Digital Humanities Fall School

Testo antico

Digital Humanities Venice is a research and educational platform established in 2013 between Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and Ca' Foscari University Venice (CFUV) in Italy. The flagship research program, The Venice Time Machine is an internationally collaborative effort to reconstruct Venice's past, better understand its present and anticipate its future.


Ca' Foscari

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

The Digital Humanities Venice Fall School is an opportunity for a select group of students from the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, Computer Science and Engineering to participate in the historical, economic, artistic and geographical reconstruction of Venice over the past 1000 years. For one week each year, students follow seminars by leading academics, conduct fieldwork in Venice and present a concrete case study as a conclusion to the scientific adventure.

PhD and Post-Doc students work towards concrete contributions to the Venice Time Machine – a scientific project of ambitious proportions aimed at reconstructing the past with unparalleled details. With the guidance of experts in Humanities, Computer Science and Engineering, students will take on a new scientific frontier – the exploration and simulation of the history of one of the world’s most fascinating cities.


The Venice Time Machine 

The Venice Time Machine aims at building a multidimensional model of Venice and its evolution over time. The project is based on a massive digitization program of the Venetian archives through partnerships with the Venetian State Archives and several Venetian libraries. Its goal is to combine information about the city’s environmental evolution (climatology, pollution, hydrology), urban changes (architectural structure, archeology), human factors (demography, mobility, trade networks) and culture (history of art) into a single interactive database.

2015 Edition: Venezia 1740

October 5th-9th, 2015

Programme and schedule

Programme and schedule

file pdfDHVFS Programme 2015133 K
file pdfSchedule 201528 K

2014 Edition

October 6th-10th, 2014

Programme, schedule and bibliography

Programme and schedule

file pdfDetailed programme66 K
file pdfSchedule - DHVFS 201435 K


  • Collezioni di antichità a Venezia nei secoli della Repubblica (dai libri e documenti della biblioteca Marciana), cat. exp., M. Zorzi (ed. by), Roma 1988
  • I. Favaretto, Arte antica e antiquaria nelle collezioni venete al tempo della Serenissima, Roma 1990
  • I. Favaretto, “Una tribuna ricca di marmi”: appunti per una storia delle collezioni dei Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa, in “Aqn”, LV, 1984, pp. 206-240
  • P. Findlen, Possessing Nature: museums, collecting, and scientific culture in early modern Italy, Berkeley, 1996
  • P. Findlen, Ereditare un museo: collezionismo, strategie familiari e pratiche culturali nell’Italia del XVI secolo, in Consumi culturali nell’Italia moderna, R. Ago, O. Raggio (ed. by),  “QS”, n.s. XXXIV, n. 115/1, 2004, pp. 45-81
  • R. J. Goy, Venice: the city and its architecture, London 2002
  • R. J. Goy, The house of gold: building a palace in Medieval Venice, Cambridge 1992
  • Il collezionismo d’arte a Venezia. Dalle origini al Cinquecento, M. Hochmann, R. Lauber, S. Mason (, Venezia 2008
  • Il collezionismo d’arte a Venezia. Il Seicento, L. Borean, S. Mason (, Venezia 2007
  • Il collezionismo d’arte a Venezia. Il Settecento, L. Borean, S. Mason (, Venezia 2009
  • Lo statuario pubblico della Serenissima. Due secoli di collezionismo di antichità 1596-1797, cat. exp., (ed. by) I. Favaretto, G.L. Ravagnan, Cittadella 1997
  • K. Pomian, Collectionneurs, amateurs et curieux, Paris, Venise: XVI-XVIII siècle, Paris 1987 (trad. it. Collezionisti, amatori e curiosi. Parigi – Venezia XVI-XVIII secolo, Milano 1989)
  • K. Pomian, Les collections à Venise et dans la Vénétie au temps de la Sérénissime. Une introduction historique, in “Il collezionismo a Venezia e nel Veneto”, 2005, pp. 43-50
  • J.-C. Rössler, I Palazzi Veneziani, Verona 2010

2013 Edition: Enhancing Cultural Heritage

October 7th-11th, 2013

Programme, schedule and professors

Programme and schedule

file pdfProgramme13.40 K
file pdfSchedule DHVFS 201336 K


Franziska Frey - Harvard University, USA

Dr. Franziska Frey is the Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian and Head of Preservation and Digital Imaging Services at Harvard University. Previously, she was a faculty member at the Center for Imaging Science in the College of Science and has been instrumental in moving RIT to the forefront of digital asset management and imaging. She was also a Faculty in the “Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation” at George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography. In 2008, she was a guest scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Frédéric Kaplan - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Prof Frederic Kaplan holds the Digital Humanities Chair at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and directs the EPFL Digital Humanities Lab. He conducts research projects combining archive digitisation, information modelling and museographic design. He is currently working on the "Venice Time Machine", an international project in collaboration with the Ca'Foscari University in Venice, aiming to model the evolution and history of Venice over a 1000-year period.

Elena Pierazzo - King's College, London, UK

Elena Pierazzo is a Lecturer in Digital Humanities at King’s College in London, UK. Her research is primarily concentrated around modern manuscripts, in particular modern draft manuscripts: how to edit them, which form of edition is more appropriate (diplomatic, critical, genetic) and how any of the above changes if the medium of publication is digital. This research is represented well by her involvement and active contribution to the working group of the Manuscript Special Interest Group of the Text Encoding Initiative, which has elaborated a new encoding model for genetic and documentary editions.

Jeffrey T. Schnapp - Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, USA

Before moving to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Pierotti Chair of Italian at Stanford University, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab in 1999. A cultural historian, designer and curator, his most recent books are The Electric Information Age Book (Princeton Architectural);  Modernitalia (Peter Lang); and Digital_Humanities (MIT), co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld and Todd Presner. Forthcoming in 2014 with Harvard University Press is The Library Beyond the Book, co-written with Matthew Battles. He is director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Roberto Scopigno - National Research Council of Italy (CNR)

Roberto Scopigno is a Research Director at CNR-ISTI (Pisa, Italy) and leads the Visual Computer Lab. He is currently engaged in several EC and national research projects concerned with multiresolution data modeling and rendering, 3D digitization/scanning, scientific visualization, geometry processing and applications to Cultural Heritage. He served as Chair of the Eurographics Association (2009-10), EiC of Computer  Graphics Forum (2001-2010) and EiC of the ACM J. on Computing and Cultural Heritage (2012-).

Simon Levis Sullam - Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy

Simon Levis Sullam teaches Modern History at the Department of Humanities of Ca' Foscari University of Venice. He has been an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow and a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole, a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He specializes in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European (especially Italian and French) history, Jewish history, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He participates in the EPFL-Ca' Foscari "Venice Time Machine" project.

Sabine Süsstrunk - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Sabine Süsstrunk has lead the Images and Visual Representation Group (IVRG) in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, since 1999. Her main research areas are in computational photography, color imaging, image quality metrics, image indexing, and archiving. She has consulted with several cultural institution on image capture and image archiving.

Fees 2015

The Digital Humanities Venice Fall School is waiving all fees for the program for students from EPFL or Ca’Foscari University.

Students from other universities

Registration fees for students not coming from these institutions are are set at 400 EUR per person and cover the cost of tuition (workshops, lectures), teaching materials, and organised activities. Meals and drinks are not included. Travel and accommodation costs will also be at your own expense. In case of cancellation notified one month in advance, this amount can be refunded.

As our intention is not to exclude anyone because of the fees, grants are available for those with limited financial means.

Specific knowledge requirements

The course assumes no specific historical or computer science knowledge. Students will be provided with the necessary historical background and the skills required for the digital technology.

Level of students and suitable field of study

Students should be currently engaged in doctoral or post-doctoral studies in Computer Science or Humanities.

Ca' Foscari University Venice

Today Ca’ Foscari University of Venice teaches approximately 20,000 students and covers four large scientific and cultural areas: Economics, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Humanities and Sciences.  It also offers English-taught programmes and double/joint degrees, which along with numerous cooperation agreements with European and extra-European institutions and universities, enrich the international focus that has always been a feature of the university, increasing the mobility of students, researchers and professors. Skills in the fields of teaching, research and innovation are integrated by a wide cultural programme, thanks to a busy calendar of conventions, exhibitions, film, theatre and radio dates, aimed both at Ca’ Foscari community and the entire world.

One of the most unique and magical cities of the world, Venice is an ideal location for expanding academic horizons through its rich history and traditions, and its reservoir of knowledge.  Attracting numerous international students and researchers every year, the city is a hub of internationality and thus creates and nourishes intercultural and interpersonal interaction. 

The seminars will be held in Sala Dorigo in the main building of Ca' Foscari University.

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Ca' Foscari was established on August 6th, 1868 as a Business School (the first in Italy and the second in Europe), is a public university based in Venice, in northern Italy. With its 16 Bachelor degrees, 29 Masters, 34 Professional Master qualifications and numerous PhD programmes, Ca' Foscari offers an impressive array of courses of study which include numerous international and interdepartmental collaborations.

"Ca’ Foscari has a distinguished past and a bright future. Its world renowned expertise in economics and management, foreign languages and the humanities, together with the recent and ongoing investments in cutting-edge research facilities in science and technology, have earned it a Europe-wide and global reputation for excellence across the spectrum of disciplines, while ensuring its lasting contribution to the growth of Italy and the city of Venice.  Thanks to its world-class research and interdisciplinary academic curriculum, its courses, its partnership agreements  and study abroad programmes, Ca’ Foscari brings together an open and vibrant international community of scholars at the very heart of one of the world’s most stunning location.

Studying and working at Ca’ Foscari, in Venice, offers students and scholars the experience of a lifetime, within a  truly unique blend of history, tradition and innovation."

Michele Bugliesi, Rector

Archivio di Stato di Venezia

The Venice State Archive holds all the official documents and records produced by the Republic of Venice through the centuries. It is one of the richest and most prominent archives in Europe and is visited yearly by hundreds of researchers from around the world.

Last update: 04/10/2018