About the content
As primary sources of information are more frequently digitized and available online than ever before, how can we use those sources to ask new questions? How did Chinese families organize themselves and their landscapes in China’s past? How did African slaves from different cultures form communities in the Americas? What influences informed the creation and evolution of Broadway musicals? How can I understand or interpret 1,000 books all at once? How can I create a visualization that my students can interact with? The answers to these questions can be explored using a wide variety of digital tools, methods, and sources.
As museums, libraries, archives and other institutions have digitized collections and artifacts, new tools and standards have been developed that turn those materials into machine-readable data. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), for example, have enabled humanities researchers to processvastamounts of textual data. However, these advances are not limited just to text. Sound, images, and video have all been subject to these new forms of research.
This course will show you how to manage the many aspects of digital humanities research and scholarship. Whether you are a student or scholar, librarian or archivist, museum curator or public historian — or just plain curious — this course will help you bring your area of study or interest to new life using digital tools.
- What the term “digital humanities” means in different disciplines.
- How common digital tools work and examples of projects using them.
- How various file types can be used to create, gather, and organize data.
- How to use command-line functions to analyze text.
- How to use free tools to create visual text analysis.
Lesson 1: Digital Humanities and Data
- Explain the term "digital humanities," and how it is understood across humanities disciplines.
- Describe the research journey as a partnership between researcher and library collections and staff.
- List examples of the limits of classification.
- Describe the implicit and explicit hierarchies that are created when gathering and analyzing data.
- Distinguish between what counts as data and what does not.
- Identify different data formats and how they fit into a research workflow.
Lesson 2: Digital Humanities Projects and Tools
- List tools of data analysis that can be applied to text in any language, space, networks, images, and statistical analysis.
- Evaluate existing digital platforms based on features that can be used for data analysis within different fields such as literature, history, art, and music.
Lesson 3: Acquiring, Cleaning, and Creating Data
- Identify the differences between unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data.
- Distinguish between different file types, their definitions, and applications.
- Apply intellectual property rights to the downloading and sharing of data.
- Practice different ways of downloading or creating data.
Lesson 4: The Command Line
- Understand how command line functions work.
- Apply command line functions to text files.
- Create smaller text files from larger files using command line prompts.
Lesson 5: Working with Tools - Voyant
- Create data from multiple text files using Voyant.
- Compare data results across text files using visualizationin Voyant.
Peter K. Bol
Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities. The Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites. Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot's long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard was a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. A. Lawrence Lowell, who followed Eliot, further reformed the undergraduate curriculum and undertook aggressive expansion of Harvard's land holdings and physical plant. James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war. The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College.
The university is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre (85 ha) main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge, approximately 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Boston; the business school and athletics facilities, including Harvard Stadium, are located across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and the medical, dental, and public health schools are in the Longwood Medical Area. The endowment of Harvard's is worth $37.1 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution.
Harvard is a large, highly residential research university. The nominal cost of attendance is high, but the university's large endowment allows it to offer generous financial aid packages. The Harvard Library is the world's largest academic and private library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding over 18 million items. The University is cited as one of the world's top tertiary institutions by various organizations.
Harvard's alumni include eight U.S. presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars. To date, some 157 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists, and 14 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or staff. In addition, Harvard students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold, 41 silver and 21 bronze).
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with EdX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.