds of users, from students with small databases to support their Masters research, to huge million-dollar projects using Heurist to coordinate international teams of scholars. On this page, you can view some of Heurist’s largest and longest-running projects, and gain a sense of the great variety of different Heurist databases in operation around the world. These projects fall into two categories: Research Projects, where teams of researchers have used Heurist to organise, analyse and publish their data, and Infrastructure Projects, where cental bodies, large teams of academics or libraries and archives have used Heurist to provide a new basis for many different projects. To explore even further, you can visit our projects database, where you can explore dozens of projects recorded in our centralised projects database, and get in touch with fellow Heurist users to swap ideas and expertise.

Research Projects

Libraries, Reading Communities & Cultural Formation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic

This major book history project investigates what people were reading on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in the Eighteenth Century. The team are collecting library borrowing records from dozens of libraries across Britain and the United States of America, allowing scholars connect and compare reading habits across the Anglophone Atlantic for the first time. The project is also technologically ambitious. It aims to be fully interoperable with other comparable book history databases, such as The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe: Mapping the Trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel, Books and Borrowing 1750-1830: An Analysis of Scottish Borrowers’ Registers and City Readers. To achieve this aim, Heurist is working closely with the project team to develop metadata standards for book history databases, and to extend Heurist’s capacities in Linked Open Data. This will have major consequences for the study of book history, as scholars will be able to query a network of related databases simultaneoulsy, and explore the movements of books across the world in richer detail than ever before. Visit the project website.

Prof Mark Towsey, University of Liverpool; Prof Simon Burrows and A/Prof Rachel Hendery, Western Sydney University; Dr Matthew Sangster, University of Glasgow

Digital Harlem

An award-winning component of the Black Metropolis-ARC: Harlem collaborative research project, whose goal is to “produce an ethnographic study of everyday life in Harlem as it became the black capital of the world.” Since 2013, the back-end Heurist database is accesible via the project’s public website, to provides a research tool that gives a customised view of activities, places, and relationships relating to Harlem from 1915-1930. more…

Stephen Robertson (George Mason University)

The Modern China Biographical Database

The MCBD aims to collect biographical data on any individual active in China, both Chinese and non-Chinese, through systematic data mining in source books such as directories, biographical dictionaries, Who’s who’s, etc., in newspapers and periodicals, and in the academic literature.

Using Heurist, the project was able to approach the study of biography in a new way: all the people in the database are interconnected in a vast network of places and institutions. The project relied on Heurist from top to bottom, using a Heurist database for all data collection, and the Heurist CMS to build the public website. Visit the MCBD

Project Director: Christian Henriot (Aix-Marseille University)

Beyond 1914—The University of Sydney and the Great War

Website launched in September 2014 to provide an extensive, searchable Heurist-based database tracking the education and military service of approximately 2,500 staff and students of the University of Sydney involved in the First World War.  More information…

Beyond 1914 was so successful that it later morphed into a national project, Expert Nation, which studied the wartime service records of students from many of Australia’s Universities. All these different projects were powered by the single database developed for Beyond 1914. By using Heurist’s built-in filtering tool, it was possible segment this single database and display the records for each individual University seperately. Check out the public websites for the University of Tasmania and the University of Adelaide‘s contributions to Expert Nation.

Julia Horne, Nyree Morrison (USyd)

The Virtual Museum of Balinese Painting

A comprehensive online database of Balinese paintings, documenting public and private collections held in different parts of the world. The site generates ‘live’ data based on Heurist custom reports. more…

Adrian Vickers (USyd)

Medieval Cookbook

A study into the history of alimentation practices during the medieval period. The searchable Heurist database links menus, recipes and ingredients. more…

Catalina Macias, EU Masters Thesis in Alimentation History (Columbia University) 

Roehampton Campus Project

This database was set-up in 2014 to help the collage’s students explore the campus, using its buildings and artworks, landscape features and religious sites, archival and image collections to research its architectural history, classical allusions and religious links. The Heurist Team built a WordPress website to pull in the information from the Heurist database linked to a Zotero library. more…

Dr. Sonya Nevin, Research Fellow / Visiting Lecturer (Department of Humanities, University of Roehampton)

Mapping Island Lives

A Heurist project to collect prosopographical information on persons who lived in the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, born in or originating from the Ionian Islands and to document, in a dynamic way, the course of the political, social and cultural history of the region. more…

Prof. Helen Katsiadakis (Academy of Athens)

China-Australia Heritage Corridor

This project explores the heritage connections between Australia and Zhongshan Prefecture, Guangdong. Beginning in the mid-1800s, thousands of people (mostly male), migrated from the villages of Zhongshan to various locations in Australia. This project records the houses, schools, and ancestral halls built in their villages with money sent back from Australia and linking these to places in Australia which Zhongshan folk created, including houses, shops, and market gardens. These buildings, and the migration stories that bring them to life, illustrates the history of connectivity Australia has with southern China. Visit the project website.

Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

Gamesound

GameSound is a prototype database that reveals the music and sound effects present within video games in an effort to facilitate academic study. Using an interdisciplinary approach for categorization and display, GameSound allows online access to a meaningful dataset of technical and musicological data using dynamic search capabilities. Our goal is to develop GameSound into an indispensable resource for game scholars, ludomusicologists, and independent researchers. published site…

Melissa Mony, Michael Iantorno (Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre)

Inventaris Daring Epigrafi Nusantara Kuna (IDENK) / Online Inventory of Ancient Nusantara Epigraphy

Nusantara is the Indonesian name for Maratime South-East Asia. The area is rich in inscriptions in many languages, including Old Javanese, Old Malay, Sanskrit, Tamil and more mysterious tongues. This database collects information about hundreds of inscriptions, allowing users to search for inscriptions, browse them on a map, and access information about them in either English or Bhasa Indonesia. Visit the IDENK website.

Vincent Paillusson, Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient

The Early Islamic Empire at Work

This database records information about administrators of the Islamic Empire during the first three centuries of Islam, mostly in three of the key regions of the early Empire: al-Shām, al-Jazīra and Fārs. The data principally comprises events in the lives of Imperial adminstrators, which are visualised on a map using custom map tiles (giving the map an attractive appearance), and carefully-mapped locations (which are represented as polygons, rather than points). The public website shows how attractively the Heurist CMS can present data to a wider audience. Visit the website.

Dr Stefan Heidemann, Hamburg University

Flora Cultures

Flora Cultures investigates the botanical heritage of Western Australia. In its first phase, it focussed on 48 plant species found in the bushland of Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth. Each species was entered in the database, with rich information about its cultural and biological features. Indigenous names for the species, its preferred regions and habits, sources of information about the species, and people associated with the species were all recorded in the database, enabling visitors to explore the Western Australian environment in a uniquely rich way. Like many other Heurist sites, the Flora Cultures site uses Heurist’s ‘faceted search’ feature to provide an intuitive interface on the public website. Visitors can easily search and filter the data, and call up information about any of the plants, people or academic resources recorded in the database. Visit the Flora Cultures website.

Dr John Ryan, Edith Cowan University

Uncovering Pacific Pasts

This project explores how objects in museums have been interpreted and reinterpreted over time. Though objects in museums seem to be static and unchanging, their meanings shift considerably as the world around them alters. The project used Heurist to create an online exhibition of selected objects from the project’s research. This project particularly displays the power of Heurist to do something substantial very quickly. Prior to using Heurist, the project team had collected information about objects in a spreadsheet, but had no way to exhibit this information effectively. In just four days, we designed a new Heurist database, imported the spreadsheet into it, and put together an interactive online exhibition using Heurist’s in-built website builder. As a result, the project team were able to exhibit their research to a wide audience through an interactive portal, which includes maps, faceted searches and an attractive menu to browse information about the collaborating museums. Visit the website.

Professor Matthew Spriggs, Australian National University

Mapping the Suffrage Metropolis

This project explores how the women’s suffrage movement organised itself in New York City from 1870 to 1917, when women received the vote in New York State. The project team collected information about the suffragists and the events they organised, then plotted them on historical maps from the period. The entire database and website was designed without any direct help from the Heurist team. The project team made some clever design decisions—using saved filters, they created detailed maps for three particular years, 1870, 1890 and 1910. This make their site easy to navigate, and foregrounds the historical narrative they tell with their data: the spread of suffragist organising out of Manhatten and into the other boroughs of New York City as the Nineteenth Century drew to a close. They also make use of a faceted search to allow visitors to easily explore the data, and provide useful documentation on the website itself. This project is a prime example of how individual researchers can use Heurist to drive their research. Visit the website, or check out Lauren’s book.

Dr Lauren Santangelo, New-York Historical Society

Infrastructure Projects

Hamburg University Logo

Centre for Sustainable Research Data Management

The University of Hamburg’s Centre for Sustainable Research Data Management has adopted Heurist as a central component of their research infrastructure. They have installed their own copy of Heurist on the University’s servers, and provide training and support to academics and students from the University to use Heurist in the best possible manner. Dr Hagen Peukert administers Hamburg’s Heurist instance, and is also a key member of Heurist’s Technical Steering Group, helping to ensure that Heurist continues to meet the needs of information scientists and academics alike into the future. more…

Dr Hagen Peukert, Senior Research Scientist, University of Hamburg

Paris Time Machine Logo

Paris Time Machine

The Paris Time Machine is a French project that aims to bring scholars from different disciplines together using geospatial tools. A map can be a mediator. Different scholars from different disciplines can use a map as a common workspace for their different approaches. The different organisations that have formed the Paris Time Machine share a common goal: to reconsitute the cultural systems of the past from the traces that remain. Heurist is a key tool in the Time Machine’s arsenal. With its in-built mapping and dating functions, Heurist is an ideal platform for creating the shared geospatial workspace the Time Machine envisions. Read more about how the Paris Time Machine uses Heurist.

The Paris Time Machine: A Huma-Num Consortium

FAIMS

The FAIMS (Field Acquired Information Management Systems) project (launched June 2012) builds tools for digital data collection in the field, and online processing and archiving of the resulting data. Project staff also advise researchers concerning the development of data management strategies that meet the requirements of major grant schemes and improve research outcomes. Heurist plays a central role in the FAIMS workflow, allowing field data to be collected across multiple tablets and synchronised with a Heurist-database for further manipulation, analysis and export. more…

FAIMS Team

TLCMap logo

The Time-Layered Cultural Map

TLCMap is a set of tools that work together for mapping Australian history and culture. It was initially funded by an Australian Research Council ‘LIEF’ grant, to rapidly develop infrastructure for geospatial research in Humanities disciplines in Australia. The project collected a range of existing tools, developing workflows and additional pieces of software that would enable scholars to combine different tools into a coherent research workbench. Heurist plays two roles in TLCMap. It form the basis for TLCMap’s MapFinder tool, which scholars can use to publish geospatial datasets in a standardised, reuseable format. Heurist is also a key component of TLCMap’s ecosystem of tools.

Dr Bill Pascoe, University of Newcastle

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