The Data Futures project is based in the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture. It was established at the beginning of 2012 to focus on factors affecting long-term accessibility of research data and in particular on the growing importance of digital collections for scholarly research in the humanities.

Now comprising a strongly multi-disciplinary team of computer scientists and theorists in an extended group of universities and companies, Data Futures has developed new software to improve the sustainability of digital humanities projects. Its freizo migration platform enables collections to be made portable and re-delivered using contemporary technologies instead of accreting maintenance liabilities and ultimately risking loss as funding priorities change and institutions mutate.

Collaborations with Heidelberg and Princeton Universities and the École normale supérieure lettres et sciences humaines Lyon, as well as with Merve publishers in Berlin, are now using freizo to develop new future-proof projects, while work with Arts Council England’s Arts on Film Archive and University of Westminster’s China Poster Collection have tested strategies for reclaiming existing projects that have become stranded on legacy technologies.