The Digital Infrastructure department (DI) of the KNAW Humanities Cluster (HuC) develops innovative digital methods and sustainable infrastructures for researchers within the HuC and for our national and international partners. The HuC was established by three institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, International Institute of Social History and Meertens Institute.

DI employs between 35 and 40 engineers working in teams focusing on text, structured & linked data, collections & archives, images, concern infrastructure, R&D; and a small staff for planning and operations. As one of the core members of CLARIAH we are an international key player in developing digital infrastructure for the humanities. This makes us a leading development partner for the humanities and a top employer within the international scientific community for research software engineers. Although we are deeply rooted in the Netherlands, we are also an international player.

What we do

Our main function is to provide a solid sustainable infrastructure environment for (digital) humanities projects. Our infrastructure is obviously fully CLARIAH based and compliant with European standards, but not limited to projects inside the academy, nor to the Netherlands. We provide hosting, development and support for a wide range of activities, ranging from several large 3 to 5 million euro projects, to many smaller research projects. And from very local platforms – e.g. research into the development of the Dutch golden age – to international projects like Oxford’s Cultures of Knowledge – EMLO project. The commitments we take on are either loosely or tightly integrated with our infrastructure, but can always be maintained beyond the lifespan of the original project.


DI always looks to connect different knowledge, skills and experiences in every project we start. What sets us apart from almost all other digital infrastructure departments in the world is that we are part of a digital humanities research facility that harbors prominent scholars in computational sciences and humanities, highly skilled data and collection managers and a professional business office. Thanks to this unique combination of expertise we can offer everything one needs to be successful in building modern digital infrastructure. Not just for our own colleagues, but everyone we collaborate with.

KNAW Humanities Cluster

The department of Digital Infrastructure is part of the KNAW Humanities Cluster. It was established in 2016 to stimulate collaboration between three scientific institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences with the aim of improving national and international humanities research. The HuC was founded by Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, International Institute for Social History (IISH) and Meertens Institute.

The Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands performs analytical research into Dutch literature, history and the history of knowledge, using innovative digital methods.

The International Institute for Social History generates and offers reliable information and insights about the (long-term) origins, effects and consequences of social inequality at an international level. The IISH collections comprise archive, library and audio-visual material with a thematic emphasis on social and emancipatory movements.

The Meertens Institute researches Dutch language and rituals we encounter in everyday culture. Documentation of language and rituals is to a large extent made dependent on the scientific efforts.

Departments HuC

Next to the department of Digital Infrastructure the HuC consists of:

The Digital Humanities Lab. It brings specialists across all disciplines together. The lab is focused on developing digital methods that advance humanities research through computational linguistics, social science and the semantic web.

The Business Office supports the employees and management of the Humanities Cluster as a whole and of the three associated KNAW institutes. The office also supports the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) and the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD).

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Partner IISG Partner Meertens Instituut Partner Huygens ING