Music in newspapers: Interdisciplinary opportunities and data-related challenges

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Over the past millennia, music has actively been performed and listened to by mankind, thus also playing an important role in establishing sociocultural identities that have evolved over time. In parallel, for many centuries, newspapers played an important role in informing society on a regular and frequent basis on topics noteworthy at that time. Therefore, in retrospect, these newspapers offer windows into historic topics of sociocultural significance, including cultural and musical life. Thanks to ongoing digitization efforts, large-scale newspaper corpora now have become broadly available and accessible. Taking the digitized historical newspaper collection of the National Library of The Netherlands as an example, in this paper, we discuss how considering music-related mentionings in newspapers can enable potential new research directions and questions. We discuss open syntactic and semantic data-related technical challenges when analyzing music-related mentionings in digitized historical newspaper collections. Finally, we discuss how successful detection of music-related mentionings can also benefit engagement of non-scholarly end users, concluding with an invitation to the interdisciplinary research community to actively contribute to the given use case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDLfM '18 Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6522-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventDLfM 2018 Digital Libraries for Musicology : 5th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology - Paris, France
Duration: 28 Sep 201828 Sep 2018
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceDLfM 2018 Digital Libraries for Musicology
Abbreviated titleDLfM'18

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • music
  • newspapers
  • digital humanities
  • digital libraries
  • sociocultural significance
  • music information retrieval
  • enrichment


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