Your Portal to the Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

Structured Data

Application of unsupervised machine learning methods to the linguistic, cultural, and sociological analysis of long form textual sources. Students will engage with DH theory, history, and methods, as well as large digitized text libraries, structured data (relational databases, linked data, etc.), and programming language. Knowledge of Python and familiarity with probability theory required.

T/TH 12:30-1:45


Popular media often portray “big data” as the exclusive province of information scientists, but data collection in the humanities can swiftly exceed the capacity of the human brain to analyze. Increasingly, humanists turn to digital tools to conduct quantitative research on literary texts, websites, tweets, images and sound recordings. How does one create or reuse a humanities data set? What tools are used to store, manipulate and process that data? How does one begin to analyze humanities research data and share findings in the form of visualizations? This course will explore some...


Key Questions:

• What happens to history as it gets digitized?
• That is, what does history look like, what happens to our materials, and the stories we tell or the questions we ask, as we abstract further and further away from ‘In Real Life’?
• What does ‘digital history’ really mean?

How will we explore these questions? You will choose a real world object/building/site here in Ottawa that you can access and:

• progressively abstract it away from the real world with a series of technologies from photogrammetry to...


The sources for the history of our times are fragile. Joe Ricketts, the billionaire owner of DNAInfo and Gothamist, shut the local news publications down rather than tolerate a unionized workforce. For 11 minutes, Trump was kicked off Twitter. Ian Bogost sees in both episodes a symptom of a deeper problem: both are pulling on the same brittle levers that have made the contemporary social, economic, and political environment so lawless. As public historians, what are we to do about this? There are a lot of issues highlighted here, but let’s start at the most basic. It takes nothing to...


In this course you will learn to apply computational methods to create historical arguments. You will learn to work with historical data, including finding, gathering, manipulating, analyzing, visualizing, and arguing from data, with special attention to geospatial, textual, and network data. These methods will be taught primarily through scripting in the R programming language. While historical methods can be applied to many topics and time periods, they cannot be understood separate from how the discipline forms meaningful questions and...


How do you measure a book? Can machines read? Do we read prose texts now the way people read them in 1919 or in 1819? We are swimming in textual data that could change our understanding of the written word - if you have the right tools and know how to access and work with it. What could you learn to do with all these different forms of textuality, with all this data? Can you find connections between your current interests in literature and the perspectives that technology opens up, or the goals of your career? This course is meant to give you practice with a variety of methods and real-...


Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am - 10:45am in Ruffner 175.

Some undergraduate course offerings can count toward your elective requirement, but that depends on the department and professor. If you'd like to take this course, contact the professor to see if they would allow you to take it and what they would require of your work in the course to ensure it counts at the graduate level.

Computers are universal media. Our intimacy with computers shapes how we think about our communities, histories, cultures, society, and ourselves. Learn to program...


Screenshot of an building entry page from SAH ArchipediaSAH Archipedia is an authoritative online encyclopedia of the built world published by the Society of Architectural Historians and the University of Virginia Press, and contains histories, photographs, and maps for more than 21,000 structures and places. These are mostly buildings, but as you explore SAH Archipedia you will also find landscapes, infrastructure, monuments, artwork, and more. Currently, the content of SAH Archipedia is drawn from the award-...


This course will introduce you to the theory and practice of database application design in the context of the digital liberal arts.  Beginning with the premise that the database is the defining symbolic form of the postmodern era, you will review critical and practical literature about databases, study examples of their use in projects from a variety of humanities disciplines, and engage in the actual design of a database application as a course project.  Topics to be covered will include data models, web-based database development using PHP and MySQL, interface design, data...


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