About our staff
Professor Melissa Terras
MA MSc DPhil CLTHE FCLIP FBCS CITP FHEA
Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage
Professor and Founding Director of the Centre for Digital Scholarship
Melissa Terras is the Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh‘s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, which she joined in October 2017, leading digital aspects of research within CAHSS at Edinburgh, as well as building digital capacity in the new Edinburgh Futures Institute. Her research focuses on the use of computational techniques to enable research in the arts, humanities, and wider cultural heritage and information environment that would otherwise be impossible.
With a background in Classical Art History and English Literature (MA, University of Glasgow), and Computing Science (MSc IT with distinction in Software and Systems, University of Glasgow), her doctorate (Engineering, University of Oxford) examined how to use advanced information engineering technologies to interpret and read Roman texts. She is an Honorary Professor of Digital Humanities in UCL Department of Information Studies, where she was employed from 2003-2017, Honorary Professor in UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, which she directed 2012-2017, and previously Vice Dean of Research in UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities (2014-2017).
Books include “Image to Interpretation: An Intelligent System to Aid Historians in Reading the Vindolanda Texts” (2006, Oxford University Press) and “Digital Images for the Information Professional” (2008, Ashgate), and she has co-edited various volumes such as “Digital Humanities in Practice” (Facet 2012) and “Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader” (Ashgate 2013) which was recently translated into a Russian Edition (Siberian Federal University Press 2017). Her latest monograph on the representation of academics in children’s literature is in production with Cambridge University Press.
Terras was program chair of the major international conference Digital Humanities 2014, in Lausanne, Switzerland, vice-chair of DH2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and outgoing chair of DH2015 in Sydney, Australia. She served as Secretary of the Association of Literary and Linguistic Computing (now the European Association of Digital Humanities) (2008-2011) and as a Steering committee member of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (2009-2012).
Terras is general editor of Digital Humanities Quarterly, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. She currently serves on the Board of Curators of the University of Oxford Libraries and the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland, as well as a number of Advisory boards including The British Library Labs, the Scientific Consultative Group of The National Gallery, and The Imperial War Museum’s Operation War Diary. Terras is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society. Terras was the Co-Investigator of the The EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) during its set up period.
Current research activities
Terras is working on a range of funded projects and initiatives applying computational approaches to cultural heritage areas, including Transcriptorium , Crosscult, Oceanic Exchanges, and Digital Library Futures, and numerous unfunded research approaches including the representation of academia in children's literature, and the history of female punchcard operatives in early Digital Humanities projects. Previous research projects include and Deep Imaging Mummy Cases, Non-Destructive Analysis of Multi-Layered Papyrus, QRator, Transcribe Bentham, The Great Parchment Book , The Slade Archive Project, Textal, Log Analysis of Internet Resources in the Arts and Humanities, Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology, eScience and Ancient Documents, and Researching eScience Analysis of Census Holdings.
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
Areas of interest for supervision
I am interested in hearing from students wishing to undertake doctoral research in any area related to digital cultural heritage including digitisation, digital libraries, user studies, digital editions, digital museums, and the general digital humanities, including text and data mining, any aspects of amateur collecting and online platforms, crowdsourcing, and online public engagement. I am happy to discuss research careers with interested potential PhD students.
Current PhD students supervised
Topics currently worked on by PhD students include: Understanding best practice in scholarly digital editions; Using data mining methods to understand the impact of the London Library; Using and developing digital interfaces to examine the interconnectedness of museum objects; Information Practices Across The Academic And Non-academic Fields of Oceanography; A pipeline of multispectral imaging for analysing historical texts; and Hyperspectral Imaging for Cultural Heritage Analysis: from books to bricks.
Past PhD students supervised
Professor Terras has supervised students working on a variety of topics to successful completion, including: User responses to 3D computational models in museum spaces; Imaging the Great Parchment Book; Use and users of large scale digitisation initiatives; Social interpretation and user experience in digital cultural contexts; Digital Public Archaeology; Multi-spectral imaging of manuscript material; The genesis of the blogging platform: an archival study; The materiality of comic books and digital media; and Building an Interpretation Support System to aid the reading of Ancient Documents.
Books - Authored
Terras, M. (2018) The Professor in Children's Literature: An Anthology. Roehampton University: Fincham Press
Terras, M. (2008) Digital Images for the Information Professional. Routledge
Terras, M. (2006) Image to Interpretation: An Intelligent System to Aid Historians in Reading the Vindolanda Texts. Oxford University Press
Books - Edited
Terras, M., Найхан, Д., Ванхут, Э. and КИЖНЕР, И. (eds.) (2017) Цифровые гуманитарные науки Хрестоматия: Digital humanities: in search of definitions. Siberian Federal University Press
Terras, M., Nyhan, J. and Vanhoutte, E. (eds.) (2013) Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader. Routledge
Warwick, C., Terras, M. and Nyhan, J. (eds.) (2012) Digital Humanities in Practice. facet publishing
Terras, M. and D. Nelson, B. (eds.) (2012) Digitizing Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture. Iter
Terras, M. and G, C. (eds.) (2010) Changing the Center of Gravity: Transforming Classical Studies Through Cyberinfrastructure. Gorgias Press
Valeonti, F., Terras, M. and Hudson-Smith, A. (2019) How open is OpenGLAM? Identifying barriers to commercial and non-commercial reuse of digitised art images. Journal of Documentation, 76(1)DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-06-2019-0109
Seaward, L., Terras, M., Muehlberger, G., Ares Oliveira, S., Vicente , B., Colutto, S., Déjean, H., Diem, M., Fiel, S., Gatos, B., Grüning, T., Greinoecker, A., Hackl, G., Haukkovaara, V., Heyer, G., Hirvonen, L., Hodel, T., Jokinen, M., Jokinen, P., Kallio, M., Kaplan, F., Kleber, F., Labahn, R., Lang, E., Laube, S., Leifert, G., Louloudis, G., McNicholl, R., Meunier, J., Mühlbauer, E., Philipp, N., Pratikakis, I., Puigcerver Pérez, J., Putz, H., Retsinas, G., Romero, V., Sablatnig, R., Sánchez, J., Schofield, P., Sfikas, G., Sieber, C., Stamatopoulos, N., Strauss, T., Terbul, T., Toselli, A., Ulreich, B., Villega, M., Vidal, E., Walcher, J., Weidemann, M., Wurster, H., Zagoris, K., Bryan, M. and Michael, J. (2019) Transforming scholarship in the archives through handwritten text recognition: Transkribus as a case study. Journal of DocumentationDOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-07-2018-0114
Kizhner, I., Terras, M., Rumyantsev, M., Sycheva, K. and Rudov, I. (2019) Accessing Russian culture online: The scope of digitization in museums across Russia. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 34(2), pp. 350-367DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqy035
Martinez, M. and Terras, M. (2019) ‘Not Adopted’: The UK Orphan Works Licensing Scheme and how the crisis of copyright in the cultural heritage sector restricts access to digital content. Open Library of the Humanities , 5(1)DOI: https://doi.org/10.16995/olh.335/
Münster, S. and Terras, M. (2019) The visual side of digital humanities: A survey on topics, researchers, and epistemic cultures. Digital Scholarship in the HumanitiesDOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqz022
Maybury, I., Howell, D., Terras, M. and Viles, H. (2018) Comparing the effectiveness of hyperspectral imaging and Raman spectroscopy: A case study on Armenian manuscripts. Heritage Science, 6(1), pp. 1-15DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-018-0206-1
Gibson, A., Piquette, K., Bergmann, U., Christens-Barry, W., Davis, P., Endrizzi, M., Fan, S., Farsiu, S., Fitzgerald, A., Griffiths, J., Jones, C., Li, G., Manning, P., Maughan Jones, C., Mazza, R., Mills, D., Modregger, P., Munro, P., Olivo, A., Stevenson, A., Venugopal, B., Wallace, V., Wogelius, R., Toth, M. and Terras, M. (2018) An assessment of multimodal imaging of subsurface text in mummy cartonnage using surrogate papyrus phantoms. Heritage Science, 6(7), pp. 1-13DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-018-0175-4
Pal, K., Avery, N., Boston, P., Campagnolo, A., De Stefani, C., Matheson-pollock, H., Panozzo, D., Payne, M., Schüller, C., Sanderson, C., Scott, C., Smith, P., Smither, R., Sorkine-hornung, O., Stewart, A., Stewart, E., Stewart, P., Terras, M., Walsh, B., Ward, L., Yamada, L. and Weyrich, T. (2017) Digitally reconstructing the Great Parchment Book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 32(4), pp. 887-917DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqw057
Bailey-ross, C., Gray, S., Ashby, J., Terras, M., Hudson-smith, A. and Warwick, C. (2017) Engaging the museum space: Mobilizing visitor engagement with digital content creation. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 32(4), pp. 689-708DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqw041
Gooding, P. and Terras, M. (2017) Inheriting library cards to Babel and Alexandria: Contemporary metaphors for the digital library. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 18(3), pp. 207-222DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00799-016-0194-2
Attu, R. and Terras, M. (2017) What people study when they study Tumblr: Classifying Tumblr-related academic research. Journal of Documentation, 73(3), pp. 528-554DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-08-2016-0101
Terras, M., Baker, J., Hetherington, J., Beavan, D., Zaltz Austwick, M., Welsh, A., O'Neill, H., Finley, W., Duke-Williams, O. and Farquhar, A. (2017) Enabling complex analysis of large-scale digital collections: Humanities research, high-performance computing, and transforming access to British Library digital collections. Digital Scholarship in the HumanitiesDOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqx020
Giacometti, A., Campagnolo, A., Macdonald, L., Mahony, S., Robson, S., Weyrich, T., Terras, M. and Gibson, A. (2017) The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 32(1), pp. 101-122DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqv036
Terras, M. (2016) A Decade in Digital Humanities. Journal of Siberian Federal University, 9(7), pp. 1637-1650DOI: https://doi.org/10.17516/1997-1370-2016-9-7-1637-1650
G.e. Gorman And Professor Jennifer, P. and Terras, M. (eds.) (2015) Opening Access to collections: The making and using of open digitised cultural content. Online Information Review, 39(5), pp. 733-752DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-06-2015-0193
Terras, M. (2015) So you want to reuse digital heritage content in a creative context? Good luck with that. Art Libraries Journal, 40(4), pp. 33-37DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0307472200020502
Causer, T. and Terras, M. (2014) Crowdsourcing Bentham: Beyond the traditional Boundaries of academic history. International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, 8(1), pp. 46-64DOI: https://doi.org/10.3366/ijhac.2014.0119
Gooding, P., Terras, M. and Warwick, C. (2013) The myth of the new: Mass digitization, distant reading, and the future of the book. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 28(4), pp. 629-639DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqt051
Williams, S., Terras, M. and Warwick, C. (2013) How Twitter is studied in the medical professions: A classification of Twitter papers indexed in PubMed. Medicine, 2(2)DOI: https://doi.org/10.2196/med20.2269
Williams, S., Terras, M. and Warwick, C. (2013) What do people study when they study Twitter? Classifying Twitter related academic papers. Journal of Documentation, 69(3), pp. 384-410DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-03-2012-0027
Terras, M. (2012) The impact of social media on the dissemination of research: Results of an experiment. Journal of digital humanities, 1(3)
Ross, C., Terras, M., Warwick, C. and Welsh, A. (2011) Enabled backchannel: Conference Twitter use by digital humanists. Journal of Documentation, 67(2), pp. 214-237DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/00220411111109449
Warwick, C., Fisher, C., Terras, M., Baker, M., Clarke, A., Fulford, M., Grove, M., Rains, M. and O' Riordan, E. (2009) iTrench: A study of user reactions to the use of information technology in field archaeology. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 24(2), pp. 211-223DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqp006
Crane, G., Seales, B. and Terras, M. (2009) Cyberinfrastructure for Classical Philology. DHQ Digital Humanities Quarterly, 3(1)
Warwick, C., Galina, I., Rimmer, J., Terras, M., Blandford, A., Gow, J. and Buchanan, G. (2009) Documentation and the users of digital resources in the humanities. Journal of Documentation, 65(1), pp. 33-57DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410910926112
Terras, M. (2009) Should we just send a copy?: Digitisation, use and usefulness. Art Libraries Journal, 35(1), pp. 22-27
Terras, M. (2009) The potential and problems in using high performance computing in the Arts and Humanities: The Researching e-Science Analysis of Census Holdings (ReACH) Project. DHQ Digital Humanities Quarterly, 3(4)
Gooding, P. and Terras, M. (2008) ‘Grand Theft Archive’: A quantitative analysis of the state of computer game preservation. International Journal of Digital Curation, 3(2), pp. 19-41DOI: https://doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v3i2.56
Warwick, C., Galina, I., Terras, M., Huntington, P. and Pappa, N. (2008) The master builders: LAIRAH research on good practice in the construction of digital humanities projects. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 23(3), pp. 383-396DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqn017
Warwick, C., Terras, M., Galina, I., Huntington, P. and Pappa, N. (2008) Library and information resources and users of digital resources in the humanities. Program, 42(1), pp. 5-27DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/00330330810851555
Warwick, C., Terras, M., Huntington, P. and Pappa, N. (2007) If you build it will they come? The LAIRAH study: Quantifying the use of online resources in the Arts and Humanities through statistical analysis of user log data. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 23(1), pp. 85-102DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqm045
Terras, M. and Robertson, P. (2005) Image and interpretation: Using artificial intelligence to read ancient Roman texts. HumanIT, 7(3)
Terras, M. (2001) Another suitcase, another student hall--Where are we going to? What ACH/ALLC 2001 can tell us about the current direction of Humanities Computing. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 16(4), pp. 485-491DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/16.4.485
Terras, M. (2001) Towards a reading of the Vindolanda stylus tablets: Engineering Science and the papyrologist. HumanIT, 5(2)
Terras, M. (1999) A virtual tomb for Kelvingrove: Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Education. Internet Archaeology
Hindmarch, J., Terras, M. and Robson, S. (forthcoming) On virtual auras: The cultural heritage object in the age of 3D digital reproduction. In: Lewi, H., Smith, W., Steve, C. and vom Lehn, D. (eds.) The Routledge international Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites. Oxford: Routledge
Kador, T., Hannan, L., Nyhan, J., Terras, M., Chatterjee, H. and Carnall, M. (2018) Object-based learning and research-based education: Case studies from the UCL curricula. In: Davies, J. and Pachler, N. (eds.) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Perspectives from UCL. London: UCL IoE Press, pp. 157-177
Franzini, G., Mahony, S. and Terras, M. (2016) A catalogue of digital editions. In: Pierazzo, E. and Driscoll, M. (eds.) Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices. Open Book Publishers, pp. 161-182DOI: https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0095
Terras, M. (2016) Crowdsourcing in the digital humanities. In: Schreibman, S., Siemens, R. and Unsworth, J. (eds.) A New Companion to Digital Humanities. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 420-439
Terras, M. (2016) Digital images. In: Mcdonald, J. and Levine-Clark, M. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences. Taylor & Francis
Terras, M. (2015) Cultural heritage information: Artefacts and digitization technologies. In: Ruthven, I. and Chowdhury, G. (eds.) Cultural Heritage Information: Access Management. facet publishing, pp. 63-88
Nyhan, J., Terras, M. and Mahony, S. (2014) Integrative Learning: International research and practice. In: Blackshields, D., Cronin, J., Higgs, B., Kilcommins, S., McCarthy, M. and Ryan, A. (eds.) Integrative Learning: International research and practice. Routledge, pp. 235-247DOI: https://doi.org/20.500.11820/c8d14ed8-032f-4d60-b3dd-6dccf4eb0d16
Causer, T. and Terras, M. (2014) “Many hands make light work. Many hands together make merry work”: Transcribe Bentham and crowdsourcing manuscript collections. In: Ridge, M. (ed.) Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage. Ashgate Publishing Ltd., pp. 57-88
Ross, C., Carnall, M., Hudson-Smith, A., Warwick, C., Terras, M. and Gray, S. (2013) Enhancing museum narratives: Tales of things and UCL's grant museum. In: Farman, J. (ed.) The mobile story: Narrative practices with locative technologies. Taylor and Francis Ltd., pp. 276-289
Terras, M. (2012) Being the other: Interdisciplinary work in computational science and the humanities. In: Deegan, M. and McCarthy, W. (eds.) Collaborative Research in the Digital Humanities: A Volume in Honour of Harold Short, on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday and his Retirement, September 2010. Ashgate Publishing Ltd., pp. 213-230
Warwick, C., Terras, M. and Galina, I. (2012) Bibliothèques, ressources d’information et utlisateurs de ressources électroniques dans les sciences humaines. In: Ceccani, S. (ed.) Pratiques documentaires numériques à l'université. Presses de l’ensibb, pp. 140-174
Terras, M. (2012) Digitisation and digital resources in the humanities. In: Terras, M., Warwick, C. and Nyhan, J. (eds.) Digital Humanities in Practice. facet publishing
Terras, M. (2012) Image processing and digital humanities. In: Terras, N., Nyhan, J. and Warwich, C. (eds.) Digital Humanities in Practice. facet publishing
Terras, M., Warwick, C. and Nyhan, J. (2012) Introduction. In: Warwick, C., Terras, M. and Nyhan, J. (eds.) Digital Humanities in Practice. facet publishing, pp. xiii-xix
Terras, M. (2012) Present, not voting: Digital humanities in the Panopticon. In: Berry, D. (ed.) Understanding Digital Humanities. Milton Keynes: The Open University and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 172-190DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230371934_10
Terras, M., Ross, C. and Motyckova, V. (2012) Scholarly information seeking behaviour in the British Museum online collection. In: Hughes, L. (ed.) Evaluating and Measuring the Value, Use and Impact of Digital Collections. facet publishing, pp. 85-102
Terras, M. (2012) Un regard jeté sous le Chapiteau. Les humanités numériques et la crise de l’inclusion. In: Read/Write Book 2:: Introduction aux humanités numériques. Open Edition Press
Terras, M. (2011) Artefacts and errors: Acknowledging issues of representation in the digital imaging of ancient texts. In: Fischer, F., Fritze, C. and Vogeler, G. (eds.) Kodikologie und Paläographie im digitalen Zeitalter 2/ Codicology and Palaeography in the Digital Age 2. Books on Demand, pp. 43-61DOI: https://doi.org/20.500.11820/29d0e999-39d3-42e0-96e2-2b9b99ec69a8
Terras, M., Warwick, C. and Ross, C. (2011) Building useful virtual research environments: The need for user-led design. In: Building Useful Virtual Research Environments: The Need for User-Led Design. University Libraries and Digital Learning Environments, pp. 151-167
Terras, M. (2010) The digital classicist: Disciplinary focus and interdisciplinary vision. In: Mahony, S. and Bodard, G. (eds.) Digital Research in the Study of Classical Antiquity. Routledge, pp. 171-189
Terras, M. (2010) The rise of digitisation: An overview. In: Rukowski, R. (ed.) Digital Perspectives. Sense Publishing, pp. 3-20
Terras, M. (2009) Digital images. In: Bates, M. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences. Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Brady, M., Pan, X., Schenk, V., Terras, M., Robertson, P. and Molton, N. (2005) Shadow stereo, image filtering, and constraint propagation. In: Bowman, A. and Brady, M. (eds.) Images and Artefacts of the Ancient World. British Academy Scholarship Online, pp. 15-30DOI: https://doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197262962.003.0003
Filgueira Vicente, R., Jackson, M., Roubickova, A., Krause, A., Terras, M., Hauswedell, T., Nyhan, J., Beavan, D., Hobson, T., Coll Ardanuy, M., Colavizza, G., Hetherington, J. and Ahnert, R. (forthcoming) defoe: A Spark-based Toolbox for Analysing Digital Historical Textual Data. In: 2019 IEEE 15th International Conference on e-Science (e-Science).
Lechelt, Z., Elsden, C., Speed, C., Helgason, I., Paneels, I., Smyth, M. and Terras, M. (2019) How can we balance research, participation and innovation as HCI researchers?. In: Proceedings of the Halfway to the Future Symposium 2019. ACMDOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3363384.3363394
Gooding, P., Terras, M. and Berube, L. (2019) User-centric evaluation of non-print legal deposit in the United Kingdom: The digital library futures approach. In: 13th International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries. Aberystwyth
Kizhner, I., Terras, M., Rumyantsev, M., Khokhlova, V. and Demeshkova, E. (2019) Measuring bias in aggregated digitised content: A case study on Google arts and culture. In: Digital Humanities 2019, Utrecht. Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations
Valeonti, F., Terras, M., Hudson-Smith, A. and Zarkali, C. (2018) Exploring new business models for monetising digitisation beyond image licensing to promote adoption of OpenGLAM. In: EVA Berlin 2018. EVA, pp. 274-280
Toth, M., Toth, C., Christens-Barry, W., Farsia, S., Li, G., Gibson, A. and Terras, M. (2018) Integrating optical imaging of mummy mask cartonnage. In: Archiving 2018 Final Program and Proceedings. Washington, D.C.: Society for Imaging Science and Technology, pp. 157-162DOI: https://doi.org/10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2018.1.0.34
Fischer, C., Terras, M. and Warwick, C. (2010) Integrating new technologies into established systems: A case study from Roman Silchester. In: Making History Interactive. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA): Proceedings of the 37 th International Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia, United States of America, March 22-26, 2009. BAR Publishing