Information Studies


Marco Humbel

Photograph Marco Humbel

I am a research fellow in participatory research and collections as data at the Sloane Lab, a Towards a National Collection discovery project. My main responsibility is to research, plan and facilitate a series of participatory events with communities and institutions and to conduct research on the history of the Sloane collections.

My PhD research was titled: The Digitisation and Open Access Politics of Social Movement Archives. For my project I collaborated with the Marx Memorial Library and I was supervised by Julianne Nyhan, Andrew Flinn and Antonis Bikakis.

For my master dissertation I investigated the capability of HTR (Handwritten Text Recognition) on early modern museum catalogues. The project Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane's catalogues of his collections kindly provided images and transcriptions of the catalogues to develop an HTR model for Sloane's hand. The dissertation was awarded with the Stephen Robertson Prize.


Research Interests:

  • Critical (digital) archival studies
  • Archival activism and documentary practices of social movements
  • Infrastructure studies
  • Collections as data and Open Access to cultural heritage
  • Digital tool criticism
  • Participatory research methods



Humbel, M., Nyhan, J., Vlachidis, A., Sloan, K. and Ortolja-Baird, A. (2021). Named-entity recognition for early modern textual documents: a review of capabilities and challenges with strategies for the future. Journal of Documentation, 77(6): 1223–47 https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-02-2021-0032

Die Umsetzung von Open Data an Wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken der Schweiz - Eine qualitative Untersuchung. Churer Schriften zur Informationswissenschaft Schrift 86 (March 2017). https://www.fhgr.ch/fileadmin/fhgr/angewandte_zukunftstechnologien/SII/churer_schriften/sii-churer_schriften_86-Umsetzung_Open_Data_an_wissenschaftlichen_Bibliotheken_der_Schweiz.pdf

Humbel, M., 2017. Open Data an Wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken der Schweiz. Informationspraxis 3. https://doi.org/10.11588/ip.2017.1.34621


Conference Papers:

Metilli, D., Vlachidis, A., Humbel, M., Pickering, V., Carine, M., Sloan, K. and Nyhan, J. (2022). Towards a Network Analysis of Hans Sloane’s Collection: A Preliminary Study. EUSN 2022 – 6th European Conference on Social Networks; London.

Humbel, M. (2022). Investigating the discourse on Open GLAM. Digital Humanities Congress. Sheffield https://www.dhi.ac.uk/dhc/2022/paper/209.

Humbel, M. (2022). Participatory Action Research for a Digital Humanities research project: Investigating Open GLAM in the context of Social Movement Archives. Proceedings of the Digital Humanities 2022. Tokyo, pp. 249–52 https://dh2022.dhii.asia/dh2022bookofabsts.pdf.

Nyhan, J., Vlachidis, A., Flinn, A., Pearlman, N., Humbel, M., Metilli, D., Sadek, J., Valeonti, F.,  Carine, M., Pickering, V., Terracciano, A. (2022). The Sloane Lab: Dealing with a challenging past. Belgium https://universeum2022.be/programme/.

Humbel, M. and Nyhan, J. (2019). The application of HTR to early-modern museum collections: a case study of Sir Hans Sloane’s Miscellanies catalogue. Digital Humanities 2019. Utrecht https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072160/1/HTR_Sloane_MH_JN.pdf.


Teaching Experience:


Guest Lecturer Technische Universität Darmstadt, Digital Approaches to Historical Research - Named Entity Recognition (NER) for historical research: capabilities and challenges


Guest Lecturer UCL London, Access and Use of Archives and Records - Digitization and ‘Open Access’   


Teaching Assistant UCL London, Digital Resources in the Humanities


Teaching Assistant UCL London, Introduction to Digitisation         


Educational Background:


PhD in Information Studies, UCL London


Master of Science in Digital Humanities (Distinction), UCL London


Bachelor of Science in Information Science, HTW Chur (Switzerland)


Diploma as an Information Specialist (Fachmann I+D), main library of the ETH Zurich



Email: marco.humbel.17[AT]ucl.ac.uk

External Number - +442031085696
Extension Number - 55696

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1861-162X