Welcome to the new DIANE website, a new online platform for researchers, educators and archivists working on national and regional movements in Europe.
You are now on the front page of the project, where we will showcase new and innovative research. However, behind the scenes is where the real magic happens. The member section of this site gives you access to a brand new online user environment. In this password protected environment, researchers can collect, store, connect, analyse and share data in individual or collaborative projects. Using the Nodegoat software, they can filter, create timelines, maps and network graphs with a few clicks of a button.
Our main objective when creating DIANE was to make the database as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. That is easier said than done. The NISE network brings together more than 75 researchers, university teachers and staff from heritage, archival and research institutes from 27 countries, each with their own objectives, data and methodology. Some researchers may be looking for a platform to facilitate collaboration and sharing information between colleagues or universities. PhD-students may need to store and analyse their data in an online tool. University educators may require a practical and user-friendly environment to work with students. Heritage/archival institutes could have more use for a platform to share their collections. How were we going to cater to the needs of such a diverse audience?
We started to see DIANE as tree with many branches, each branch symbolizing a different research or heuristic project. The separate projects are all connected to the main mother database, the tree trunk that joins together the fragmented data. In that way, many different branches provide the central database with information, making the tree trunk larger and stronger. The showcases that we will demonstrate on this public website are the fruits of the DIANE tree.
All project can include main categories or ‘types’ designed by our team, such as ‘persons’, ‘associations’ or ‘events’. We have designed a set of standard fill-in fields or ‘object descriptions’ such as name, date, membership etc. Users can include or exclude these object descriptions to fit their research data. Researchers interested in choral societies, for example, can add ‘choral type’ in Associations. Nonetheless, all choral societies that are entered in DIANE will be part of the type ‘Association’, making it possible to look up these societies or connect them to other associations, persons or events in other projects.
In the next months, we will continue to populate the database and develop infographics and data-visualisations for this website. And we will keep you posted on our progress through this blog.