The Latest from Digital Humanities Questions and Answers

Launched in September of 2010, Digital Humanities Questions & Answers is a joint venture of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and ProfHacker. (See Julie Meloni’s launch announcement.)

Digital Humanities Questions and Answers (@DHAnswers on Twitter) is designed to be a free resource where anyone with an interest in the digital humanities can pose a question to the community of folks working in the field.

Since we last checked in with the site, many interesting threads have been launched and several “best answers” have been provided. Below, I’ve provided links to a few of the threads with best answers:

  • Text network analysis using Gephi: “I have a lot of texts … to analyze, and Gephi’s tools seem to be the best to reach the result I want. So how do I import text to Gephi?”

  • Open Corpora for Digital History Assignment: “I’m putting together assignments for next semester’s digital history class, and want to construct a simple distant reading for my students, probably using Voyant Tools… Can anyone point me to a good collection of historical corpora that students can experiment with?”

  • Which Named Entity Recognition Tool? : "I have a database with more than one million tweets (about WW1). What I’d like to do now is to recognize dates and traces of time. Has anyone an idea of how to do this?"

  • Which novels to assign for seminar in algorithmic criticism / distant reading?: “I’m designing the graduate seminar I’ll teach in the Department of English this fall (2015) on the subject of ‘Algorithmic Criticism,’ a title I took from the subtitle of Stephen Ramsay’s 2011 book, Reading Machines. It’s an introduction to computational text-analysis for students of literature, from word frequency to topic modelling.”

  • How to extract tagged data and text from TEI file?: “I’ve been using CATMA ( to markup a text with some analytical tags I’ve created. I then exported the file in TEI, and I’m now trying to extract the data I’ve marked up in order to measure tag frequencies, but am finding it quite difficult.”

In addition to the above questions with “best answers,” check out the discussions taking place in response to these questions:

  • Good 3D scanners to use alongside a 3D printer? : “I have the chance to get a 3D scanner alongside a 3D printer for a DH-lab-to-be, and although there’s lots of useful posts here about 3D printers, there doesn’t seem to be much about 3D scanners. If anyone has any recommendations or tips, I’d be glad to hear them.”

  • How did you learn to code?: “I’m a PhD in English student, and I’m interested in (but very new to) DH. I will start working with TEI soon through a digital archive project I’m working on, so there’s that. What other avenues should I explore in my quest to learn coding for the sake of DH research?”

  • What are people using to manage large collections of images?: “I often encounter scholars who struggle to manage large image collections — it’s not at all unusual to find people managing collections of historical images with iPhoto — and wondered if there are databases that make sense for visual collections.”

  • What is the best software package for social network analysis? : “I am developing a data set that charts the relationships between rabbis in antiquity. I am now keeping this data in tabular form (rabbi x/term of relationship/rabbi y). Could anyone recommend a software package – preferably open source and not too difficult to use – that can help me visualize and analyze this data?”

If you’re a newcomer to the site and in need of a primer, check out “How can I find answers, get my questions answered, & help DHanswers grow?

Whether you’re just “DH-curious” or are someone working in the field with either a question to ask or expertise to lend, you should give DHAnswers a try!

[CC-licensed Flickr photo by Martin Cathrae]

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