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Digital Humanities: Main

This guide will help you learn about digital humanities research and how to utilize software tools for your research projects.

What's in this Guide

Learn about digital humanities research efforts taking place at East Central University and beyond!

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What is Digital Humanities?

There are a lot of definitions of what is or what encompasses Digital Humanities (DH). Some reoccurring themes that appear in DH projects are interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of digital technology.

In a 2013 interview with InterActions, Johanna Drucker described digital humanities as a scholarly activity that combines humanities with technology or computing. Seen as an interdisciplinary activity, those engaged in digital humanities are creating new and exciting projects every day. 

At Linscheid Library, we define DH as "interdisciplinary collaboration between the sciences and humanities that opens possibilities for multimodal and inquiry based learning to create, express, and share information."


Common Values

  • Critical and Theoretical
    • This includes the criticism of the very tools, technologies and platforms that enable its own practices and publications.
  • Iterative and Experimental
    • Risk-taking, redefinition, and sometimes failure.
  • Collaborative and Distributed
    • Involves a distributed network of expertise including scholars, students, programmers, technologists, librarians, designers, and more.
  • Multimodal and Performative
    • Includes different structures and modes such as audio, video, text, and more. Breaks down what the author is trying to express in different ways besides print.
  • Open and Accessible
    • Not just open access, but using different modes such as Creative Commons.


DH Methods

  • Enhanced Critical Curation
    • Object-based arguments through the curation of digital media, including collection repositories and scholarly narratives supported by digitized or born-digital primary source materials.
  • Augmented Editions and Fluid Textuality
    • Digital critical editions, marked up and encoded texts, often created through crowd-sourced methods and open to perpetual revision, annotation, and remix.
  • Scale: The Law of Large Numbers
    • Humanists hope to create new findings through computations- and algorithmic-enabled interpretations of your digitized and born-digital culture materials.
  • Distant/Close, Macro/Micro, Surface/Depth
    • Distant reading looks to understand and analyze large corpora across time through "trends, patterns, and relationships."
  • Cultural Analytics, Aggregation, and Data-Mining
    • Display culture materials in new forms, including interactive and narrative visualizations.
  • Visualization and Data Design
    • Arguments made from the visualization of data, including virtual/spatial representations, geo-referencing and mapping, simulated environments, and other designs constructed from and informed by data.
  • Locative Investigation and Thick Mapping
    • The creation of "data landscapes" through connecting real, virtual, and interpretive sites, often manifesting as digital cultural mapping and geographic information systems (GIS).
  • The Animated Archive
    • In which the static archive of the past is made alive and virtually experiential.
  • Distributed Knowledge Production and Performative Access
    • Digital projects take collaborative teams across all disciplines and borders and often challenge the idea of "the author" through team contributions.
  • Humanities Gaming
    • Uses virtual learning environments to create interactive narratives that engage users and enable the exploration of humanist themes.
  • Repurposable Content and Remix Culture
    • Digital objects are subject to sample, migration, translation, remix, and other forms of critical use.
  • Ubiquitous Scholarship
    • New modes of publishing have become more ubiquitous and open."


(Common values and methods compiled by Josh Honn, Digital Scholarship Librarian of Northwestern University. 

Click here to see Honn's "A Guide to Digital Humanities")

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