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Feasibility Study: Digital Research Environment (DRE) for Former Yugoslavia Wars

The Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001), one of the deadliest and most violent conflicts of the modern era, have been well documented in millions of objects, photos, videos, judicial records, letters, photos, videos, audio recordings, diaries, announcements, newspapers and much more. However, sources are scattered over dozens of organisations and communities and have not been made easily accessible for research purposes. It is not clear what is digitised, there are language barriers, metadata is missing and catalogues and finding aids exist only partly. These limitations severely restrict historical and legal research. It is difficult to enable new research avenues for a broader group of academics, media professionals, NGOs, victims, legal professionals and the interested public.


The purpose if this project is to develop a feasibility study for a digital research environment (DRE) and a scholarly and institutional network that advances research of the archives of or about Yugoslav Wars. A prototype of the DRE will be developed and  the project’s outcomes will be published in English, as well as in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), so results will be maximally accessible. If the feasibility proves successful, NIOD will set up a permanent structure for the DRE and its network.

Digital Research Environment

The digital research environment should facilitate scholarly research into the Yugoslav Wars by providing an infrastructure that integrates descriptions of relevant archival sources that have been physically dispersed across the globe until now. The DRE will consist of three types of information:

  • An inventory of identified archives that contain records of the Yugoslav Wars
  • A semantic link between the identified archives to create finding aids and indexes based on (e.g.) situation, timeline, location, criminal trial and person.
  • Contextualisation and assessment of presented and linked documentation.

The duration of this project is 18 months, running from March 1, 2024, until September 1, 2025. 

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