Prosopography aims to study similarities in the trajectories of people in their biography. It is based on a database containing information relating to people from a specific environment defined chronologically and geographically. The objective of this article is to propose a state of the art of prosopographic databases emphasizing its specific concepts and the research relating to the modeling of these concepts. We present different definitions of prosopography. Then we describe the prosopographic method which has undergone a certain evolution due to the use of computerized databases. An overview of these prosopographic databases is presented, highlighting their advantages and limitations. The main concepts of these systems are described, including the person who is the central concept, the onomastics which allows the study of the names of people and institutions and the biographical notes which list the events to which people are linked. The description of these events raises the problem of time and its representation. All the information thus considered is associated with a level of uncertainty and imprecision, even contradiction. The information comes from historical sources whose credibility is essential. These concepts are sometimes modeled. We present the main conceptual prosopographic models, including ontological approaches. The conclusion opens towards the lines of research to be pursued in this field.
The symogih.org project ("Système modulaire de gestion de l’information historique") set up in 2008 a virtual research environment allowing the collaborative and cumulative production of geo-historical data from multiple and different research projects. Particular attention was paid in this process to the methods of pooling and interoperability of data, and in particular to the question of the creation of a generic and open model, the basis of the information system and capable of adapting to issues of the different projects. This approach led the project leaders to connect their work to the conceptual framework of CIDOC CRM and to launch an initiative for a Data for History consortium which aims to promote the activity of an international community of researchers interested in a shared data model in which decline the specifics of each project. This process will facilitate the networking, interoperability and sustainability of geo-historical data produced in the information systems of different projects, in accordance with the FAIR principles.
Social networks have become in the last decade central to political life. However, to those interested in analysing the communication strategies of parties and candidates at election time, the introduction of the Internet into the political sphere has proved a mixed blessing. Indeed, while retrieving, consulting, and archiving original documents pertaining to a specific campaign have become easier, faster, and achievable on a larger scale, thus opening up a promising El Dorado for research in this area, studying online campaigns has also inevitably introduced new technical, methodological and legal challenges which have turned out to be increasingly complex for academics in the humanities and social sciences to solve on their own. This paper therefore proposes to provide feedback on experience and experimental validation from a multidisciplinary project called POLIWEB devoted to the comparative analysis of political campaigns on social media in the run up to the 2014 elections to the European Parliament in France and in the United Kingdom. Together with observations from a humanities’ perspective on issues related to such a project, this paper also presents experimental results concerning three of the data collection life cycle phases: collection, cleaning, and storage. The outcome is a data collection ready to be analysed for various purposes meant to address the political science topic under consideration.
This article presents the genesis, implementation, and achievements of a project to co-design a digital device that belongs to the field of digital humanities. This involves the design, development, and implementation of a database of bibliographic references of art historians.