The CLARIAH Media Suite: A Hybrid Approach to System Design in the Humanities

Liliana Melgar-Estrada, Marijn Koolen, Kaspar Beelen, Hugo Huurdeman, Mari Wigham, Carlos Martinez-Ortiz, Jaap Blom, Roeland Ordelman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The practices of digital humanists are evolving, highly diversified and experimental. There is also a lack of agreement about whether or not digital humanists should have data and programming skills. Thus, their underlying needs for higher levels of flexibility and transparency may be contradicted by their explicit requests for user-friendly graphic user interfaces (GUIs), creating challenges for designing information systems in the digital humanities. This paper describes the experience of designing the Media Suite, which provides access to important Dutch audiovisual collections and is part of the Dutch infrastructure for digital humanities. We outline a solution to the conflicting needs of scholars, by combining a semi-traditional GUI with Jupyter Notebooks. This solution tackles the needs of both novice and advanced users in digital research methods in the humanities. This demonstration paper explains how the Media Suite and the Jupyter notebooks work together, and elaborates on the rationale behind the design choices. We also outline the implications this hybrid and extensible approach has for interface design for the information science and scholarly community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHIIR 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherACM Siggraph
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450360258
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6025-8
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
    EventACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, CHIIR 2019 - Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 10 Mar 201914 Mar 2019


    ConferenceACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, CHIIR 2019
    Abbreviated titleCHIIR
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • complex tasks, digital humanities, research information systems

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