Introducing DIANE, a tree with many branches

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.

National anthems

This collaborative project within DIANE catalogues and explores the transnational roots of national and regional anthems in Europe. National anthems have been described as ‘possibly the strongest, clearest statement of national identity’. While individual case-studies point out that many of these national symbols had in fact transnational roots, historiography of this genre remains remarkably secluded within the national borders. This innovative research will study national anthems in a much broader sense, including the cultural and intellectual transfers between different national and regional musical and literary traditions and language areas in Europe.


Independence Referendums

Direct democracy has been a means to gain greater autonomy for national and regional movements. In the past decades, many national and regional movements have organised independence referendums, with varying results. NISE is in the process of mapping these endeavours, and wants to showcase European independence referendums on a geographical map with timeline.

Continue reading “Independence Referendums”

Choral Societies

Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, organised communal singing became a primary leisure activity in Europe that attracted all layers of society. These choral societies often became instruments of nation-building, singing in native languages and praising the homeland. Though strongly patriotic in tone, choral societies borrowed from each other and relied heavily on prominent German or French models.

This projects gathers and connects the data that has been collected by participants in the Antwerp workshop in 2011 (jointly organised by SPIN and NISE) and the resulting proceeding Choral societies and Nationalism in Europe (2015).

The project is the result of a collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music and emphasises the rise of choral societies in Belgium from 1823 to 1855.

NISE database named DIANE

NISE is developing the online research environment DIANE, an acronym for Digital Infrastructure for the Analysis of National movements in Europe. DIANE is a web-based data management, network analysis and visualisation environment that aims to be a starting point for research on national and regional movements in Europe.

In the last few months, designed the environment and presented to the NISE members during training sessions in Swansea (2-3 September) and Vienna (21-22 September). On 19-20 November, NISE organised a work meeting with a group of members to write a work plan and research strategy for the first collaborative research on the making of national and regional anthems in Europe. In the next six months, the environment will be made operational within the NISE network.

NISE Annual Gathering on Digital Humanities (Swansea University)

The 2015 NISE Annual Gathering took place at Swansea University (Wales) on 1-3 September 2015. The main subject this time was Digital Infrastructures for Digital Humanities.


Singleton Abbey, Swansea University Campus


In Swansea, we presented the flagship project of NISE: DIANE (Digital Infrastructure for the Analysis of National movements in Europe), a digital environment for collecting data and sharing information and research on national movements across Europe. DIANE is a collaborative academic project that aims to be a central tool in comparative analysis of the emergence of national movements. Using Nodegoat technology developed for NISE by LAB 1100, the database will not only provide topical information, but also visualise connections between actors, movements, regions and events. In Swansea, members will learn to enter and connect data in training sessions.

The introduction of the NISE database is an opportunity to reflect on recent developments in digital humanities. We will learned about other digital infrastructures, such as EHRI, iMinds, VIAA, DARIAH and CENDARI.

In addition to this, the host Swansea University organised a discussion round on their plans regarding synergy actions between Humanities and Life Science.

Moreover, recent members and current or prospective NISE-collaboration projects were introduced. The General Assembly and the members held their annual meeting.

You can find the full program here.

Please contact the NISE team if this inspires any more questions.

Training Session in Vienna

On 22-23 September 2015, NISE organises a DIANE training session at the University of Vienna.

University of Vienna, Main Building


Participants will get to know and work with the instrument. In addition to that, the workshop will be a good opportunity to explore future digital research collaboration within the NISE network. The NISE database offers near limitless possibilities for collecting and sharing relevant data for international research, but its success depends on the input and collaboration of the members.

For more information, please contact