Melissa Terras is the Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh‘s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, which she joined in October 2017, leading digital aspects of research within CAHSS at Edinburgh. She is the Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society, Director of Research in the new Edinburgh Futures Institute, and Co-Director of Creative Informatics: the £10m AHRC and Industrial Strategy investment into data driven innovation for the creative industries within Edinburgh.

With a background in Classical Art History and English Literature (MA, University of Glasgow), and Computing Science (MSc IT with distinction in Software and Systems, University of Glasgow), her doctorate (Engineering, University of Oxford) examined how to use advanced information engineering technologies to interpret and read Roman texts. She is an Honorary Professor of Digital Humanities in UCL Department of Information Studies, where she was employed from 2003-2017, Honorary Professor in UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, which she directed 2012-2017, and previously Vice Dean of Research in UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities (2014-2017).

Books include “Image to Interpretation: An Intelligent System to Aid Historians in Reading the Vindolanda Texts” (2006, Oxford University Press) and “Digital Images for the Information Professional” (2008, Ashgate), and she has co-edited various volumes such as “Digital Humanities in Practice” (Facet 2012) and “Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader” (Ashgate 2013) which was recently translated into a Russian Edition (Siberian Federal University Press 2017). Her latest monograph on the representation of academics in children’s literature was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018 and is available in open access: Picture-Book Professors: Academia and Children’s Literature. Its sibling volume, The Professor in Children’s Literature: An Anthology, was simultaneously published by Fincham Press.

Her research focuses on the use of computational techniques to enable research in the arts and humanities that would otherwise be impossible, and she has worked on a range of project and initiatives including  Transcriptorium , Crosscult, Oceanic Exchanges, and Digital Library Futures. Previous research projects include and Deep Imaging Mummy Cases, Non-Destructive Analysis of Multi-Layered Papyrus, QRator, Transcribe Bentham, The Great Parchment Book , The Slade Archive Project, Textal, Log Analysis of Internet Resources in the Arts and Humanities, Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology, eScience and Ancient Documents, and Researching eScience Analysis of Census Holdings. Terras was the Co-Investigator of the The EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) during its set up period. Terras is general editor of Digital Humanities Quarterly, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities.  She served on the Board of Curators of the University of Oxford Libraries (2013-2019) and has a Scottish Government Appointment on the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland, as well as a sitting on a number of Advisory boards including The British Library Labs, the Scientific Consultative Group of The National Gallery, the Collections and Research Group of the Science Museum Group, and The Imperial War Museums‘ Operation War Diary. Terras is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society and is a Turing Institute Fellow (2018-2020).

Terras was program chair of the major international conference Digital Humanities 2014, in Lausanne, Switzerland, vice-chair of DH2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and outgoing chair of DH2015 in Sydney, Australia. She served as Secretary of the Association of Literary and Linguistic Computing (now the European Association of Digital Humanities) (2008-2011) and as a Steering committee member of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (2009-2012).

You can generally find her on twitter, at @melissaterras.

Selected Publications include (for a complete bibliography, see her Edinburgh page):

Martinez, M. and Terras, M. (2019). ‘Not Adopted’ : The UK Orphan Works Licensing Scheme and how the crisis of copyright in the cultural heritage sector restricts access to digital content In: Open Library of the Humanities , vol. 5, no. 1

Gooding, P., Terras, Berube, L. (2019). Towards User-Centric Evaluation of UK Non-Print Legal Deposit : A Digital Library Futures White Paper White Paper, Digital Library Futures Project.

Franzini, G., Mahoney, S., Terras, M. (2019). Digital editions of text : Surveying user requirements in the Digital Humanities  In: ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH), vol. 12, no. 1

Terras, M., Baker, J., Hetherington, J., Beavan, D., Zaltz Austwick, M., Welsh, A., O’Neill, H., Finley, W., Duke-Williams, O. and Farquhar, A., (2017). “Enabling complex analysis of large-scale digital collections: humanities research, high-performance computing, and transforming access to British Library digital collections”. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities.

Attu, R., Attu, R., Terras, M. and Terras, M., (2017). “What people study when they study Tumblr: Classifying Tumblr-related academic research”. Journal of Documentation, 73(3), pp.528-554. PDF

Pal, K., Avery, N., Boston, P., Campagnolo, A., De Stefani, C., Matheson-Pollock, H., Panozzo, D., Payne, M., Schüller, C., Sanderson, C., Scott, C., Smith, P., Smither, R., Sorkine-Hornung, O., Stewart, A., Stewart, E., Stewart, P., Terras, M., Walsh, B., Ward, L., Yamada, L., Weyrich, T. (2016). “Digitally reconstructing the Great Parchment Book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Oxford University Press. Online.

Terras, M. (2016). “Crowdsourcing in the Digital Humanities”. In Schreibman, S., Siemens, R., and Unsworth, J. (eds), (2016) “A New Companion to Digital
Humanities”, (p. 420 – 439). Wiley-Blackwell. PDF.

Gooding, P. and Terras, M. (2016). “Inheriting library cards to Babel and Alexandria: contemporary metaphors for the digital library”. International Journal on Digital Libraries. doi:10.1007/s00799-016-0194-2. Online.

Terras, M. (2016). “A Decade in Digital Humanities: text of Inaugural Lecture”. Journal of Siberian Federal University, the special issue on Digital Humanities. Vol. 9, Issue 7. PDF

Ross, C., Gray, S., Warwick, C., Hudson Smith, A., Terras, M. (2016). “Engaging the Museum Space: Mobilising Visitor Engagement with Digital Content Creation”. Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. Online .

Terras, M. (2015). “”Opening Access to collections: the making and using of open digitised cultural content”, Online Information Review, Vol. 39 Iss: 5, pp.733 – 752. PDF.

Giacometti, A., Campagnolo, A., MacDonald, L., Mahony, S., Robson, S., Weyrich, T., Terras, M., Gibson, A. (2015). “The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts”. Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Oxford University Press.  Online.

Causer, T. and Terras, M. (2014). ““Many hands make light work. Many hands together make merry work”: Transcribe Bentham and crowdsourcing manuscript collections”. In Ridge, M. (2014). “Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage”. Ashgate. PDF.

Causer, T. and Terras, M. (2014) “Crowdsourcing Bentham: beyond the traditional boundaries of academic history”. International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, 8 (1).  PDF.

Gooding, P., Terras, M. and Warwick, C. (2013). “The Myth of the New: Mass Digitization, Distant Reading, and the Future of the Book” Lit Linguist Computing (2013) 28 (4): 629-639. PDF.

Terras, M. (2012). “The impact of social media on the dissemination of research: results of an experiment”. Journal of Digital Humanities, September 2012. Online.

Terras, M. (2011). “Present, Not Voting: Digital Humanities in the Panopticon. Closing Plenary Speech, Digital Humanities 2010”. Literary and
Linguistic Computing, 26 (3) 257 – 269 PDF.

Terras, M. (2011). “Artefacts and Errors: Acknowledging Issues of Representation in the Digital Imaging of Ancient Texts.” In Vogeler, G. et al (Eds). Codicology and Papyrology in the Digital Age, II. Institut für Dokumentologie und Editorik. (Vol. Band 3, pp. 43-61). Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand. Retrieved from  PDF. 

Terras, M. (2011). “The Digital Wunderkammer: Flickr as a Platform for Amateur Cultural and Heritage Content”. Library Trends, Special Issue: Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Digital Knowledge in Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Eds Paul Marty and Michelle Kazmer. 59.4, pp. 686 – 706. Online. 

Ross, C. Terras, M. Warwick, C. and Welsh, A. (2011). “Enabled Backchannel: Conference Twitter Use by Digital Humanists. Journal of Documentation. Vol. 67 Iss: 2, pp.214 – 237. PDF.

Terras, M. (2009). “Digital Curiosities: Resource Creation Via Amateur Digitisation”. Literary and Linguistic Computing. 25 (4) 425 – 438. PDF.

Terras, M. (2009) “Potentials and Problems in Applying High Performance Computing for Research in the Arts and Humanities: Researching e-Science Analysis of Census Holdings”. Digital Humanities Quarterly. Fall 2009. PDF.