Arianna Ciula

Arianna Ciula


  • 214 Howard, Digby Stuart


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


My background is on digital methods applied to research in the Humanities, in particular on the modelling and creation of digital resources dealing with primary sources.

As Research Associate at Centre for Computing in the Humanities (currently DDH), King's College London, from 2003 to 2009, I worked on various digital humanities research projects.
From 2009 to 2012, I worked as Science Officer at the European Science Foundation (Humanities) where my primary responsibilities included the supervision of instruments to fund collaborative research in the humanities and the coordination of strategic activities related to the works of the Standing Committee for the Humanities. In 2012 I relocated to Singapore for a year and a half where I kept working as consultant for the ESF on research evaluation missions.
I lectured and published extensively, in particular on digital palaeography and digital philology; I organised conferences and workshops in digital humanities, and am an active member of its international community.


  • PhD Book and Manuscript Studies, Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy)
  • MA Applied Computing to the Humanities, King's College London
  • BA Communication Sciences, Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy)

Research interests

  • Development and use of scholarly digital resources in the Humanities
  • Knowledge representation and modelling
  • Research infrastructures in the Digital Humanities (interdisciplinarity, social and public engagement)

My research career has focused on the modelling of scholarly digital resources dealing with primary sources: from image-based representation to text encoding, from document analysis to conceptual models, mainly related to the usually hybrid (web and print) publication of scholarly editions.

In the last couple of years, my research interests have expanded further to reflect on the ongoing and future re-shaping of research infrastructures in the humanities and therefore also to encompass public engagement. My main research interest focuses on the transformative process of combining formalised knowledge (e.g. computing modelling) and highly interpretative research in the humanities.

My interest in modelling knowledge has matured into reflections on systems of expression and representation in the digital humanities and semantic modelling more in general. My research focus on material culture aspects of manuscripts and books and the comparison with the digital medium converged into some work on the evolution of scholarly communication not only in relation with open platforms and social engagement, but also with reference to refined semantic modelling (see in particular Ciula, Arianna and Lopez, Tamara. "Reflecting on a dual publication: Henry III Fine Rolls print and web." Literary and Linguistic Computing 24.2: 129-141; and Ciula, Arianna, Spence, Paul, and Vieira, Jose Miguel. "Expressing Complex Associations in Medieval Historical Documents: The Henry III Fine Rolls Project." Literary and Linguistic Computing 23.3: 311-325).

Research projects

Current research projects:

  • Modelling between Digital and Humanities: Thinking in Practice (funded by Volkswagen Foundation 2016-2017; in collaboration with University of Passau, University of Cologne and CNR, Rome)
  • Cultural Literacy in Europe
  • History of Digital Humanities (in collaboration with University College London, Catholic University, Milan)

In the early days of my research carreer, I worked at the application of information technology to manuscripts studies, in particular image analysis and machine learning applied to palaeography. My research career at King's College London was focused on advanced research methods to design and use digital resources for research in the humanities. I contributed directly to the development of widely used digital resources for research; I worked with multiple research methods and technologies, but, in particular, I became expert on text encoding, worked on semantic modelling and developed user studies.

Here is a list of some of the projects I collaborated to while at King's as analyst, project collaborator or web development support:

Professional affiliations

Consultancy work

  • Teaching and guest lecturing (digital editing, text encoding, document analysis)
  • Scientific Evaluation in the Humanities (composition of review panels and assessment of proposals, identification of suitable experts for the assessment of proposals, for peer review activities and formulation of consensus statements as recommendations for funding).


I lectured and published in digital humanities, in particular on palaeography. editing, philology, publishing, research infrastructures.
My teaching experience is connected to the development, use and critique of digital resources (in particular related to manuscript and book studies). I thought the "Material Culture of the Book: Digital Models", MA in Digital Humanities at King's College London in 2007 and 2008. I have been invited as guest lecturer in the UK and abroad, and hired to coordinate and teach the course on "Digital Publishing and Book Studies" within the MA in History of the Book (Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London) in 2008,

I was a co-organiser and teacher of the AHRC Collaborative PhD Training Scheme on Medieval Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age, Institute of English Studies (School of Advanced Studies, University of London), University of Cambridge, Warburg Institute, and King's College London (UK), February 2009.