Annotations (lat. annotatio) provide additional or supplemental information to an actual item. Annotating adds a second layer of information to a given object and is nowadays considered an important cultural skill. For centuries, annotations have played a vital role in the humanities and cultural sciences, especially with regard to textual criticism and the critical assessment of visual objects like paintings or architecture. During the last decades, the digital turn in science and society has produced new forms of annotations. From computer science (code annotations), linguistic studies (language annotation or annotation of speech) to areas like the social media (tagging) - annotations are abundant.
In 2018, the yearly "International Summer School" (ISS) of the MA programme „Digital Methods in the Humanities and Cultural Sciences“ jointly conducted by the Johannes Gutenberg-University and the University of Applied Sciences Mainz will put a special focus on annotations. The main aim of the summer school is to build up expertise on foundational concepts, methods and tools for annotating research objects from a broad range of disciplines.
The schedule comprises introductory lessons on instruments for web based collaboration and annotation (like structuring and writing text with Markdown, Git and GitLab), as well as classes on annotating texts and images with markup languages or transcribing and annotating historical sources with online tools. Annotating music will also play an important part just as will be the modelling of annotation concepts for time and space in respect to cultural artefacts. Finally, more recent methods like graphbased annotations, visualization tools for annotations and historical network research on the basis of annotated research corpora will complete the picture.