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Digital Humanities

Faculty and graduate students embarking on a digital humanities project can use the resources in the Scholarly Commons to make connections, explore tools and obtain data.

A digital humanities project - simply defined as applying computational tools to humanities research - encompasses a wide range of work, research methods, and tasks such as:

  • Building an image archive and annotating the images with metadata.
  • Transcribing manuscripts and marking them up in TEI for text encoding and text mining.
  • Creating a map with linked data and annotations.
  • Topic Modeling a corpus of documents to identify abstract concepts

English and Digital Humanities Librarian Harriett Green can assist researchers at any stage of a project, as well as  connect researchers with other colleagues at Illinois working in the digital humanities, including scholars at the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS),Illinois Informatics Institute (I3 or  "I-cubed") and Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH).

Tools with Illinois origins include:

  • SEASR: A research and development environment at NCSA that creates cutting-edge digital humanities and data mining tools such as the Meandre enivronment.
  • MONK: A text mining tool designed to help humanities scholars discover and analyze patterns in the texts they study.

A great resource for getting introduced to the digital humanities is A Short Guide to the Digital_Humanities which is an excerpt from the longer work, Digital_Humanities, by Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, an Jeffrey Schnapp.  

If you want to keep up with the goings on of the digital humanities community, such as recent developments, new tools, and job postings, check out Digital Humanities Now.


Omeka is an online publishing tool that allows you to group your items into digital collections and exhibitions.   There are two different versions: omeka.org and omeka.net.  The Library supports use of omeka.net.  Omeka.net offers a free, baseline version that allots users 500 megabytes of storage and limits the exhibits to 1 with options to upgrade for a fee.  The Library has purchased an institutional license, which greatly increases the amount of storage space and expands the number of exhibits you are allowed.  The Library offers users the option to utilize this license for your own scholarship free of charge.  You can email sc@library.illinois.edu to have us set up your account.  Additionally, you will need to electronically sign an agreement stating you will comply with institutional policies and state and federal law.

You can stop by the Scholarly Commons for help, or contact Harriet Green, the English and Digital Humanities Librarian, for assistance in getting started.

To get started setting up your account, link:[click here to electronically agree to the terms and conditions set out by the agreement.] >>>

Omeka: A User's Guide

Digital Humanities Data Sources and Tools

JSTOR Data for Research 

Data for Research (DfR) is a service provided by JSTOR that includes a set of tools you can use to interact with the content from the JSTOR archive.  You can also request data sets and download in bulk.

Hathi Trust Research Center

The Hathi Trust Research Center is a collaborative project between institutions that has digitized a vast collection of materials in conjunction with Google.  Datasets are available for download.

The Open University's Digital Humanities Projects

An array of digital humanities projects with usable tools from Art History to English Literature.

Reading Experience Database

The Reading Experience Database (RED) contains more than 30,000 searchable records of the history of reading in the British Empire from 1450 to 1945.   

Humanities 3.0: Tooling Up for Digital Humanities

A website from Stanford that introduces users to the many facets of digital humanities research and lists various tools that are available.        


A downloadable tool for statistical natural language processing, such as topic modeling, available from UMASS.        

Paper Machines

This open source extension for the Zotero citation management software allows users to perform text mining across entire corpora of collected documents stored in Zotero.  Features include Topic Modeling, Mapping, generating a Phrase Net, and the trusty old standby, the World Cloud.

Digital Research Tools 

Digital Research Tools (formerly DiRT and now Bamboo DiRT) is a wiki that collects information about tools and resources for uses such as analyzing text and organizing your research.  


Resources in the Scholarly Commons

Experts: Harriett Green, JoAnn Jacoby, Betsy Kruger

Software: ABBYY Fine Reader, ATLAS.ti, MONK, NVivo, oXygen

Hardware: Please see the Digitization page for more information about scanning text for analysis.

Bookmarks: Digital humanities resources on our delicious.com bookmarks