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Annotation of digital recordings in humanities research still is, to a largeextend, a process that is performed manually. This paper describes the firstpattern recognition based software components developed in the AVATecH projectand their integration in the annotation tool ELAN. AVATecH (AdvancingVideo/Audio Technology in Humanities Research) is a project that involves twoMax Planck Institutes (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen,Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle) and two FraunhoferInstitutes (Fraunhofer-Institut für Intelligente Analyse- undInformationssysteme IAIS, Sankt Augustin, Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute,Berlin) and that aims to develop and implement audio and video technology forsemi-automatic annotation of heterogeneous media collections as they occur inmultimedia based research. The highly diverse nature of the digital recordingsstored in the archives of both Max Planck Institutes, poses a huge challenge tomost of the existing pattern recognition solutions and is a motivation to makesuch technology available to researchers in the humanities.