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Francesca Tomasi

Associate Professor

Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies

Academic discipline: M-STO/08 Archival Science, Bibliography and Librarianship

Curriculum vitae

Francesca Tomasi is Associate Professor in Archival Science, Bibliography and Librarianship, since 2018, at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies (FICLIT) of the University of Bologna. In 2006 she became assistant professor and since that date she is the contact person at FICLIT for Digital Humanities research and teaching activities. She is currently the Head of the Digital Humanities Advanced Research Centre (/DH.arc) and the Head of the international master degree Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge (DHDK).

She holds a degree in Conservation of cultural heritage - archives and libraries (1997), a postgraduate in Palaeography, Diplomatic and Archival Science (1998), a specialization in Computer Science - Web technologies (1999), and a PhD in Italian Studies - digital scholarly editions (2003).

Starting from the origin of her studies, her main research interests cover the following aspects: the study of historical archives and libraries in the digital domain (Tomasi 2003), theory and methods for digital representation of texts and documents - especially following XML/TEI standard (Tomasi 2007) -, computational models for scholarly digital editions (Tomasi 2013 on Ecdotica and Tomasi 2013 on JLIS), Web publication of philological data (Tomasi 2013, on scholarly digital edition), and the analytical study of issues related to the aggregation of heterogeneous cultural heritage data (Peroni, Tomasi and Vitali 2013).
In recent years, her research focus has moved towards theories, models, and technologies of the Semantic Web (Tomasi, Ciotti, Daquino and Lana 2015), especially on ontologies for the cultural heritage domain - spanning from knowledge representation of XML schemas (Ciotti and Tomasi 2016), to the formalisation of scholars’ interpretative activities (Daquino and Tomasi 2015) within the general framework of digital hermeneutics (Daquino, Pasqual and Tomasi 2020). In the same direction, she has worked on knowledge organization models and systems for archives and libraries (Tomasi 2018), also in an educational dimension, for LODLAM (Tomasi 2020). A special attention has been devoted to the relationships between Digital Humanities and Library and Information Science (Daquino and Tomasi 2016) and to the development of a new interdisciplinary paradigma, that is, Semantic Scholarly Digital Edition (SSDE), that is a new model for integrating XML/TEI markup with Linked Open Data from archives and libraries (Daquino, Giovannetti and Tomasi 2019). Moreover, she explored the connection between theoretical aspects underlying archival methodologies and the definition formal ontologies (Tomasi 2017 on AIB studi) with a focus on “conceptual preservation” (Tomasi 2017 on, particularly relevant to real-world case studies, such as data catalogues of art historical photo archives (Daquino, Mambelli, Peroni, Tomasi and Vitali 2017). Her deep knowledge of the topics at hand is witnessed by a number of books (Tomasi 2008; Fiormonte, Numerico and Tomasi 2010; Fiormonte, Numerico and Tomasi 2015) devoted to the study of theories, formal methods, methodologies and techniques in the Digital Humanities.

Since 2017, thanks to the aforementioned publications published in authoritative national and international journals (“fascia A”), she has been included in the top-level researchers of the University of Bologna national grant (RFO, Area 11). Her digital edition on “Vespasiano da Bisticci’s Letters” had the top grade (1) in the last national research evaluation (VQR).

Her role in the development of the Italian Digital Humanities research field is recognized at national and international level, thanks to other scholarly initiatives. In 2011 she was co-founder of the Italian Association for digital humanities (AIUCD – Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e la Cultura Digitale) and since 2017 she is President of the same Association. In 2017 she designed the Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge (DHDK) international master degree at the University of Bologna, and, since that date, she is the Head of the degree. In 2019 she founded, and became Head, of the Digital Humanities Advanced Research Center (/DH.ARC) of the University of Bologna, a network of researchers for designing and developing projects in the field of digital philology, computational linguistics, semantic publishing, and knowledge management in the cultural heritage. She is also among the scientific coordinators of some /DH.ARC related projects (alphabetic order): Bufalini edition, DHDKey, Digital Library (FICLIT), Lift, Philoeditor, Vasto edition, Vespasiano da Bisticci’s Letters, Zeri & LODe.

She is a member of the editorial board of a few journals, such as «» and «J-LIS» (both recognised as “fascia A” for Area 11), «Documenta», «Schede umanistiche» and she is among the founders of the academic journal «Umanistica Digitale». She is also member of some international centers in the DH domain, including: the Virtual Humanities Lab at Brown University (Providence, RI, USA); the European Association on Digital Humanities consortium (EADH) - as AIUCD president; EuropeanaTech; DARIAH-it, due to her commitment in the Multimedia Research center of the University of Bologna; the Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) at King's College London - as visiting researcher since 2009. She has been visiting fellow at DDH in 2009 and
She is also in the scientific board of some national research centers: CERB (Centro di Ricerca in Bibliografia), ARUB (Archivio Umanistico Rinascimentale Bolognese), ARCE (Archivio Ricerche Carteggi Estensi).

She attended, as invited or accepted (peer review), more or less 200 national and international research conferences (such as TEI, ADHO conference, TPDL, IRCDL, DocEng, MTSR, AI*IA). In particular, as invited speaker: speech on “Collaborative annotation in shared environments”, DARIAH expert meeting "Practices and Context in Contemporary Annotation Activities" (UHH and BBAW, Hamburg, Germany, 2015); Opening plenary lecture on “Semantic Web as an interlinking environment for knowledge dissemination in the cultural heritage domain”, at "DHN 2016 Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries" (Oslo, Norvey, 2016); Closing keynote on “Linked Open Data perspectives in Semantic Digital Editing”, at “TEI conference 2019: What is text, really? TEI and beyond" (Graz, Austria, 2019).

Currently, she is the principal investigator of some research projects, in which she is the supervisor of 3 PhD students, 5 research assistants, and 2 scholarship-awarded fellows. In particular, she is the leader of the following projects: “E-commerce, multicanalità e contenuti editoriali”, granted by Regione ER (Bando alte competenze), 2016-2019; “Digital Humanities e archivi fotografici: rappresentazione della conoscenza e autorevolezza dei dati”, granted by ASDD CRR-MM (Unibo), 2017-19; “ARTchives”, granted by Fondazione Zeri (Unibo), 2018-19; “IDEHA - Innovations for data processing in the field of Cultural Heritage”, granted by PON, 2018-21; “CRICC – Centro di ricerca per l’Interazione con le Industrie Culturali e Creative”, granted by POR-FESR, 2019-2021; “Edizione digitale delle opere di Aldo Moro”, granted by Università di Trento (Comitato per l’Edizione nazionale delle opere di Aldo Moro), 2019-2021; “Progetto Digital Humanities: digitalizzazione fondi storici della biblioteca di San Giorgio in Poggiale”, granted by Fondazione Carisbo, 2019-2020. She is also member of the advisory board of the “SHIVADHARMA” H2020-ERC starting, 2018-2024, with a PhD grant, and tutor for 2 GARR scholarships.
She has been the scientific coordinator of local projects’ grants for research assistants: "Analisi e realizzazione di modelli concettuali per supportare l’estrazione di informazioni da oggetti digitali eterogenei" (2013-14); “Sistemi di modellazione concettuale per oggetti digitali eterogenei" (2014-16); "Produzione e gestione di risorse digitali di ambito umanistico" (2016-17). She has been also a member of some national research projects, such as: Ricerca MURST: "Progetto TIL (Testi italiani in linea)" (1998-2000); ETN (European Thematic Network) ACUME2 "Interfacing Sciences, Literature and the Humanities" (2006-2009); FARB: "Authorship, variants, style: textual analysis between philology, linguistics, mathematics and computer science" (grant agreement FARB 2013); PRIN: “Manzoni Online” (2015 e 2017).

She organized a number of international workshops and conferences (being also editor of the related proceedings), namely: “DH-CASE. Collaborative Annotations in Shared Environments: Metadata, Vocabularies and Techniques in the Digital Humanities domain” (Florence, 2013); “AIUCD2014 - Humanities and Their Methods in the Digital Ecosystem” (Bologna, 2014); “Scholarly Digital Editing, Graph Data-Models and Semantic Web Technologies” (Lausanne, 2019).

Her leading role in the Digital Humanities research field has been recognised also in the educational context. In 2020, an excerpt of one of her books (Fiormonte, Numerico and Tomasi 2015) has been selected as a subject (“prima prova”) for the Italian secondary school final exam.

Lastly, she holds a number of institutional roles at the University of Bologna. Since 2014 she is the Head of the scientific board of the Library of Humanities (BDU) and member of the PHD in: "Culture letterarie e filologiche". She is currently involved as representative of FICLIT in research centers and consortia, namely: MultiMedia center (CRR-MM); the UNIBO Website portal; the International Coimbra group (task force on culture, arts and humanities); Area 11 Sherpa in Europe (H2020); Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI); Center for Cultural and Creative Industries (CRICC).

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