The grand vision for the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) is to facilitate access to research material for the humanities and for supporting the preservation of digital heritage material in Europe. DARIAH connects information users (researchers), information managers and information providers. It gives them a technical framework that enables enhanced data sharing among research communities. Researchers can use DARIAH to: • find and use a wide range of digital content from across Europe, and the tools that aid their interpretation and use; • ensure the long-term preservation of data; • ensure that they work to accepted standards and following best practice; • seek advice, and exchange ideas and knowledge on all aspects of digital scholarship; • use DARIAH as a place for experimentation and innovation in collaboration with other scholars from across multiple domains. The core strategy of DARIAH is to bring together national, regional and local endeavours to form a coherent infrastructure where complementarities and new challenges are clearly identified and acted upon. The initial idea for DARIAH has now grown into a clear vision shared by many and it is time to make this vision concrete. The overall objective of the Preparing DARIAH Project is therefore to move the project forward and be ready for the construction of DARIAH by 2011. Specific objectives of the project are to: 1. draft a business plan for the construction and operation of DARIAH; 2. identify initial and potential consortium partners; 3. gain commitment from key stakeholders; 4. draft a “signature ready” consortium agreement. The work in the preparatory project addresses coordination, strategic, financial, governance, logistical, legal and technical issues, as well as management and dissemination activities to support this work. The activities foreseen vary from desk research, agenda setting meetings and forums, surveys, mailings and testing of prototype technologies.