Digital Humanities Workbench


Shakespeare's imagery unveiled by digital text analysis? The history of slavery plotted interactively in space and time? The relationships between (the work of) Western European philosophers presented as an interactive network? Company Facebook pages collected, classified, annotated and analysed with the help of digital tools? Nowadays, this is all common practice for a growing number of humanities scholars and students. The application of digital techniques in humanities research is often called digital humanities (or e-humanities).

Most humanities research is based on the study of primary sources and other objects: from literary, philosophical or historical texts, to instructive texts and (social) media communications, and from works of art and design to memory landscapes and even smell and sound. Often scholars base their research on a limited number of sources or objects. Nowadays, the collection of sources and source analysis can be supported by all kinds of computer applications, which enable scholars to collect their data faster, to analyse more sources, and to apply a broad array of analytical techniques in ways that are not possible without a computer. The use of computational techniques has enhanced common research practices in the humanities and they have, therefore, become an important competency for contemporary scholars and students.

In this workbench you can find information relating to the application of digital methods and techniques and the use of digitized resources (e-resources) in many areas of research in the humanities. Thus, it provides support to students of the Faculty of Humanities who wish to use digital techniques. The term digital humanities often conjures up an image of the disclosure and analysis of large volumes of data that are being worked on in interdisciplinary, innovative projects. This workbench only pays limited attention to these cutting-edge developments. For more information about these forms of digital humanities, we refer to the activities of the Computational Lexicology & Terminology Lab in our faculty. Instead, this workbench has been designed to inform students about approachable digital methods and techniques for their research and aims to serve as a guide to the digital tools that are used in our Faculty to support those techniques.

The information on this website is disclosed in several ways:

  • Digital humanities: brief introduction to this topic, including links to more information.
  • From source to data: description of the stages involved in preparing existing (analog) sources and other objects for digital analysis.
  • Data collection: description of the methods and techniques of collecting digital data.
  • Digital data: description of the characteristics of different types of digitized data and the possibilities that they offer for research.
  • Data analysis: description of the most commonly used methods of analysis in humanities research that can be supported by digital tools.
  • Tools: overview of the computer programs that are available to staff and students of the Faculty of Humanities and that are used in the faculty's research and teaching. This section also focuses on more generic tools, such as programming and databases.
  • Devices: description of a number of devices that can be used to support research.
  • E-resources: overview of various digital sources of information available to the researcher.
  • Special topics: a number of specific topics in Digital Humanities.