Andrew Prescott aka @ajprescott did a nice overview of Digital Humanities in his keynote today at #dh14dk, this quick write-up won’t do it justice, but it was chock full of interesting links, so I wanted to share a bunch here:
He described the first wave of digital humanities was using computers to access, research and collaborate on old manuscripts, resulting in corpora and sites like:
English Short Title Catalogue
Thomas Aquinas: Index Thomasticus
Early English Books: EEBO
Eighteenth Century Collections Online: ECCO TCP
Jane Austen’s fiction manuscripts online
Online Chopin Variotum Edition: OCVE
Codex Sinaiticus – the oldest bible
...and tend to get used for the same kind of research, as was done with the paper versions of the text.
But the challenge these days is not making things accessible – The challenge these days is sorting through the massive amounts of data and knowing what to look for – or how to look for things you didn’t know was worth looking for in the data. One of the problems being the massive amounts, like the 200 million emails in the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum).
Which moves the research to visualizations, mapping and predictive techniques – Examples in this genre:
Mapping Londons languages on Twitter
Mapping Metaphor with the Historical Thesaurus
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
A Thousand Words: Advanced Visualization for the Humanities
BBC radio programmes from the past 45 years: World Service
Can architects help create next-generation treatments for cancer and lung disease?
And in the more fun end of the spectrum: Conductive ink and a networked, real-time 3D installation exploring the relationship between astronomy and broadcast media: Data Sea.
More examples and good points in his presentation here:
Illustration: Visualization of the relations between characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, found here.