What are the Digital Humanities?
Web Development
Data Mining
Audio/Video Production

What are the Digital Humanities?

The digital humanities encompasses the use of computing and computing-related technologies as a primary methodological focus of research within fields like history, philosophy, literature, linguistics, art, archaeology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Scholars engaging in such practices use computers as more than just tools; rather, they use computing to reimagine how they might interpret and/or share their research.



DH 101

An open access text book based on UCLA’s introductory Digital Humanities course from 2011 and 2012.

DH Commons

A site dedicated to matching digital humanities interested in collaboration with projects that match their interest and expertise.

Digital Humanities Resources for Project Building

A compilation of guides to the field of digital humanities, tools, tutorials, sample projects, and data collections and sets.


A directory of digital humanities tools.

Folgerpedia Glossary of DH Terms

A list of common terms used in the field of digital humanities and their definitions.

How did they make that?

A collection of resources about digital tools with explanations on Miriam Posner’s blog.

Lovejoy Library’s Digital Humanities Research Guide

SIUE’s Lovejoy Library’s libguide detailing useful resource involved in defining, exploring, making, teaching, and researching within the field of DH.


Learn how to create a repository of digital materials from inception to completion. This involves the process of digitization, learning how to describe the digital object, and developing and curating the archive’s website.


Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Standards

The organization’s guide dedicated to maintaining specifications in resource description.

Library of Congress Name Authority File

The Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF) file provides authoritative data for names of persons, organizations, events, places, and titles. Its purpose is the identification of these entities and, through the use of such controlled vocabulary, to provide uniform access to bibliographic resources.

Omeka Classic

Omeka Classic is a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits.

Omeka S

Omeka S is a next-generation web publishing platform for institutions interested in connecting digital cultural heritage collections with other resources online.

Tools & Tutorials

Book Scanning

Instructions on book scanning in the IRIS Center with the ATIZ BookDrive Mini Book Scanner and the accompanying Canon EOS Rebel T6 Cameras.

Cassette Tape Digitization

A guide to using IRIS’s Sony TCWE475 Dual Cassette Player to convert cassette tapes into audio files.

Flatbed Scanning

Instructions on using IRIS’s Epson GT-20000 scanners for digitizing documents and photographs.

VHS Digitization

How to convert VHS tapes and DVDs using an ADVC-300 Video Converter and Sony VCR and DVD Player.

Video Tutorial: Adding an Item to Omeka

In this video tutorial, IRIS Center Technician Ben Ostermeier demonstrates how to add items to Omeka.

Workshop: Organizing and Personalizing Online Digital Collections with Omeka Classic

IRIS Center Technician Katie Knowles and web developer Ben Ostermeier conduct a workshop on using Omeka to create individual digital projects. They address the process of adding items to create collections and exhibitions with the software as well as customizing the presentation of digital collections. The second of four talks in the IRIS Brown Bag series on topics in the digital humanities.


Madison Historical

This online encyclopedia and digital archive documents, preserves, and shares the rich history of Madison County, Illinois and is coordinated by the Department of Historical Studies at SIUE.

Nepal Earthquakes

With NSF Documenting Endangered Languages REU funding, students built this online digital exhibit and archive to document the context and history behind, and to share language data and team-related outputs connected to the 2015 earthquakes that severely affected Nepal.

Wide, Wide World Digital Edition

This site maps transatlantic publication networks via the development of a digital edition of Susan Warner’s 1851 female Bildungsroman The Wide, Wide World.


Editing in the digital humanities is the use of software to develop and alter both text and code. It often involves analyzing and adapting texts that were not originally intended to exist as digital projects to make them more accessible and searchable for research.



The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is a consortium which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form. Its chief deliverable is a set of Guidelines which specify encoding methods for machine-readable texts, chiefly in the humanities, social sciences and linguistics.

Tools & Tutorials

ABBYY Fine Reader

An OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software that also allows users to edit, review, and convert PDFs.


A text editor incorporating cross-platform editing, a built-in package manager, smart autocompletion, a file system browser, multiple panes, and a find and replace function.

Diff Checker

An online tool used to compare text differences between two text files.


A free text editor.


An open-source tool for comparing and collating multiple witnesses to a single textual work.


A free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.


An XML editor.

Data Mining

Data mining is the computational process of discovering patterns in large data sets.


Dinsman, Melissa. “The Digital in the Humanities: An Interview with Franco Moretti.” LA Review of Books. 2 Mar. 2016.

Moretti, Franco. Distant Reading. New York: Verso 2013.

Underwood, Ted. Why Literary Periods Mattered: Historical Contrast and the Prestige of English Studies. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2013.

Tools & Tutorials


A Java-based package for statistical natural language processing, document classification, clustering, topic modeling, information extraction, and other machine learning applications to text.


Open source machine learning and data visualization for novice and expert. Interactive data analysis workflows with a large toolbox.


R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS.


TAPoR (Text Analysis Portal for Research) allows users to search a directory of tools that can be used for textual analysis and contains brief overviews of a variety of software.

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a free version of Tableau, which allows you to create interactive data visualizations that can be embedded on websites. You will need to create a free Tableau Public account. It can be a bit difficult to learn, but there are a number of online tutorials.

Creating Data Visualizations with Tableau

In this workshop, IRIS Center Technician Ben Ostermeier demonstrates how to use Tableau Public to create interactive data visualizations.


A suite of text mining and visualization tools that can help you quickly analyze word usage in a single text or across a corpus.

Voyant Exercise

Learn the basics of Voyant with this exercise.


Weka is a collection of machine learning algorithms for data mining tasks. The algorithms can either be applied directly to a dataset or called from your own Java code. It contains tools for data pre-processing, classification, regression, clustering, association rules, and visualization.

GIS and Spatial Analysis

Geographic Information Systems are software and other systems designed to manage, analyze, and present geographic data.


What is the Spatial Turn?” Scholar’s Lab, University of Virginia.


David Rumsey Map Collection

The historical map collection has more than 81,000 maps and images online. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of America, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific, Arctic, Antarctic, and the World.

Federal Township Plats of Illinois

A grant from the Federal government through its Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) has enabled the Illinois State Archives to digitize its 3,457 federal township plats of Illinois and present the images on this Web site.

Illinois Geospatial Data Clearinghouse

The Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse (Illinois Clearinghouse) is an established node of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Clearinghouse Network. Hosted by the Illinois State Geological Survey since July 1, 1997, the Illinois Clearinghouse has become the de facto starting point for the GIS and remote sensing user communities in Illinois.

Missouri Spatial Data Information Service

MSDIS is responsible for data storage and access, standardization of both digital and tabular data, creation of the data dictionary, compilation of metadata, and statewide GIS user information networks.

National Library of Scotland

This site includes several already-referenced maps.

Old Maps Online

This project through the British Library provides access to several already-geo-referenced historical maps, including many related to Victorian London.

Wikipedia List of GIS Data Sources

This is a list of GIS data sources (including some geoportals) that provide information sets that can be used in geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial databases for purposes of geospatial analysis and cartographic mapping.

Tools & Tutorials


Use ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcGlobe, or ArcScene, to create maps, perform spatial analysis, manage geographic data, and share your results.

Google My Maps

This free, online tool allows you to plot out routes and interactive mapping visualizations.

Google My Maps Exercise

Learn the basics of Google My Maps with this exercise.


This online mapping system offers a free trial period, ideal for those starting to learn GIS software.


This free, online tool allows you create narrative-based maps.


Create, edit, visualise, analyse and publish geospatial information with this free, open source alternative to ArcMap.


Manang Atlas

This NSF CAREER project, under the supervision of project director Kristine Hildebrandt, involves collaborative, multi-institutional field investigations of four indigenous languages of Manang, Nepal in order to merge traditional documentation methods with cutting-edge visualization tools to chart the rich language histories, variation, and attitudes found in Manang.


Networking analysis is the investigation of relationships and connections between people, objects, or ideas.


Jagoda, Patrick. Network Aesthetics. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2016.

Tools & Tutorials


An open source software platform for visualizing molecular interaction networks and biological pathways and integrating these networks with annotations, gene expression profiles and other state data.


Gephi is the leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. Gephi is open-source and free.


A toolset for easy upload and careful investigation of data. It is an intertwined set of visualizations designed for complex, multi-dimensional data.


Using this tool you can visualize any text as a network. The resulting graph can be used to get a quick visual summary of the text, read the most relevant excerpts (by clicking on the nodes), and find similar texts.


A visualization grammar, a declarative format for creating, saving, and sharing interactive visualization designs. With Vega, you can describe the visual appearance and interactive behavior of a visualization in a JSON format, and generate views using HTML5 Canvas or SVG.


Catherine’s World

A website examining Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) and how her network helped authorize and give political power to her mission.

Mapping the Republic of Letters

Network case studies using letters exchanged between key figures of Enlightenment thought.

Web Development

Web development is a broad term for the work required to create a website. Given the popularity of the Internet and the ability to share digital scholarship around the world, web development skills are useful for digital projects that are hosted on the World Wide Web. These skills range from the basic ability to use platforms like WordPress to creating complex web applications.

Tools & Tutorials


HyperText Markup Language is the standard format for web pages. Most web pages are fundamentally html documents.


Cascading Style Sheets are used to modify the visual appearance of web pages.


JavaScript is a programming language primarily used to make web pages interactive.


PHP is a programming language primarily used to generate HTML documents.


This application is used to create local servers on personal computers.


This application is used to upload and modify files on a web server.


This application is used to perform command-line actions on a server.


This website is one of the most popular resources for learning web development skills, offering tutorials and code sandboxes.

How the Web Works

Web developer Ben Ostermeier presents a brief overview on how the World Wide Web came to be and how it works today. He will also give a demonstration on creating webpages using HTML and CSS. The first of four talks in the IRIS Brown Bag series on topics in the digital humanities.



An open-source content management system with built in templates that allow users to create a website regardless of their level of coding experience.

Omeka Classic

Omeka Classic is a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits.


Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online.

An Introduction to Scalar

Senior English major and Digital Humanities and Social Sciences minor Gabrielle Borders conducts an interactive workshop that demonstrates the digital exhibit building tool Scalar.


Another open-source content management system for creating and customizing digital content.

Audio and Video Production

Digital Humanities often involves the recording of audio and video in various ways, including oral histories and digital storytelling. Digital Storytelling involves people using various forms of digital media to develop their own personalized narrative using videos, podcasts, oral histories, photographs, and many other media formats.


Lambert, Joe. Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. 4th ed., Routledge, 2013.



StoryCenter supports individuals and organizations in using storytelling and participatory media for reflection, education, and social change.

Tools & Tutorials

Video Recording

This tutorial gives an explanation on typical settings that can be adjusted to improve the quality of video. An explanation of basic lighting is also included.


This open-source (free) audio editor offers basic and advanced tools in recording and editing audio on PC and Mac.

Introduction to Audacity

This tutorial gives basic information on how to open, playback, and export audio in Audacity.

Recording with Audacity

This tutorial from the Audacity Team explains how to connect a microphone to a computer and record audio with Audacity.

Audacity Mixing

This tutorial gives more advanced information on mixing a spoken recording with music.


This online audio editor offers basic and advanced tools in recording and editing audio on Chromebooks.

Creating a Podcast in Soundtrap

This tutorial gives step-by-step instructions on how to use Soundtrap to create a podcast.

Adobe Premiere Pro

This commercial video editing software allows users to edit, adjust color, refine audio, and more.

Apple iMovie

Choose your clips, then add titles, music, and effects to create a unified video with this software for Mac.


An open-source software for creating interactive story games.


This video app editor for iOS and Android offers basic video editing on mobile devices. The free version has a watermark on the final video export.

Media Composer First

This free video editor offers many advanced tools for video editing but comes with a steep learning curve.


This open source (free) video editor offers basic tools for video editing.


This open source (free) video editor offers basic tools for video editing.


A paid online video editor that makes it easy to capture, create, view and share your movies at up to 4K resolution for stunning playback anywhere.