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Antiquarianism played an important role in the shaping of Europe's cultural heritage. Inspired by archaeological discoveries in the Mediterranean and Near East during the late 18th century Neoclassicism may be regarded despite seizable regional differences as a Pan-European cultural movement engraving antiquity in such diverse fields as architecture, landscape design, the fine and decorative arts, literature and even composition. Neoclassica is a project situated at the crossroads of History, Art History, Media Studies, Linguistics, Cultural Sociology and Computer Science to trace the impact of this movement.
For the moment it provides an ontology for the material culture imension of Neoclassical artefacts. The ontology comprises currently more than 500 categories from the field of furniture and furnishings and considerable number of terms that can be used to analyse architectural and constructional features of Neoclassic artefacts. Eventually Neoclassica will mature in a collaborative research platform for tracing the emergence and afterlife of Europe's Neoclassical heritage by analysing and comparing the classic formal vocabulary across various media in a comparative and multi- and transdisciplinary perspective. It will do so by applying new ways of knowledge discovery, in particular by intertwining qualitative research steps with computer assisted research- and assisted learning procedures. It will make use of existing and design and validate new methods of semantic technologies and in particular distributional semantics to approach a vast variety of multimodal sources.
By joining such analysis with technologies having hitherto chiefly been used in opinion mining and sentiment analysis Neoclassica will also record the web of meaning associated with particular material artefacts, representations or forms, both contemporary and as a part of our cultural memory.