Media Releases

Honorary resident Wikipedian: Professor Christian Vandendorpe


Media Release

OTTAWA, December 12, 2014—The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL), the University of Victoria Libraries, and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Christian Vandendorpe as Honorary Resident Wikipedian for the 2014/2015 academic year, sponsored also by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) project.

Vandendorpe is Professor Emeritus in the French Department at the University of Ottawa; he holds a PhD (1988) from the University of Laval and a licence en philologie classique (1964) from the Université catholique de Louvain. He has also served as Vice-President, Research Dissemination for the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences from 2008–2011 and President (French) for the Canadian Society of Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques (CSDH/SCHN) from 2004–2008.

Across a distinguished career, Vandendorpe’s academic endeavour has focused extensively on new media, electronic writing and reading, the form of the book, and semiotics, and his distinguished contributions include the well-received book From Papyrus to Hypertext: Toward the Universal Digital Library.  His exemplary dedication to open access and public knowledge aligns very well with the sponsoring organizations’ own commitment to open knowledge.

In this position, Professor Vandendorpe considers the role of Wikipedia in contemporary scholarship and the broader field of knowledge, as well as the fundamental importance of open access. He estimates that “Wikipedia has become a vital part of the present ecosystem of knowledge, a place where information is collected, archived, synthesized, and discussed, and which also keeps a history of the various and sometimes conflicting ways events have been understood.” Vandendorpe has put incredible effort into sharing his significant expertise on Wikipedia through improving pages on book history, the encyclopedia, and electronic publishing, among other areas. Professor Vandendorpe’s activities with Wikipedia as an expert practitioner reflect the cutting edge work being done in Canada on social knowledge creation and electronic resource development that bridges academic and public spheres. In 2014-2015, Professor Vandendorpe will situate his work in the ETCL and UVic Libraries and contribute to the local research and library communities at U Victoria, as well as within the INKE research group, which he has been associated with since 2005.


Media inquiries

Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory


Lara Wilson
University of Victoria Libraries

This media release was jointly issued by:

Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory
University of Victoria Libraries
Implementing New Knowledge Environments

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research, learning and an understanding of the contributions made by the humanities and the social sciences for a free and democratic society. Established in1940, with a membership now comprising 160+ universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 85,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit

About the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab

The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) is a digital humanities research lab based at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia. The ETCL is an intellectual centre for the activities of some 20 local faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars, who work closely with research centres, libraries, academic departments, and projects locally and in the larger community. The ETCL also organizes the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI;, which draws over 500 participants annually. For more information about the ETCL and its activities, visit

About the University of Victoria Libraries

The University of Victoria Libraries are a major research and resource hub for students, staff, and faculty at U Victoria, in Victoria, BC. The library’s foundational role in acquiring and preserving research resources is critical in the complex digital environment of 21st century scholarship, and the staff of the University of Victoria Libraries increasingly work within disciplines, across disciplines and beyond traditional boundaries to rise to the challenges of this new environment. For more information about the University of Victoria Libraries, visit

About Implementing New Knowledge Environments

Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) is a is a collaborative, multidisciplinary group of researchers and graduate research assistants working with other organizations and partners to explore the digital humanities, electronic scholarly communication, and the affordances of electronic text. Funded by the SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiatives program, the international INKE Research Group consists of 35 researchers across 20 institutions and 21 partner agencies, with work involving some 19 postdoctoral research fellows and 53 graduate research assistants over the life of the project. For more information about INKE and its current activities and future trajectory, visit