Areas, activities and projects

The VeDPH aims at improving the study of literary, artistic and historical sources of our cultural heritage through digital methods, connecting academia and the general public. The centre boosts research by:

  • supporting research and training activities at the Department of Humanities
  • attracting visiting scholars and professors
  • promoting doctoral and postdoctoral research
  • collaborating with individual member and partner projects 

The research profiles of the centre’s core team represent the broad range of interests and expertise in the various areas and methodological approaches.

Research areas

Digital textual scholarship

Digital Textual Scholarship is focused on the study and creation of multilingual resources for Digital Humanities and the development and maintenance of applications for linguistic, stylistic, philological and semantic annotation of historical and literary documents. Researchers in this area aim to create, promote and integrate tools and resources for these purposes through the use of open standards and technologies. The area includes the following sectors::

  • Digital Tools, Methods and Resources for Textual Scholarship
  • Digital Epigraphy, Papyrology, Manuscript & Book Studies
  • Digital Scholarly Editing
  • Digital Text Analysis and Comparative Studies

Cadmus: a general-purpose and modular content editing alternative 

Carried out by Daniele Fusi

The project aims to design a multipurpose platform devoted to the digital modeling and creation of philological resources. As a first application, Cadmus will be soon the shared platform for a pilot collaborative project in  Latin literature (see Wiki-MQDQ).
For more info regarding the project: YouTube video recording of seminarGitHub repo

Cretan Institutional Inscriptions 

Carried out by Irene Vagionakis 
Supervisors: Claudia Antonetti and Gabriel Bodard 
For more info regarding the project: Introduction to the Cretan Institutional Inscriptions

An Open Access collection of Greek inscriptions pertaining to the Cretan institutions of the period between the rise of the poleis and the Roman conquest of the island (VII-I cent. BC). It has been created as part of the PhD research project in Ancient Heritage Studies carried out at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari by Irene Vagionakis under the supervision of Claudia Antonetti and Gabriel Bodard. It has been published by the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities (VeDPH) and is hosted at the Institute for Computational Linguistics 'A. Zampolli' of the National Research Council (ILC-CNR for CLARIN-IT). For more:


Decoding the history of the book with Linked Open Data

Carried out by Alberto Campagnolo

In collaboration with the Marciana National Library, he works on a plan to describe the detached binding collection. Bookbinding structures provide contextual information about books and their provenance, information that is rarely included in catalogues. Within the remits of the novel Digital Codicology movement, the project aims at describing a selection of the Marciana’s detached bindings and to publish the data utilizing Linked Open Data (LOD) standards (CIDOC- CRM; Language of Bindings Thesaurus) constituting a first real attempt at publishing an LOD dataset on bookbindings. Alberto is also the co-PI (with Dot Porter, SIMS, University of Pennsylvania) of Viscoll a project to model and visualize the gathering structure of books in codex format.

An ontology for digital graphematics and philology: interoperability, object-oriented programming and Linked Open Data

Carried out by Paolo Monella

He is working on the creation of an ontology for graphematics and textual philology, exploring concepts such as grapheme, allograph, ligature, abbreviation with a focus on European medieval handwriting and early modern print. The overarching goal is to let digital philologists, their software and their editions speak the same language and talk to each other, and to build that language on the foundation of linguistics, semiotics and graphematics. . For more info regarding the project: YouTube video recording of seminar

Encoding Classical Latin: Catullus Online, Musisque Deoque, and Beyond

Carried out by Dániel Kiss

Also affiliated with the University of Barcelona and Eötvös Loránd University, Dániel is working on an upgrade to two important digital philological publications in the field of classical Latin: Catullus Online, a digital critical edition of the poems of Catullus created by Dániel in 2009-13; and Musisque Deoque, a digital corpus of Latin poetry created since 2007 by a consortium of researchers led by Paolo Mastandrea at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. The main objective of his project is to upgrade the philological contents of these publications; he has been also collaborating with Daniele Fusi in an upgrade of the digital infrastructure behind Musisque Deoque and in preparing a new structure for Catullus Online. On a longer horizon, Dániel is exploring the possiblity of creating larger, more complete and philologically more complex digital corpora of classical Latin texts than those that exist today.



Principal investigator: Federico Boschetti
Website: cophilab
Status: ongoing

The Archipelago DH project is focused on the creation of new multilingual resources for Digital Humanities (especially acquired through advanced techniques of OCR) and the development of applications for linguistic, stylistic, philological annotation of historical and literary documents.

AXON. Italian Database of Greek Historical Inscriptions

Principal investigator: Stefania De Vido 
Website: database [ITA], journal [ITA]
Status: ongoing

The AXON Project has developed a database of Greek historical inscriptions, from the birth of the polis in the Archaic Age to 31 BC. Each entry is provided with the object’s description, a complete lemma, Greek text with critical apparatus, translation and commentary with keywords and indexes, and updated bibliography. New insights for data-inclusion have been developed. The database supports enlargement and offers a high degree of searchability; it offers some new strategies for research and teaching.

The Laboratory of Greek Epigraphy presents its research projects (AXON, CRINS, Venice Squeeze Project) and offers some tutorials to use the key online resources for Greek Epigraphy. The videos, produced in collaboration with the VeDPH, are available now at Members’ project: Greek Epigraphy - YouTube

The Biflow catalogue

Principal investigator: Antonio Montefusco   (DH research fellow: Tiziana Mancinelli )
Status: ongoing

Biflow Catalogue - Toscana Bilingue (1260-1430) is the final  outcome of the ERC StGrant 675333 project BIFLOW (Bilingualism in Florentine and Tuscan Works). It aims to provide a digital scholar tool for the analysis of socio-cultural history through mods and forms of translations in Tuscany during the Middle Age. The catalogue offers an unprecedented and systematic investigation of  non-classical texts (written after the 13th Ccntury) translated in Tuscany between the 13th century and the beginning of the 15th century. Additionally, it proposes an ontology of a specific domain as a new insight to represent data within a catalogue conceived for the study of multilingualism and translation in the Middle Ages. The Biflow ontology models the scholarly approach taken by the researchers investigating the corpus of bilingual texts through their dossiers.

Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri

Co-Principal investigator: Holger Essler in collaboration with R. Ast and J. Cowey (University of Heidelberg)
Status: ongoing

Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri (on project is working on building a comprehensive online corpus of all Greek literary papyri. The first stage involved transferring the texts found in the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum (, the second focuses on paraliterary texts ( Since the conventions of papyrological editions allow for much detail on the physical aspects of the text bearing object, transcriptions from the comprehensive databases of papyrus texts may easily be used as ground truth for training HTR.

Epigraphic Database Falsae (EDF)

Principal investigator: Lorenzo Calvelli
Website: [ITA]
Status: ongoing

EDF - Epigraphic Database Falsae is an open-access digital resource, offering an unprecedented systematic survey of epigraphic forgeries produced across Italy from the Middle Ages to present. It compiles both textual and visual data from multiple sources and concerns all known typologies of fakes, including intentional forgeries, replicas of ancient inscribed monuments, as well as medieval and early modern inscriptions imitating classical models. All these products have intentionally been labeled as falsae, keeping the same broad and comprehensive definition, which appears in the Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum [DEU].

EDF is the main output of «Forged evidence» (False testimonianze), a research project investigating on forged ancient inscriptions, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education. The project is coordinated by Lorenzo Calvelli and involves over 50 scholars, stemming from a network of 12 Italian Universities. We are in the process of building further partnerships with other national and international projects and scholars.

The King’s Librarians at Work. Applying Machine Learning and Computer vision to the study of scribal marks on cuneiform tablets

Principal investigator: Paola Corò
Status: ongoing

"I have read cunningly texts in obscure Sumerian and Akkadian that are difficult to interpret. I have carefully examined inscriptions on stone from before the Deluge that are sealed, stopped up (and) confused”. Such is the claim to scribal competence of Ashurbanipal, the 8th century BC Assyrian king. Among the clay tablets that formed his famous ‘Royal Library’ a substantial number of literary and scholarly texts include holes of different sizes and shapes whose function is still unclear. Applying Machine Learning and Computer Vision to the study of these holes the project aims at verifying if and to what extent these devices represented scribal or librarian marks. In addition, the systematic exploration of the connection of the holes with the shape and content of the tablets will help elucidating the procedures underpinning the Library’s formation, its ordinary management by the king’s librarians and how worked the scribes in order to produce the manuscripts which entered it. The project is funded through a SPIN2 measure of Ca' Foscari University Venice and is carried out in collaboration with the Center for Culture Heritage Technology of the Italian Institute of Technology and the Dept. of the Middle East of the British Museum, to which the cuneiform collections under scrutiny belong.

Marginalia Semantica

Principal investigator: Paolo Mastandrea
Status: about to start

Marginalia Semantica aims at extending the Memorata Poetis Project with new semantic annotations and new search strategies for Greek, Latin, Italian and English texts. The Greek section is mainly based on C.O. Pavese’s studies on the Homeric Hymns and the Choral Lyric, whereas the Latin, Italian and English sections are mainly based on the textual corpus originary created for Memorata Poetis. New annotations and a subset of the earlier ones are organized within an ontology, in order to improve the semantic search engine.

Nuova Biblioteca Manoscritta

Principal investigator: Paolo Eleuteri
Website: [ITA]
Status: ongoing

The Nuova Biblioteca Manoscritta (NBM) is since 2005 the online catalogue of the manuscripts held in the libraries of the Veneto, approximately 100,000 items. NBM is an internet-based platform. Cataloguers use common authority files for names, titles, subjects and bibliographical information. It is possible to add images to every part of a descriptive record as well as to import a complete digitized manuscript. NBM is managed totally via internet, from first data input to revisions and final publication. The database is queried via the OPAC on the [ITA]. The project includes more than 52,000 descriptions of manuscripts from about 40 libraries. NBM is promoted and funded by the Regione del Veneto, together with the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Humanities.

Pede Certo

Principal investigator: Luca Mondin
Website: [ITA]
Status: ongoing

PedeCerto is an open-access tool devoted to metrical researches on ancient Latin poetry, connected to the Musisque Deoque project [ITA].
It consists of:

  1. a program for the automatic scanning of Latin verses in dactylic meter (hexameters and pentameters),
  2. a text archive containing the corpus of the Latin dactylic poetry that has been analyzed, and the data produced by the metric analysis,
  3. a set of tools for querying the archive. PedeCerto users can currently investigate the metrical features of all the ancient Latin texts in regular dactylic verses, from Ennius to Eugenius of Toledo (200 BC-650 AD), for an amount of 244.008 lines.

In 2020 the program will undergo a substantial technical update.

Venice Squeeze Project (VSP)

Principal investigator: Claudia Antonetti
Website: [ITA] [FRA]
Status: ongoing

The Venice Squeeze Project aims to digitize the collection of epigraphic squeezes of Greek inscriptions hosted in the Laboratory of Greek Epigraphy of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. It mirrors the interest in the epigraphic squeezes that has recently arisen in the scientific community, and it aims to enhance this kind of documents.

Ca’ Foscari collection is going to be published in the digital database E-STAMPAGES [FRA]. This resource, that is open-access and interoperable, has been developed by the École française d’Athènes [FRA] and the Laboratory HiSoMA [FRA] (Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques) of Lyon. It publishes most part of the squeezes of these institutions, as well as Ca’ Foscari collection. Each squeeze is published with a full set of structured metadata, two black-and-white photos of the obverse and the reverse, and a 3D reconstruction, produced by the software developed in the framework of the Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology Project of the University of Florida.

The Venice Squeeze Project is also developing a web-based software to catalogue epigraphic squeezes. It will allow scholars to produce their own digital archive of epigraphic squeezes according to the model of E-STAMPAGES and Venice Squeeze Project. This initiative provides scholars with a user-friendly tool that makes epigraphic squeezes easily accessible.

The Laboratory of Greek Epigraphy presents its research projects (AXON, CRINS, Venice Squeeze Project) and offers some tutorials to use the key online resources for Greek Epigraphy. The videos, produced in collaboration with the VeDPH, are available now at Members’ project: Greek Epigraphy - YouTube

Wiki-MQDQ. A new web-based editing tool for MQDQ Latin poetry Database

Principal investigator: Martina Venuti
Website: [ITA]
Status: ongoing

The project aims at increasing and improving MQDQ database, which is a well-known open access scientific tool for searching Latin poetry with critical apparatus, used every day by scholars, students, common readers. The idea is to create a new web-based platform that allows collaborators to work directly on MQDQ texts, add apparatuses, provide additional information or links to external resources. The WiKi- MQDQ will be easy to use in order to offer the opportunity for powerful information sharing and ease of collaboration.

Cretan Institutional Inscriptions

Principal investigator: Claudia Antonetti and Gabriel Bodard

An Open Access collection of Greek inscriptions pertaining to the Cretan institutions of the period between the rise of the poleis and the Roman conquest of the island (VII-I cent. BC). It has been created as part of the PhD research project in Ancient Heritage Studies carried out at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari by Irene Vagionakis under the supervision of Claudia Antonetti and Gabriel Bodard. It has been published by the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities (VeDPH) and is hosted at the Institute for Computational Linguistics 'A. Zampolli' of the National Research Council (ILC-CNR for CLARIN-IT). For more:

Digital and public history

Digital Humanities and public engagement are deeply transforming historical research and the historian’s work. Our goal is exploring and adopting new ways of studying and presenting history, together with the relevant theoretical debate and the role played by digital and public historians in the changing landscape of the historical discipline. The digital and public approaches are applied to ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary history. Our objectives include the use of different kinds of digital tools (from digital edition of historical sources to network analysis, from text mining to mapping and visualization) and the involvement of the public beyond the classroom in the different phases of the historical research (from source-gathering to elaboration and analysis to dissemination). Specific sectors of the area:

  • Digital Tools, Methods and Resources for History
  • Uses of the Past, Public Memory, Oral History
  • Museum, Archives and Heritage Centres
  • Historical Communication through Popular Writing, Internet, Social Media and Mass Media 

Representations of racial laws in Italian State Television

Carried out by Leonardo Campus

On this topic he is realizing both a research article and a “WebDoc” on the subject, aiming to provide a presentation of the findings that might be both traditional and digital and be effective for both the academia and the general public. 

Archivio per le fonti orali 

Principal investigator: Alessandro Casellato
Status: ongoing

The Oral History Archive will contain the audio or video interviews, with their metadata and descriptions, produced during oral history research carried out by scholars and students who decide to deposit them, in order to guarantee their preservation and - case by case - access to other scholars. The project was launched in early 2020 and also includes:

  • the recovery and digitization of some oral archives already produced and currently dispersed and at risk,
  • the definition of protocols and good practices for archiving oral history interviews,
  • the creation of a web portal in which to give an account of oral collections and allow - case by case - online access, within the limits set by current legislation.

The Falconieri project

Principal investigator: Stefano Dall'Aglio
: ongoing

The Falconieri Project is carried out in collaboration with the Medici Archive Project in Florence. It revolves around the scholarly study and the creation of an online digital edition of a newly discovered corpus of letters written by prince and cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici to his agent in Rome Ottavio Falconieri in the second half of the seventeenth century. This correspondence lies at the intersection of cultural history, social history, art history, book history and history of science, and includes many of the main historical figures of the time. The letter transcriptions are being entered into an innovative digital platform that will be made freely accessible to scholars and the general public worldwide. Every letter will have a document record including not only the full transcription but also one or more digitized images, a synopsis, and all the relevant metadata.


Principal investigator: Massimo Warglien (in cooperation with Simon Levis SullamGiorgia Minello, Deborah Paci)

: ongoing

The Horizon 2020 Project ODYCCEUS stands for "Opinion Dynamics and Cultural Conflict in European Spaces". It seeks  conceptual  breakthroughs  in  Global  Systems  Science,  including  a  fine-grained representation of  cultural  conflicts  based  on  conceptual  spaces  and  sophisticated  text  analysis,  extensions  of game  theory  to  handle  games  with  both  divergent  interests  and  divergent  mindsets,  and  new  models  of  alignment  and  polarization  dynamics. The project will also develop an open modular platform, called PENELOPE  that integrates tools for the complete pipeline, from data scraped from social media and digital sources, to visualization of the analyses and models developed by the project. “Odycceus Historical Study Case: French anti-Semitism 1789-1989” in particular is carried on by Deborah Paci using network analysis and topic modelling to study the social networks and social/cultural categories that supported the anti-Semitic movement in the 1880s and 1890s.


Principal investigator: Sabina Crippa

: ongoing

The project is the result of an international series of seminars started in 2013 during the academic course “History of Religions” of the Department of Humanities at Cà Foscari University. The activities are characterized by an interdisciplinary methodology connecting to the historical, anthropological and other fields, that makes it possible to actively involve teachers, researchers, and students. Poikila’s purpose is the implementation of an area for debate on topical questions concerning ancient and modern history/ies. In this sense, such issues as “body”, “rituality”, and “voice” will solicit us to focus on the relation between Norm and the construction of the human being. The final aim of the project is the publication and dissemination of the scientific results collected, also through the creation of a website which will include an open access archive.

"Cristo Pantocratore", Monastero di Patmos, XVII secolo
Repertorium Auctorum Polemicorum (RAP / Pinakes database)

Principal investigator: Alessandra Bucossi (Research fellow: Luigi D’Amelia)
Status: ongoing

The project RAP – Repertorium Auctorum Polemicorum (financed by the VeDPH and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice - SPIN 2019 Misura 2) conducts the first systematic cataloguing of the Greek polemical writings against (or in favour of) the Latin Church (9th-13th century) published to date. The result of this systematic investigation will be the first online repertorium dedicated to the most conspicuous part of Byzantine literature: the polemical literature against the Latins. The online repertorium will be integrated into the Pinakes database, which is the largest existing online catalogue of Greek manuscripts, freely accessible ( [FRA]).

Roma al femminile tra storia antica e presente

Principal investigator: Francesca Rohr
Status: ongoing

The project has the purpose to make the history of Roman women known, as it makes us understand some aspects of our times: the links that exist between patriarchal society and violence against women; the role of the education in women’s emancipation; the origin of some discriminations that in many countries marginalise women in many fields such as chances of professional achievement, remuneration, political representativeness. The project includes the organization of a series of lectures directed to a wide audience about these topics and the modalities of transmission of historical contents through television, the historic contemporary novel; the periodicals of public history. The project comprehends the activation of an open access section inside of the site GIEFFRA [ITA] with hypertexts dedicated to the female characters who were the most exposed to distortions with the aim of providing the instruments to rebuild the female reality after having isolated of the stereotypes.

Digital and public art history

Visual arts and various other arts sectors experienced a kind of technological development and public exposure over the last decades that carry profound cultural implications. Art historical representation, artistic production and the art system in general thus need to be studied in order to understand how new technology affected research perspectives and public reception. Issues such as technological change, digital nativity, virtual realms, big data analysis, archiving systems for art historical knowledge  need to be put in the context of past and recent artistic productions, art institutions and public sprawl. Specific sectors of the area:

  • Digital Tools, Methods and Resources for Art History
  • Public Art, Art Writing and Audience Engagement
  • Digitization Projects for Art Archives, Museums, Collections and Artist Estates
  • Management and Public Policies for Digital Reproduction of Artworks and Archive Data

The Illustrated Book in Lyon 1480-1600

Carried out by Barbara Tramelli in cooperation with the University of Oxford.

The art historian Barbara Tramelli is developing new methodologies for the study of printed illustrations in digital collections, in order to shed light on the processes of knowledge making and sharing during the Renaissance period. 

Reappropriation in the Remix Culture: The role of User Generated Contents (UGC) in Media Arts

Carried out by Carolina Fernández Castrillo

She is currently exploring the transformative processes of preexisting materials and the different modes of participatory involvement in Media Art practices. She is developing a Media Archaeological Methodology to understand the evolution of collage and interactive processes of creation to the emerging experiences based on online intercreative approaches. The outcome of the project will be a series of seminars and publications. She investigates the topic of Intermedialities in the Digital Avant-garde too.

Digitization of an Art Collection and its Letters: The Correspondence and Collection of the Mario Rimoldi Modern and Contemporary Art Museum

Principal investigator: Diego Mantoan, Stefania Portinari
website: [ITA]
Status: ongoing

The project aims at digitizing the notable art collection and vast correspondence of Mario Rimoldi, who was one of Italy’s principle art collectors in the 20th century. The Museum that harbours his collection and correspondence with some of italy’s most celebrated artists (De Chirico, De Pisis, Depero, Guttuso etc.) is engaging with the VeDPH on a project to digitize both the collection and the letters, such as to create an online and open access platform, which provides insight in the life and deeds of mario Rimoldi. The international paradigm that will be followed is the decade long work done for the digitization and public accessibility of the Van Gogh letters.

The Digital Galleria Borghese: reshaping the access to the online collection and to the virtual museum space 

Principal investigator: Stefania De Vincentis, Daniele Fusi
Status: ongoing

The cooperation with the Galleria Borghese, one of the most internationally renowned museums of Baroque art, and the VeDPH aims to develop a new model to access the online collection of the museum.  The artworks databases will be organized in a semantic platform using an interoperable protocol and IIIF standard for image visualization. The purpose is to open up a new conversation between museums' collections and a stratified audience.

Digital cultural heritage and digital and public archaeology

Digital data and public(s) are deeply connected, and nowadays archaeologists and cultural experts are not only asked to build set of coherent digital data from the surveys, but they have to foster methods for engaging new audiences and facing the global societal challenges. Digital tools may help the de-colonization of the archaeological practice, going beyond the mere reconstruction of the past and being able to detect and analyze the cultural and political frameworks by which we share and perpetuate the memory. Specific sectors of the area:

  • Digital Tools, Methods and Resources for GLAM & Archaeology (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, Archaeological Sites)
  • Cultural Heritage Digitization (Imaging Technologies, 3D, RTI)
  • Material Analysis & Data Processing (Imaging Processing, Pattern Recognition, OCR, HTR, Statistical Analysis)
  • Documentation, Information Retrieval & Data Visualisation (GIS, Gazetteers & Atlases, Formal Descriptions, Digital Catalogues, Virtual Reality, Virtual Archives & Collections)

Venice Rivers Collection

Carried out by Elisa Corrò

The outcome of the project Venice Rivers Collection (on how rivers in the Venice area changed over the centuries) is to provide digital solutions and public events as a way to engage communities into their past.
The project is carried out by Elisa Corrò, a geoarchaeologist focusing on digital tools to analyse archaeological and geomorphological data, and to highlight, visualise and communicate the influences of environmental conditions on human behaviour. 

MapAeg Project

Carried out by Benedetta Bessi

MapAeg is a 3-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie project aimed at the study of the "Liber Insularum Archipelagi"(1420) by the Florentine traveler Cristoforo Buondelmonti. This book can be considered the first guide to the Greek islands, each of them described by a textual paragraph and illustrated by color maps, in a format which gave rise to the new literary genre of Isolaria.  In addition to offering precious information on the specific islands, the Liber occupies a relevant role in history of European cultural heritage  as the travels of Buondelmonti paved the way to the rediscovery and exploration of Greece, a land whose territory, language and culture were still largely unknown to the Western European scholars. An important component of the project is represented by the creation of a digital edition of the text based on a manuscript copy of the Liber kept in the Gennadios Library (MS Gennadios, Athens 71) and accompanied by an English translation and a detailed historical and archaeological commentary. The publication will follow a progressive/incremental digital model providing successively the results of the research embedded in an digital environment giving access to facsimles, transcripts, electronic/OCR text versions of previous relevant editions, digital maps and visualisations of archeological data. This comprehensive, yet modular approach and the use of standard formats for metadata, textual, images-related and archaeological information ensures their findability, access, integration, analysis and future re-use in subsequent / follow up research projects dealing with Buondelmonti. 

Before Marco Polo. The Origin of Venice

Principal investigator: Sauro Gelichi (in cooperation with Stefano Gasparri, Elisa Corrò, Carlo Beltrame, Claudio Negrelli and Francesca Zamborlini)

Status: ongoing

Video produced on the occasion of the Exhibition "Venice and Suzhou. Water Cities along the Silk Roads". The video, about 8 minutes long, illustrates the urban landscape of Venice before the year 1000, reconstructed thanks to archaeological and written sources.  The video was made starting from drawings by Francesca Zamborlini (cartoonist), which describe the city of Venice and tells, along with historical events such as the stealing of the relics of St. Mark and the clashes with the Narentan pirates, some episodes of the life of Duke Justinian Partecipazio and the usurper Caroso.

DigiLAnd: The Stones of Venice: a Digital Landscape

Principal investigator: Lorenzo Calvelli, Luigi Sperti

For the first time ever, this project intends to carry out accurate measurements of Greek and Roman artefacts, which feature as architectural elements in Venice and are difficult or impossible to access. Using last generation laser distance measuring equipments and their P2P (Point to Point) technology, we aim to get precise digital representations of ancient columns, capitals or inscriptions, which are reused in the facades of palaces on the Grand Canal, as well as inside and outside Venetian churches and bell-towers. The scientific potential of this project may lead to significant developments in the study of reused sculptures (spolia). Indeed, such technology could be used to carry out even faster and larger scale measurements, paving the road for new powerful and groundbreaking ways of studying and teaching Classical Archeology and Epigraphy.

Ebla Digital Archives

Principal investigator: Lucio Milano
Status: ongoing

Based on a partnership with the Ebla Archaeological Mission, the Ebla Digital Archives project aims to provide a digital edition of the entire corpus of cuneiform texts from Ebla (ancient Tell Mardikh, Syria), dated to the 24th century BCE. It includes all documents published so far in the “Archivi Reali di Ebla – Testi” series, as well as in other monographs and journals. Compared with hard copy publications, the digital edition offers harmonized transliterations, corrections and numerous collations. The Ebla Digital Archives project provides scholars and students alike with an easy-to-use, yet powerful research tool for the study of the Ebla texts. Users may browse the documents individually, or query data in the most flexible way, thanks to one of the most advanced database implementation for the digital representation of cuneiform documents. An extensive, searchable, up-to-date bibliography of all Ebla material published so far complements the results.

Interview (in Italian language) to Sauro Gelichi (full professor of Medieval Archaeology at Ca' foscari University and Director of CESAV) for the VenetoNight 2019

Living Venice in the past: urban landscape and everyday life during the middle ages  

Principal investigator: Sauro Gelichi (in cooperation with Stefano Gasparri, Elisa Corrò, Margherita Ferri, Carlo Beltrame, Claudio Negrelli)
Status: on going

Archaeological and historical research has changed the way we imagine and understood Venice in the early Middle Ages. In Venice, however, there is no place that can tell this new narrative with images and objects.

The aim of this project is to produce a path in order to enhance the living experience for different targets, to be inserted in an online platform, free and accessible. The ‘immersive’ content will be flexible, focused on interactivity, reconstructions, digital stories with virtual solutions, as 360 degree video and applications.

Mappa archeologica 3D di Kamir Sar (Armenia)

Principal investigator: Alessandra Gilibert
Status: about to start

This action aims at producing a 3D digital map of the archaeological site of Karmir Sar, Armenia, panoramically located at 2850m asl on Mount Aragats, Here, a great number of prehistoric monuments have been found, including twelve 6000-years old steles decorated with animal reliefs that are among the oldest figurative monuments of the ancient Near East. The digital map will be generated through aerial photogrammetry and will support the comparative analysis of spatial data, implement virtual explorations, integrate georadar analysis and help public understanding of the site.


Principal investigator: Sauro Gelichi (in collaboration with Elisa Corrò, Alessandro A. Rucco, Eleonora Delpozzo, Sofia Antonello, Humanities for Change)
Status: ongoing

The project aims to promote Cultural Heritage fostering the contamination between academic world

and community. Numbers & Culure involves some schools belonging to different municipalities in the Città Metropolitana di Venezia, in collaboration with Università Popolare di Camponogara. The challenge focuses on an interdisciplinary research that includes: an open data search on the web as a way to describe with numbers the features of the present landscape; a collection of historical memories; a past-present comparison of the landscape changes by uploading pictures on the Instagram channel of the project. Thanks to a team of researchers, in the VeDPH each class will analyse their research data in real time, with a series of data visualization processes. The collection of information will be used to map and to increase the value of cultural assets. 

Digital hydrostatic study and cargo capacity of the late antique river boat of Santa Maria in Padovetere (Comacchio)

Principal investigator: Carlo Beltrame, Elisa Costa
Status: ongoing

The project is a step of an ongoing study on the 5th century AD boat of Santa Maria in Padovetere, in Comacchio (FE), by Carlo Beltrame and Elisa Costa. The good conservation of the wood of the boat excavated in 2014 and 2015, permit to modelling and reconstruct the original shape of the hull. This step consists in the hydrostatic study and calculations on the 3D model; starting from the weight of the hull, calculated on the different essences of the wooden elements, and hypothesizing the type of cargo on the basis of archaeological finds, it will be possible to hypothesize the minimum and maximum capacity of cargo and its arrangement, it will be possible to calculate the waterline and then analyse the navigability of the boat, evaluating the timing and characteristics of river navigation.

PhD projects

Every year, starting from 2018, VeDPH funded bursary for 3 PhD candidates inside the PhD programmes offered by Department of Humanities.

Admission to Doctoral Programmes is gained through a highly selective application process, subject to international attention. Yearly the call for applications is published during the spring. In particular, the VeDPH bursaries are provided by a special commission after the main selective process. 

PhD programmes

Sofia Antonello’s research “A database of MM IIB pottery deposits from the First Palace of Phaistos (Crete)” concerns the history of the First Palace of Phaistos during its final phase of life, namely the Middle Minoan IIB (1850-1800 BC). This span of time is identified firstly by an architectonic monumentalization and secondly by a crisis before the collapse of the Palace. The project constitutes an improvement of the studies in Phaistian pottery and it has the ultimate aim of creating a relational database of some unpublished Middle Minoan IIB Phaistian pottery deposits in order to realise a final publication of it.

Eleonora Delpozzo’s research “Urban design and architecture in Roman Altinum: a digital perspective” is focused on the archeology of the Northern part of Roman Italy, specifically the city of Altinum located near Venice, and on the use of modern technologies, such as digital recording, 3D modeling, BIM and GIS, applied to the study and dissemination of these topics.

Federico Tanozzi’s research “Duelli epici. Una proposta di annotazione semantica digitale” focuses on the semantic structure underlying one of the most recognizable and memorable themes of epic literature: the duel. Through the use of markup languages, the project aims to create a digital-assisted commentary of the literary representations of duels, from the Homeric 'Monomachiai' to later examples from the Greek and Latin traditions.

"La versione toscana TB del Devisement Dou Monde. Edizione digitale in forma di ipertesto" is the title of PhD project carried out by Silvia Marsili. She is currently working at a digital scholarly edition of TB, a version of Marco Polo's Devisement dou monde circulating in 14th century Tuscany.

The Miriam Errico’s research project aims to offer a digital scholarly edition of the manuscript Paris BNF It. 440, a Volgarizzamento salentino of Brunetto Latini’s Tresor (15th century). The edition will be followed by a linguistic study of the manuscript, according to the methods of computational linguistics, useful for analysing the forms considered interesting for the tracing and digital systematisation of the linguistic component of Salento.

The Lorenzo Negro's research project aims to offer a complete and precise comment on Vittorio Sereni's third collection: "Gli strumenti umani" (Einaudi, 1965): one of the most interesting contemporary Italian poets and his most mature and beautiful poetic expression. All the poems will be accompanied by a careful philological introduction, which also underlines the editorial and dating issues, with precise references to the close correspondences and the Sereni's prose writings. The second and third part will be respectively dedicated to themes and metrics, concluding with a precise exegesis adhering to the syntactic drafting, verse by verse. In addition to the broad general introduction about the work and its author, the project provides an innovative research formula through the tools of Digital Humanities, in order to strengthen the comment with the creation of a database of concordances, lammes and precise searches on metric formulas in relation to syntax

Carlo Arrighi, in the research “Civilization under siege. The narration of barbarian alterity in late antiquity sources and contemporary media”, analyzes the strong comparison between current political, social, cultural situation and the fate of the Western Roman Empire following the barbarian invasions during the Late Antiquity, through a 4-step path. The analysis is focused on: historiography; late antique sources; historical and archaeological exhibitions and filmography; last two years italian newspapers. The aim is to offer a digital exhibition and a didactic workshop designed to stimulate a deeper historical awareness of the connections between present and past and a more critical consciousness towards information.

Rosalba Feo is currently working on “Tradizione papiracea e circolazione della produzione attidografica. Il caso di Filocoro di Atene”: a TEI XML digital critical edition with translation and commentary of the papyrological fragments of the Attidographer Philochorus of Athens, in connection with

Anna Clara Basilicò is currently studying and digitalizing the unpublished corpus of graffiti left by Inquisition’s prisoners in four Italian prisons (Venice, Narni, Rome and Palermo). Aim of the project is to analyze the use of writing in such a specific context from a social history perspective and to disseminate the results according to the objectives of public history. More in detail, one of the means for dissemination will be an AR environment to be designed for each prison.

Collaboration and partners

The VeDPH collaborates with several local, national and international partners and networks that are engaged in digital and public humanities research.

Research Institute for Digital and Cultural Heritage

Research Institute for Digital and Cultural Heritage enforce the Ca’ Foscari engagement by promoting cross-disciplinary approaches to human culture, languages and technology, - such as data processing, ICTs, conservation science,  chemistry and biology.


ILC-CNR. The Venetian Unit of Research with Third parties (VeURT) of the Institute for Computational Linguistics “A. Zampolli” of the Italian National Research Council (ILC-CNR) collaborates with the VeDPH in the context of the framework Project “Archipelago DH”, which is focused on the following topics:

  • creation of new multilingual resources for Digital Humanities acquired through advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems and through manual annotation of historical and literary documents;
  • development of methods to improve the accuracy of OCR on historical multilingual documents, development of applications for linguistic, stylistic, philological annotation of historical and literary documents, and development of search engines applied to annotated textual corpora

CLARIN-IT  is the Italian node of CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure), whose grand vision it shares. The Italian CLARIN consortium - represented by ILC-CNR and coordinated by Monica Monachini, Senior Researcher at ILC-CNR - is still being formed and will include several of the major universities and research institutes of the country, such as departments and institutions of language and literary studies, Philology and Computer Science, as well as groups mostly involved in the field of Digital Humanities and in the sectors of documentation, digitalization and language technologies for the Humanities.

iit @Ca' Foscari. Istituto italiano di tecnologia

IIT-CCDH. The scientific activity of CCHT@Ca’Foscari follows the real needs of those who are actively involved in everyday preservation and restoration of cultural heritage. Competences gained from the IIT research teams working in the fields of materials science, computer vision, AI and machine learning, are employed at many levels and with a multidisciplinary approach.

LCM, laboratorio di caraterrizzazione dei materiali

The Material Characterization Laboratory of Ca’ Foscari University carries out scientific research activities and diagnostic investigation on historical, artistic and archaeological artefacts, even in the field, through non invasive and non destructive techniques (Optical Microscopy, FORS, µ-Raman, NIR, DRIFT), in collaboration also with other public and private research laboratories. In addition FTIR-ATR micro-destructive analysis is also available. LCM also realizes, throughout advanced imaging techniques, panoramic images and tridimensional interactive virtual tours of historical and artistic building interiors and exteriors (real and reconstructed), as well as tridimensional images (also macro-) of artifacts, for research, documentation and valorization purposes.

Humanities for change

Humanities for Change is an international network of students and young scholars who are committed to establishing a different role for the humanistic disciplines in the present time. Its activity of divulgation is concentrated on certain fundamental themes, such as: the digital and public humanities, innovative professional opportunities for graduates of this field, the reflection on innovations in the didactic environment and the potential derived from the collaboration with hard sciences.

Nawa. Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange

NaWA - Urban Ontologies. Historical Ontology of Urban Spaces (HOUSe) is a project funded by polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) aims to develop and strengthen international cooperation network regarding ontology of concepts and phenomena related to the history and space of the city. The research group is composed by researchers from Poland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain. 

Time Machine

The Venice Time Machine is part of The Time Machine, an EU Large-Scale Research collaborative project that builds a Large Scale Historical Simulator mapping thousands of years of European history. The Time Machine brings together the expertise of over 600 institutions ranging from major European museums, libraries and archives to leading companies in digitisation and artificial intelligence to academic institutions, Time Machine aims to process millions of historical documents, paintings, landscapes and monuments through its Local Time Machines and become the largest historical computer simulation ever developed.The Venice Time Machine is one of the Local Time Machines, a collaborative project begun in 2014 between the University of Ca' Foscari, Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Venice State Archives. Today, in collaboration with the VeDPH, it focuses as a start on five research projects using new technologies in order investigate the history of Venice at large scale: from tourists' graffitti throughout the ages to a digital tour of the Roman stones in the city's streets to mapping the lagune and its archeological sites or to transcribe semi-automatically 300,000 Venetian wills in order to retrace Venetian property.