Launch note, November 2023
We are delighted to launch this map of arts and humanities research infrastructure in the UK. Please note that this is a live, responsive data set that will continue to change and grow as more users upload and update their information. If your infrastructure is not currently represented, please add your details via the ‘Get Involved’ tab. If your infrastructure is listed and you have not yet had chance to claim user access, please contact us: email@example.com.
At the time of the launch, infrastructure from some institutions – including the University of Oxford – are not currently visible due to institutional firewall settings interfering with the registration process. We will be in touch with infrastructure from these institutions in the coming weeks with more information about how to get their details on the map. If you have any questions, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is significant arts and humanities research infrastructure in the UK, consisting of institutes, centres, hubs, research clusters and networks, and professional, learned and scholarly societies with a research focus. However, much of this infrastructure remains invisible, undiscoverable, and unconnected. This project seeks to identify and connect this complex research eco-system in the arts and humanities through the creation of an interactive, online, open access map. Along with a searchable database and application programming interface (API).
The project provides a means for researchers to more easily identify potential collaborators for research projects and initiatives beyond their immediate networks and disciplines, opening possibilities for increased collaboration across activities, projects, initiatives and sectors.
The project also demonstrates the importance of maintaining a diverse landscape for arts and humanities-based research, and will help to develop a more nuanced understanding of how arts and humanities research infrastructure benefits culture, society and the economy. The project will explore what constitutes humanities research infrastructure, complementing existing UKRI infrastructure landscape analyses that have identified the need for deeper research.
The map was developed over the course of 2022/2023. An initial environmental scan identified relevant institutes, centres, hubs, clusters and networks for inclusion. Data was extracted, analysed and collated by the project team, and a usable online mapping interface developed. The online map launched in late 2023.
The map is designed to be sustainable, with an online data submission process so users can contribute to the project database. This will ensure the information remains up-to-date and relevant, enabling the website to provide insights for years to come.
The Mapping the Arts and Humanities Project is based in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, and was commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Research England.
The project team
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the many people who helped bring this project to fruition:
The project sponsor was Jo Fox.
The core operations team was composed of Kim Burgi, Megan Bushnell, Marco Dosi, Virginia Ghelarducci, George Meredith, Lui Pisanelli, and Elena Zolotariof.
The project board was composed of Kunika Kono, Christopher Ohge, Marty Steer, Elaine Walters, and Jane Winters.
The web development team was based at Studio24 and included Sean Dunwoody, Isaac Lowe, Claire McDermott, Nicola Saunders, and Gareth Trinkwon.
We would also like to thank Emily Brick for her advice regarding data protection, Hans Litteck and Hari Singh for their technical guidance and web support, and Ava Zadkhorvash for her legal assistance.
Special thanks also to our colleagues at the School of Advanced Study and elsewhere for their support, namely: Alex Bussey, Cathy Collins, Justin Colson, Michael Donnay, Eleanor Hardy, Katherine Harloe, Eve Hayes De Kalaf, Valerie James, Corinne Lennox, Peter Lin, Kay Musonda, Rachel Saunders, Richard Somerville, Simon Trafford, and Conor Wyer.
We would also like to thank all those who wrote directly to the project team to volunteer information about their research infrastructure. Thank you so much for the interest you took in this project.
Contact the team
You can contact the project team at email@example.com.
Design and development
This website was designed and developed by Studio 24.
What do we mean by “infrastructure”
According to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), sustained success in research and innovation is underpinned by ‘internationally competitive, high-quality and accessible … infrastructure’. This might be physical, for example labs and maker spaces; concerned with knowledge production and dissemination, including library, archive and museum collections; involve people and expertise, like research centres, institutes, and groups; or consist of digital resources and networks, such as high performance computing facilities. This diversity of type and scale makes it hard systematically to capture the vital infrastructure that supports arts and humanities research in the UK.
In its first phase of development, Mapping the Arts and Humanities has set out to capture and highlight a subset of this crucial infrastructure that is distributed, difficult to discover and not previously fully documented:
- research centres, institutes, groups, networks and other such bodies, usually but not always based in a University;
- labs, studios and practical facilities that assist in research;
- learned societies and subject associations with a national remit;
- Independent Research Organisations (IROs);
- university-based commercial spin-offs and consultancies.
The project database holds information about thousands of pieces of infrastructure that enable arts and humanities research, but this is still only a first chapter in the story. In the future we hope to also collect information about:
- galleries, libraries, archives, museums or collections (other than IROs);
- private companies that are not university-based;
- digital platforms, datasets, or repositories.
We hope to develop this web resource over time to include more types of infrastructure and to connect our data to other directories of information and knowledge. Please get in touch with us as firstname.lastname@example.org if can recommend any datasets that are good candidates for connection.
In the meantime, if you represent a piece of infrastructure that is not currently covered by this project, please consider submitting your information to other resources like: