▶ An Introduction to Digital Humanities

 

 An Introduction to Digital Humanities

Expert insights into our digital landscape

  • Convener: Pip Willcox
  • Hashtag: #introDH and #DHOxSS
  • Computers: Students are not required to bring their own laptops for this workshop. This course is primarily lecture-based.

Abstract

This lecture-based survey course gives you a thorough overview of the theory and practice of Digital Humanities. Drawing on the expertise and the library collections of the University of Oxford, it will appeal to anyone new to the field, or curious to broaden their understanding of the range of work the Digital Humanities encompass.

Topics covered include:

  • crowdsourcing
  • data curation
  • databases
  • digital work with physical artefacts
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • hyperspectral imaging
  • image manipulation
  • machine learning
  • measuring and analyzing impact
  • preservation and sustainability
  • project management
  • public engagement
  • Text Encoding Initiative
  • the Semantic Web
  • transcription and text encoding
  • visualization

Sessions include talks, presentations, demonstrations, and practical workshops. On completing this course, you will be conversant with the variety and potential of the various technologies used to collate, interrogate, and facilitate digital work in the Humanities, and will have gained insight and practice in methods relevant to your own research. No prior technical knowledge is necessary for this course.

Timetable

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

11:00 - 12:30

Introductions
Pip Willcox

Intersection, Scale, and Social Machines: The Humanities in the digital world
David De Roure

Pipedream to Project: Planning digital research projects in the humanities
Matthew Kimberley and Ruth Kirkham

Introduction to Data Curation
Allen Renear and Andrea Thomer

Machine Learning and Music
J. Stephen Downie

An Introduction to Relational Databases
Meriel Patrick and Pamela Stanworth

Lunch

 Venue: St Hugh's College, Wordsworth Tea Room

14:00 - 16:00

[At Bodleian’s Weston Library]

Exploring Material Books and Digital Work
Daniel Sawyer

Reborn Digital: Text, transmission, and technology
Pip Willcox

Introducing the Toolkit for the Impact of Digitized Scholarly Resources
Kathryn Eccles and Eric Meyer

Working with Digital Images
Ségolène Tarte

Linked Data for Digital Humanities: Introducing the Semantic Web
Kevin Page

An Introduction to TEI P5 XML
Martina Scholger
 

Introduction to Visualization for Digital Humanities
Alfie Abdul-Rahman

Historical GIS: A place for everything and everything in its place?
Leif Isaksen

[Ends: 15:30]

16:30 - 17:30

[At Bodleian’s Weston Library]

Hyperspectral and Other High End Imaging and Spectroscopic Techniques to Aid Humanities Scholars
David Howell

 

Understanding the HathiTrust and its Research Center
J. Stephen Downie

The Zooniverse — Enabling Everyone
Grant Miller

Beyond the Academy: Engagement, education, and exchange
Pip Willcox

[Start: 16:00]

Our Digital Humanities
David De Roure, Isabel Galina, Pip Willcox

 

Schedule Details

Monday

11:00 - 12:30 Session 1

Introductions
Pip Willcox

Getting to know each other is important! Over the course of the week, we hope you will form lasting work relationships with other participants from across the arts, humanities, and digital spheres, as well as new friendships.
 

Intersection, Scale, and Social Machines: The humanities in the digital world
David De Roure

This keynote for the introductory strand will introduce you to digital methods, methodologies, and current activity in the humanities, framing Digital Humanities in its interdisciplinary settings, and providing a context for the week's workshop.
 

14:00 - 16:00 Session 2 (At Bodleian’s Weston Library Lecture Theatre)

Exploring Material Books and Digital Work
Daniel Sawyer

This session will use a variety of items from the Bodleian Library to examine the complications, challenges and gains of digital projects revolving around material objects.
 

Reborn Digital: Text, transmission, and technology
Pip Willcox

Text is at the heart of many fields in the Humanities. This workshop session provides an introduction to methods and technologies of remediating analogue text into digital forms.

16:30 - 17:30 Session 3 (At Bodleian’s Weston Library Lecture Theatre)

Hyperspectral and Oher High End Imaging and Spectroscopic Techniques to Aid Humanities Sscholars
David Howell

This session will describe the Bodleian's research team’s use of advanced hyperspectral imaging technology to reveal hidden texts and to analyze material in the Libraries' unique collections. The session will introduce the new instrument (funded by the University of Oxford Fell Fund) along with Raman spectroscopy equipment developed by Durham University, as methods that allow researchers to find out more about Bodleian collections than is possible in ‘normal’ reading room investigations. One example will be a project (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) based in the Bodleian investigating Ferdinand Bauer's botanical and zoological paintings, considered to be among the finest in the world. It will include a demonstration using at least one of the methods currently being used.
 

Tuesday

11:00 - 12:30

Pipedream to Project: Planning digital research projects in the humanities
Matthew Kimberley and Ruth Kirkham

A digital research project in the humanities can cover an endless array of possibilities: digitized or digitally-born collections, websites, apps, digital media outputs, repositories or digital research tools. This session will explore some of the potential avenues for digital research projects, and offer guidance on how to undertake effective planning of such projects, from interpreting themes in funding calls to anticipating the hidden costs that come with digital research.

14:00 - 16:00

Introducing the Toolkit for the Impact of Digitized Scholarly Resources
Kathryn Eccles and Eric Meyer

What are the impacts of your digital outputs? In this talk we introduce you to the TIDSR toolkit, comprising a range of qualitative and quantitative measures for understanding usage and impact, and present a number of case studies to show how these methods have been and can be used to support and enhance your digital presence.
 

Working with Digital Images
Ségolène Tarte

This session reviews elements of what the visual system does when we look at images. You will learn the basics of what digital images are and what can be done with them in terms of useful image processing techniques (namely: introduction to image segmentation, feature extraction, and image registration techniques for modelling) for applications in the humanities. Each technique is illustrated with examples of digital images of textual artefacts ranging from clay tablets to papyri.

16:30 - 17:30

Understanding the HathiTrust and its Research Center
J. Stephen Downie

Drawn from some of the world's greatest research libraries, the HathiTrust digital corpus contains over 10 million volumes comprising 3.9 billion pages. This session will introduce the HathiTrust collection and an overview of its characteristics. The session will acquaint participants with the HathiTrust Research through which they might wish to engage in various analyses of the HathiTrust materials.

Wednesday

11:00 - 12:30

Introduction to Data Curation
Allen Renear and Andrea Thomer

This session will provide a conceptual frameworks for considering the role of data curation in humanities research with an emphasis on information organization and representation. This will be followed by an opportunity to put these ideas into practice.

14:00 - 16:00

Linked Data for Digital Humanities: Introducing the Semantic Web
Kevin Page

The Semantic Web can be thought of as an extension of the World Wide Web in which sufficient meaning is captured and encoded such that computers can automatically match, retrieve, and link resources across the internet that are related to each other. In a scholarly context this offers significant opportunities for publishing, referencing, and re-using digital research output. In this session we introduce the principles and technologies behind this ‘Linked Data’, illustrated through examples from the humanities.

16:30 - 17:30

The Zooniverse — Enabling Everyone
Grant Miller

This session presents the latest incarnation of the Zooniverse platform and shows how it is enabling hundreds of researchers around the world to build fast and efficient projects that allow them to process their vast datasets faster than ever before.
 

Thursday

11:00 - 12:30

Machine Learning and Music
J. Stephen Downie

This session on machine learning uses a case study in mood analysis of music audio as a friendly way to introduce some basic machine learning concepts, including the Weka machine learning toolkit. Participants will also be briefly introduced to the world of music signal processing and analysis.

14:00 - 16:00

An Introduction to TEI P5 XML
Martina Scholger

This session is an introductory lecture on markup, XML, and the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), followed by a demonstration of marking up a simple example with TEI using the popular XML editor oXygen. This will introduce students to the nature of markup, the way this is formulated in XML, the basic motivations of the TEI, and some of the main features of the TEI P5 Guidelines for text encoding. Examples from different disciplines will demonstrate the wide range of possibilities for the presentation and further processing of TEI-encoded texts.

Introduction to Visualization for Digital Humanities
Alfie Abdul-Rahman

In this session, we will consider how visualization can be used in digital humanities projects. We will cover basic concepts of visualization as well as examine existing visualization techniques and applications.
 

16:30 - 17:30

Beyond the Academy: Eengagement, education, and exchange
Pip Willcox

This session introduces you to the practice and practicalities of public engagement. It draws on the presenter's experience to explore means and methods of widening access to the humanities, to foster dialogue and participation.
 

Friday

11:00 - 12:30

An Introduction to Relational Databases
Meriel Patrick and Pamela Stanworth

This session considers when it is appropriate to use a relational database and how it can benefit academic research. We will look at how relational databases are structured, and some of the common challenges of working with structured data in the humanities.

14:00 - 15:30

Historical GIS: A place for everything and everything in its place?
Leif Isaksen

This session covers the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - what it is, how it works, and where to get started. It then discusses both the benefits and limits of the technology before turning briefly to a range of complementary techniques and technologies for dealing with space and place.

16:00 - 17:30

Our Digital Humanities
David De Roure, Isabel Galina, Pip Willcox

This session opens with a surgery where participants can seek thoughts and advice from the panellists on their own projects. The panel concludes with a discussion reflecting on the week and considering what technologies can and could bring to humanities research, practice, teaching, and dissemination, and how the humanities can inform and expand the scope of technological advances across traditional institutional, and public/private/not-for-profit, divisions. It will be followed by an open discussion.