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Digital Humanities

Using digital tools to research humanities questions

Getting Started

About the Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities is an interdisciplinary field that combines the traditional scholarly work of the Humanities with the use of digital technologies. It encompasses a wide range of activities, such as the creation of digital archives and databases; the development of tools necessary for scholarship, research, and teaching in the digital age; as well as the production of scholarly work through the application of these new tools to traditional arts and humanities disciplines.

Digital Humanities scholars might:

  • Use digital tools to analyze large amounts of text, revealing patterns and connections that would be difficult to find by individually reading each one.
  • Create maps or other digital simulations to model ancient human settlements. 
  • Create digital archives and databases of cultural artifacts, making them available to a wider audience for study and analysis.

This text was written with the help of ChatGPT, a machine learning large language model that generates text based on user input.

Humanities Data

Data in the humanities often looks different from data in other disciplines and as a result, may not typically be referred to as data even by humanists themselves. Humanities data covers a wide scope of multimedia, including:

  • texts and images as primary and secondary sources, text encodings, musical notations, annotations, corpora
  • paintings, photographs, film, audio and video recordings
  • geospatial data
  • survey data
  • digital tools like software, models, algorithms
  • methodologies, workflows, protocols
  • questionnaires and their responses

These can be "both digital and analogue, machine created or human created, highly structured or utterly unstructured. In many cases, data are ‘born’ or become qualified as data in the course of the research process," as they are used in or produced by scientific processes like digitization, experiments, and study of sources.

Source: DARIAH Pathfinder to Data Management Best Practices in the Humanities by Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra