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Digital Forensics in the Historical Humanities: Hanif Kureishi, The Mass Observation Archive, Glyn Moody

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "DFitHH" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: BN1 9RH

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 91˙727 €
 EC max contribution 91˙727 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-09-01   to  2019-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX UK (BRIGHTON) coordinator 91˙727.00


 Project objective

The use of personal computers has fundamentally changed the historical record. “Born digital” documents – private digital archives, legal and public digital repositories, websites and social media content, digital art – have entered the historical record and become part of our shared cultural heritage. Yet few scholars in the historical humanities can preserve, process and analyse these primary sources with the digital forensic methodologies required to maintain evidential integrity, fixity, and authenticity, to recover data, and to draw historically valid conclusions from the digital materiality of the evidence and its preserved technological context. There is a clear need for this situation to change. My project will make that happen.

To effect change I will draw on my expertise in born-digital philology and digital forensics to undertake exemplary analysis of born-digital corpora in three distinct UK-based archives that have not been subjected to digital forensic analysis: the archive of the celebrated author Hanif Kureishi at the British Library (BL), the internationally renowned Mass Observation Project Archive (MOPA) based at the University of Sussex (UoS), and the private digital archive of the technology writer and journalist Glyn Moody.

Working across these three archives will demonstrate the innovative potential of digital forensic methodologies in the historical humanities and set forensic standards for future research using born-digital archives.

This fellowship is, therefore, timely. It will effect real and long lasting change in the historical humanities. It will evolve the state of the art in archive science, philology and historical scholarship. It will create a significant change in engagement with the digital historical record in the historical humanities, ensuring that humanities continue to be able to answer the important political, social, and cultural questions of our times.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Thorsten Ries
The challenge of born-digital: the critique génétique and digital forensics
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Abstracts of the Congrès international du cinquantenaire Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (1968-2018). Paris, ITEM/ENS, 19 Oct 2018. 2020-01-28
2019 Thorsten Ries
Born-Digital Archives A Digital Forensic Perspective on the Historicity of Born-digital Primary Records
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Book of Abstracts for conference DH2019, Amsterdam 2020-01-28
2019 Mike Kestemont, Gunther Martens, Thorsten Ries
A Computational Approach to Authorship Verification of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Contributions to the Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen (1772–73)
published pages: 115-43, ISSN: 2506-6587, DOI: 10.21825/jeps.v4i1.10188
Journal of European Periodical Studies 4/1 2020-01-28
2019 Aurèle Crasson, Jean-Louis Lebrave, Nathalie Léger, Jeremy Pedrazzi, Thorsten Ries
Genetic Forensics, analyser les disques durs de Jacques Derrida
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Abstracts of the Congrès international du cinquantenaire Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (1968-2018). Paris, ITEM/ENS, 19 Oct 2018. 2020-01-28
2018 Thorsten Ries (interviewed), Federica Bressan (interviewer)
Interview “Digital forensics: A detective in the archive”
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Podcast Technoculture (ed. by Federica Bressan) 2020-01-28
2019 Thorsten Ries, Gábor Palkó
Born-digital archives
published pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2524-7832, DOI: 10.1007/s42803-019-00011-x
International Journal of Digital Humanities 1/1 2020-01-28
2020 Thorsten Ries
Digital History and Born-Digital Archives. Digital Forensic Dimensions
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Materialities of the Archive in a Digital Age. Eds: Eirini Goudarouli, Andrew Prescott. (= Proceedings of the British Academy) 2020-01-28
2020 Thorsten Ries
Reading hard drives: the historicity of born-digital literary archives. Case studies on Hanif Kureishi, C. M. Taylor
published pages: , ISSN: 1938-4122, DOI:
DHQ / Forthcoming: to be submitted 2020-01-28

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