Hi John

HRE is not simply a front-end to an online database, but is a fully-featured open source desktop research application which incorporates its own database. The primary use is genealogy, and to that end it's designed to take over and extend the features of the most capable but unfortunately no-longer-supported commercial program The Master Genealogist (TMG). However, the principles behind the study of genealogy are equally applicable to a wide range of historical fields. Historians are very poorly served by the commercial software market, and frequently find themselves locked into expensive or inflexible academic or cultural sector packages.


We have identified the following high-level principles applicable to generic historical research software:

 *   The data that needs to be stored for history research has a
   largely common structure usually falling into one of two broad types:
    1. a description of something, or
    2. how that thing relates to other things (for example via a
       person, date, time or location)

 * A researcher may want to view and analyse the same data from a
   variety of different perspectives

 * Rules can help to validate the veracity of an assertion of a
   relationship

 * High quality research requires an analysis of the evidential base
   for any assertions that are made, and the ability to be able to
   report on that analysis.


Traditionally, historians have divided their research into targeted areas such as genealogy, anthropology, ecology, archaeology, military history and so on. The fundamental data and analysis requirements are the same, and can be dealt with in software in a common way even if the things being measured and the rules for validation may differ.

By embracing these ideas the History Research Environment project aims to create a research platform of wide historical and cultural utility.

We would like to encourage Wikimedians to get involved, especially in coding, with a view to interoperability and/or integration with the Wikimedia sites.

More details can be found by following the links from here: https://historyresearchenvironment.org/articles/

Michael
(User:MichaelMaggs on Commons)

GitHub: https://github.com/History-Research-Environment/HRE--History-Research-Environment/blob/master/README.md
John Levin <mailto:anterote...@gmail.com>
25 May 2017 at 10:13 am


Ah, sorry, missed the screenshots page:
https://historyresearchenvironment.org/screens

John

John Levin <mailto:anterote...@gmail.com>
25 May 2017 at 10:10 am
As a PhD student & hstorian, this looks like a really useful idea.

I'm not entirely clear how it would work: is it a GUI for are there any screen mock-ups or such like? Is it a sort of front end for databases like Wikidata?

And the strapline on the site "Towards a history of almost anything" is kinda scary. That's applying a single tool to a huge number of things. Is history that similar to genealogy, and then to biology as well?

John





Michael Maggseatured generalogy and history reserach
<mailto:mich...@maggs.name>
24 May 2017 at 3:58 pm
There has been quite bit of discussion over the years about how the Wikimedia movement could engage with those who have research interests in family history or genealogy, and a centralised discussion page [1] has been set up on Meta.

I am posting to ask whether there would be Wikimedian developers who would be interested in joining an open source project to create a free platform independent application called History Research Environment [2] (‘HRE’) for the serious genealogist or historical researcher. Considerable effort has been put into high-level planning over several years, and we are now ready to start writing code.

While the proposed software is not currently an official Wikimedia project, if there is enough interest we are open to it becoming integrated or affiliated in some way. The plan is, in any event, that the software should be interoperable with Wikidata to allow (subject to the agreement of the Wikidata community) the exchange of a variety of structured data including verified and fully sourced family trees.

I'd be happy to answer queries.

Michael Maggs


[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_genealogy_project

[2] https://historyresearchenvironment.org

(please excuse cross-posting for greater visibility, as the [wikimedia-genealogy] mailing list still has very few subscribers)

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