PhD defence Carlotta Capurro: Digitisation of European culture

De Rijksstudio waar de collectie van het Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam digitaal te bekijken is. Bron:
The Rijksstudio where the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam can be viewed digitally. Source:

Is the European Commission using cultural heritage for Europeanising its citizens? What is the role of digitisation in this process? These questions are central to Carlotta Capurro's dissertation titled Digitisation of the European culture. Europeana and the government of digital cultural heritage, in which she investigatesĀ the impact of digitisation on European heritage institutions, analysing both the human and the technological agencies in the digitisation process. She defends her dissertation on 26 November.

Digital infrastructures

In her research, Capurro analyses the role of both human action and technological structure in the digitisation process. She shows how digital infrastructures impose a new layer of meaning on cultural heritage and how this is affecting the way digital heritage is generated, used, and perceived.

Digital cultural heritage

Capurro investigates the lifecycle of digital cultural heritage items, from their creation to their cataloguing and their use within exhibitions, to determine the technological, political, and ethical assumptions that inform the digital strategies and their implications for museums' audiences. Many studies have analysed how brick-and-mortar museums have developed their policy of collecting, ordering and presenting their material. Capurro aims to critically tackle the curatorial processes for virtual collections, where digital heritage has become part of the exhibition.


The central case study of Capurro's research is Europeana, the European platform for digital cultural heritage. Officially launched in 2008, Europeana today aggregates over 60 million digital objects from about four thousand institutions, representing the most extensive and most significant digital cultural project and driver of digitisation in Europe. Capurro analyses the Europeana project by combining ethnographic fieldwork, digital humanities methods and critical discourse analysis to delineate its role in shaping European digital heritage politics.

Start date and time
End date and time
Academiegebouw & online (link)
PhD candidate
Carlotta Capurro
Digitisation of the European culture. Europeana and the government of digital cultural heritage
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. J. Verheul
Prof. L.J. Dorsman
Dr G.F.J. Plets

You can only attend the live event if you have received an invitation. There is a livestream of the event.