Smell as an important component of human development is still a rather unexplored area. We know that the sense of smell affects our emotions, evokes memories and is anchored in our subconscious. From time to time we see the use of smells in contemporary artistic representations, but we lack scientific standards, tools and data for the effective identification, processing and applying the influence of smells, and establishing the wider role of smell in the development of humanity.
In the morning part of the workshop, we will present the project, the importance of smell in museums and libraries and demonstrate a set of tools for olfactory heritage. Following that, we will test the tools on concrete tasks in smaller groups and evaluate their effectiveness. Participants are expected to bring their own laptops.
Along with practical sessions, the lectures will be given by the researchers from Odeuropa project, from Slovenia and abroad, from the Jožef Stefan Institute, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, Bruno Kessler Foundation, EURECOM, University College of London, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Erlangen–Nuremberg and the National and University Library of Slovenia.
Planned program of the event
7.11.2022 Workshop and presentation for the general public
9:30 – 13:00 Presentation of the importance of smell in museums and libraries, presentation of the developed tools for analyzing the mention of smells in texts
7.11.2022 & 8.11.2022 Practical work for librarians, historians and researchers
7.11.2022 14:00 – 17:00 Experimental session for using and testing Odeuropa prototype tools for: 1) analysis of the occurrence of odors in texts, 2) semantic tagging of texts and 3) tracking of odors in literature
8.11.2022 9:30 – 17:00 Working in groups on selected topics and evaluating the effectiveness of tools; Guided tour – follow the scent
The European project Odeuropa <odeuropa.eu> addresses the sense of smell and the historical significance of smells with the aim of promoting and connecting European cultural heritage. We develop new scientific approaches and upgrade the existing artificial intelligence methods for the needs of analyzing historical texts and art collections. We develop and test a “computer nose”, as the produced methods should enable the recognition of the most probable smells of scenes depicted in artistic paintings and described in historical texts.
Slovenian researchers participate mainly in the analysis of multilingual texts and context, in the development of a publicly accessible encyclopedia, the buildout of a comprehensive tool – the Olfactory Heritage Toolbox, in the organization of workshops and the formulation of recommendations for the cultural heritage policies. In addition to the Department for Artificial Intelligence of the Jožef Stefan Institute, in Odeuropa project we also have researchers, historians, librarians and policy makers from the International Research Center for Artificial Intelligence established under the auspices of UNESCO, the National and University Library of Slovenia, and the Office of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO.
We see the key importance of the project in its contribution to the recognition and preservation of Europe’s cultural heritage in the field of smell.