DH Tools Part 1: Off-the-Shelf

You don’t have to learn an entirely new programming language to do cutting edge digital humanities work. There are many sophisticated, useful off the shelf tools that you can use for your research. Many of them are as simple as using a web browser and can produce thoughtful, well-designed, and interactive research outputs. If your research requires some coding know-how, read our post on tutorials and resources for acquiring programming skills. 

As always, be sure to read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for any tool you use. Seek to understand how your data will be stored, shared, or if your final output is made public. Part of good data management is understanding how your tools handle your data and making responsible choices about what tools you select.


DH Tools Part 2: Moving Computationally

For scholars in the humanities, digging into computational approaches, tools, and methods can open new possibilities for exploration and building more tailored outputs. Below, we’ve collected a few trusted resources that can help get you started. This post is dedicated to programming tools that can help automate tasks, analyze data, or create projects. If you don’t have the time to invest in learning a programming language, follow this link to read our post on “off the shelf” DH tools.


Link Roundup – May 2020

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Cameron Cook

John Yin, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UW-Madison, is using computational methods to understand the material conditions viruses use to reproduce themselves. He is hopeful that such an approach will allow us interfere with their reproduction and prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

Brian Foo, one of the Library of Congress Innovators in Residence has released a beta version of “Citizen DJ”. You can create remix, create music, or download free-to-use audio clips from their collections to use as part of your projects or as a dataset.

Jennifer Patiño

Led by their “Innovator in Residence,” Ben Lee, the Library of Congress is using sophisticated machine learning tools to digitize and organize images from several centuries of American newspapers. The result is a tool for searching a truly massive collection of historical newspaper images called the “Newspaper Navigator“.

Stat News provides tips for researchers for staying connected, moving to virtual research, and reusing datasets to ask new questions during COVID-19.

Kent Emerson

Researchers at UW-Madison have been involved in the development of a desktop and mobile app designed to help Wisconsinites navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The app, called Wisconsin Connect, features discussion rooms, fact checkers, prevention techniques, symptom trackers and much more. The app should be available via the Apple Store and Google Play in May.

The Media History Digital Library project’s search interface, called Lantern, has received some exciting updates to facilitate more precise searching and resource location. Take minute to browse this huge media history resource.  

Tool: Digital Mappa

Written by Martin Foys and Maxwell Gray

What is Digital Mappa?

Digital Mappa 2.0 (DM) is an open-source, collaborative digital humanities platform for public or private workspaces, projects and scholarly publications. The platform software can be installed on a local or cloud server, and collaborators can highlight, annotate and link collections of digital texts and local, online and/or IIIF images through an array of easy to use tools. The platform development is directed by UW-Madison Professor of English Martin Foys, and there is a UW instance of it run under the UW Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture.

What Can DM Do For You?

The premise of DM is simple: if you have a collection of digital images and texts, then you should be able to develop a project where you can identify specific moments on these images and texts, annotate them as much as you want, link them together, generate searchable text content, collaborate with your colleagues, and publish your work online at a durable URL for others to see and share. DM 2.0 gives you the environment to make this happen, and users can create basic or sophisticated individual or collaborative projects with no coding ability whatsoever. Users can add images to DM projects locally or remotely through remote urls or IIIF image protocols. A search feature compiles all annotation text in a project into a searchable resource, and projects can be set to private, group or public access.

DM 2.0 was initially developed for deployment on the Heroku cloud-server platform, where installation and administration is straightforward for server administrators, after which developing individual projects requires no specific IT expertise. DM is now also available for local server installation and administration.


Link Roundup October 2019

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In this series, members of the RDS team share links to research data-related stories, resources, and news that caught their eye each month. Feel free to share your favorite stories with us on Twitter @UWMadRschSvcs!

Cameron Cook

UW Madison’s Information Technology Office has kindly generated 3 Tips to Manage Google Drive. These are designed to help you manage your “personal” and UW Madison G Suite accounts.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the Office of Cybersecurity will be hosting a series of informational events throughout the month.

Clare Michaud

In “Managing 100 Digital Humanities Projects: Digital Scholarship & Archiving in King’s Digital Lab,” the authors outline the process of managing digital humanities projects at King’s College London and stress the importance of partnerships between libraries, IT, and researchers in the creation of successful and sustainable digital projects.

Kent Emerson

In their Annual Report, “Cultivating Princeton’s Data Landscape”, The Center for Digital Humanities @Princeton reflects on their 2018-2019 “Year of Data”. Throughout the year, the CDH hosted a keynote address by Safia Noble, workshops for students and faculty, and served as a hub for connecting researchers, teachers, and resources.