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Rebecca Kahn, Dr.

Dr. Rebecca Kahn completed her PhD in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College, London in 2016, with a study on how digital transformation manifests in the documentation, data models and internal ontologies of cultural heritage institutions, and how the identity of an institution can be traced and observed throughout their digital assets. Her current work explores digitisation in museums and archives, and the ways in which knowledge representation changes in these institutions as they and their materials become digital.

Her undergraduate studies were completed in her native South Africa, and prior to beginning her research, Rebecca worked for several years in the Open Access and Free Culture movement, and has a particular interest in scholarly open access in the Global South, open education and peer learning online and open web literacy.

Since January 2017 Rebecca has been Director of Collections for the Pelagios Project – a Mellon Foundation-supported research project that uses Linked Data and geodata to build connections between digital historical sources. Her focus is on working with museums, libraries and archives to develop linked data connections from their collections.

She is one of the 2018/19 Freies Wissen fellows, supported by Wikimedia Deutschland, the Stifterverband and the VolkswagenStiftung. Rebecca is also one of the co-coordinators of the DARAIH Geo-Humanities Working Group.

At the HIIG she is an associated researcher.


  • Pelagios Network: Linking the places of your past - Generic Image
    Science & education · Society & culture

    Pelagios Network: Linking the places of your past

    The project investigates new methodologies for using Linked Data to connect historical sources through common references using a variety of digital content including text,...

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Blagoev, B., Felten, S., & Kahn, R. (2018). The Career of a Catalogue: Organizational Memory, Materiality and the Dual Nature of the Past at the British Museum (1970–Today). Sage Journals. DOI: 10.1177/0170840618789189 Publication details

Gibson, L. & Kahn, R. (2016). Digital Museums in the 21st Century: Global Microphones or Universal Mufflers? Museological Review, 20, 39-52. Publication details

Book contributions and chapters

Kahn, R. (2019). The Nation is in the Network. In N. Brügger, & D. Laursen (Eds.), The Historical Web and Digital Humanities: The Case of National Web Domains (pp. 161-177). London, New York: Routledge. Publication details

Kahn, R., Tanner, S., Gibson, L., & Laycock, G. (2017). Choices in Digitization for the Digital Humanities. In Griffin, G. (Ed.), Research Methods for the Arts and Humanities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Publication details

Working paper

Fecher, B., Sokolovska, N., Völker, T., Nebe, P., Kahn, R. (2020). Making a Research Infrastructure: Conditions and Strategies to Transform a Service into an Infrastructure. SSOAR. Publication details

Other publications

Kahn, R. (2017). Smudges on the Glass: Locating and Tracing the Museum in the British Museum’s Digitised Collections. Doctoral Dissertation, King's College London. Publication details

Kahn, R. (2015). South Africa Might Get the Worst Internet Censorship Law in Africa. Huffington Post. Publication details

Lectures and presentations

From Strings to Things: Using Linked Open Data for Cultural Heritage
Spring School LiSeH 2019 Linked Data and the Semantic Web for Humanities research. University of Graz. University of Graz, Graz, Austria: 24.04.2019 Further information

Rebecca Kahn

Connecting Collections: exposing objects in a Linked Data Search engine
Museums+Tech Conference. Museums Computer Group. National Gallery, London, London, United Kingdom: 19.10.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Out of the Archives, and onto the Streets
Connected Communities Conference. Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom: 27.09.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Connecting Collections
ICHG 2018: 17th Annual International Conference of Historical Geographers (Session: Linked Open Data for Linked Pasts). Polish Academy of Sciences. University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland: 17.07.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Pelagios Commons: Decentralizing Knowledge Creation in the Web of Historical Data
ICHG 2018 International Conference of Historical Geographers (Session: Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing in Historical Geography – Projects, Ideas, Perspectives). Polish Academy of Sciences. University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland: 16.07.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Recogito: Semantic Annotation Without the Pointy Brackets
Hybrid Narrativity: Annotating Comics Workshop (Session: Annotating Comics). University of Paderborn, University of Potsdam. Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany: 18.06.2018

Rebecca Kahn

Pelagios Commons: Linked Data without the Pointy Brackets
Digital Classicist Seminar, Berlin (Session: Digital Classicist Berlin Seminar). Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Interdisziplinäre Forschungsverbund Digital Humanities in Berlin, DARIAH-DE. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 16.10.2017 Further information

Rebecca Kahn

Pelagios Commons: Decentralising the Web of Historical Knowledge
Digital Cultural Heritage. CODATA-Germany. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 30.08.2017

Rebecca Kahn

Semantic Annotation for Humanists: Linked Data Without the Pointy Brackets
International Symposium of Information Science 2017 (Satellite Workshop on the Relationship of Information Science and the Digital Humanities). University of Regensburg, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin School of Library and Information Science. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 15.03.2017

Rebecca Kahn

Moderation of workshops and panels

Swimming in (Linked) Data: Using the Semantic Web to make sense of Spatial Humanities
Annual Conference. DARIAH. University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland: 15.05.2019 Further information

Rebecca Kahn

Organisation of events

Geo-LOD: Linked Open Data and GeoHumanities Research (Linked Data, Geodata and Humanities Research: More Than Semantics)
Geo-LOD: Linked Open Data and GeoHumanities Research. with attending Vip: Geo-LOD: Linked Open Data and GeoHumanities Research. 22.05.2018. Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom (International)

Rebecca Kahn

Media appearances

Article (30.07.2021).
Further information

Rebecca Kahn


Associated Researcher: Knowledge & Society