Digital Humanities and the Future of Natural History

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Natural history museums and herbaria in the Global North owe much of their authority to plants, animals, and minerals collected in the Global South. By taking this geographical imbalance as starting point, my contribution evaluates how research in the digital humanities can help to contextualize natural history collections from former colonial areas. More specifically I will introduce and also reflect upon the results of a large digital humanities research project which enables historians to contextualize one of the biggest archives and specimen collections of the flora and fauna of insular Southeast Asia gathered in the first half of the nineteenth century (for details see here: Next to a short demonstration of the digital environment which the Making Sense project has produced, my contribution evaluates how research in the field of digital humanities can make sure that natural history archives and collections are read as historical products of moments in which European natural history, local expertise of nature, and colonialism were closely entangled.

This is a contribution to a round table discussion.
Period9 Oct 2020
Event titleAnnual Meeting of the History of Science Society, HSS 2020
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • History of Science
  • Biodiversity Heritage