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Cambridge Digital Humanities

Cambridge Digital Humanities course timetable

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Mon 21 Oct – Tue 25 Feb 2020

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October 2019

Wed 23
The Library as Data: Digital Text Markup and TEI new Finished 11:00 - 12:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

Text encoding, or the addition of semantic meaning to text, is a core activity in digital humanities, covering everything from linguistic analysis of novels to quantitative research on manuscript collections. In this session we will take a look at the fundamentals of text encoding – why we might want to do it, and why we need to think carefully about our approaches. We will also introduce the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), the most commonly used standard for markup in the digital humanities, and look at some common research applications through examples.

Wed 30
The Library as Data: Social Network Analysis in the Correspondence Collection Archive new Finished 11:00 - 12:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

Correspondence collections are a unique window into the social networks of prominent historical figures. With the digitisation and encoding of personal letters, researchers have at their disposal a wealth of relational data, which can be studied using social network analysis.

This session will introduce and demonstrate foundational concepts, methods and tools in social network analysis using datasets prepared from the Darwin Correspondence collection. Topics covered will include

  • Explanation of the encoding procedures and rationale following the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines
  • Preparation and transformation of .xml files for analysis with an open source data wrangler
  • Rendering of network visualisations using an open source SNA tool

No knowledge of prior knowledge of programming is required, instructions on software to install will be sent out before the session

November 2019

Wed 6
The Library as Data: Introduction to Archival Photography new Finished 11:00 - 12:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This session focusses on providing photography skills for those undertaking archival research. Dr Oliver Dunn has experience spanning a decade filming documents for major academic research projects. He will go over practical approaches to finding and ordering materials in the archive, methods of handling and filming them, digital file storage, and transcription strategies. The focus is very much on low-tech approaches and small budgets. We’ll consider best uses of smartphones, digital cameras and tripods. The session is held in the IT training room at the University Library.

Wed 13
The Library as Data: Exploring Digital Collections through Machine Learning new Finished 11:00 - 12:30 Institute of Criminology, Room B3

Recent advances in machine learning are allowing computer vision and humanities researchers to develop new tools and methods for exploring digital image collections. Neural network models are now able to match, differentiate and classify images at scale in ways which would have been impossible a few years ago. This session introduces the IIIF image data framework, which has been developed by a consortium of the world’s leading research libraries and image repositories, and demonstrates a range of different machine learning- based methods for exploring digital image collections. We will also discuss some of the ethical challenges of applying computer vision algorithms to cultural and historical image collections. Topics covered will include:

  • Unlocking image collections with the IIIF image data framework
  • Machine Learning: a very short introduction
  • Working with images at scale: ethical and methodological challenges
  • Applying computer vision methods to digital collections

December 2019

Mon 2
Game Design Workshop new (1 of 2) CANCELLED 09:30 - 17:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This two-day intensive workshop will introduce participants to the practice of game design. It will explore the different ways that digital and analogue games are designed, particularly how you can design with intent to communicate a mood, theme or message. Participants will learn game design skills - such as boxing-in, design documents and prototyping – alongside opportunities to test them out by creating their own short games.

The sessions focus on game design, how to shape mechanics and play experiences, so no technical skills are needed. Participants will create their short games using both non-digital tools and simple, free software that will be taught in the session.

The course participants will be selected via an application process, once a provisional place is booked a call for application form will be issued for completion and return by 1 November 2019. Once the applications are reviewed, places will be confirmed directly in the week beginning 18 November 2019.

Tue 3
Game Design Workshop new (2 of 2) CANCELLED 09:30 - 17:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This two-day intensive workshop will introduce participants to the practice of game design. It will explore the different ways that digital and analogue games are designed, particularly how you can design with intent to communicate a mood, theme or message. Participants will learn game design skills - such as boxing-in, design documents and prototyping – alongside opportunities to test them out by creating their own short games.

The sessions focus on game design, how to shape mechanics and play experiences, so no technical skills are needed. Participants will create their short games using both non-digital tools and simple, free software that will be taught in the session.

The course participants will be selected via an application process, once a provisional place is booked a call for application form will be issued for completion and return by 1 November 2019. Once the applications are reviewed, places will be confirmed directly in the week beginning 18 November 2019.

January 2020

Tue 7
Digital Research Design and Data Ethics new [Places] 11:30 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This session explores the lifecycle of a digital research project, across the stages of design, data capture, transformation, analysis, presentation and preservation, and introduces tactics for embedding ethical research principles and practices at each stage of the research process. We discuss how to assess the impact of relevant legal frameworks, including data protection, intellectual property and media law, on your digital research project and consider what approach researchers should take to the terms of service of third-party digital platforms.

Please note: this session covers the same content as The Ethics of Data Collection and Use in the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme. Students eligible to attend SSRMP are therefore requested not to book this session (though they are welcome to attend other sessions in this course), and instead to book here https://www.training.cam.ac.uk/jsss/course/ssrmc-ethicdaus

Tue 14
Digital Data Collection and Wrangling new [Places] 11:30 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This session addresses the technical and ethical aspects of digital data collection and wrangling – two fundamental stages in the lifecycle of a digital research project. Participants will be introduced to online data sources and practices of internet-mediated data collection, including retrieving data from social media platforms. As data collected from online sources is often dirty and messy, we will also provide a short practical introduction to the process of transforming raw data into a clean and structured dataset using free and open-source software.

Tue 21
Qualitative Research in Online Environments new [Standby] 11:30 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

What happens to the practice of qualitative research when interactions between researcher and research subject are largely mediated. This session will explore a wide range of topics including the challenge of consent, researcher presence and ‘lurking’ in mediated settings, how to engage with digital gatekeepers, information security for researchers, and understanding the impact of digital platform architecture on qualitative research design.

Mon 27
Network Analysis for Humanities Scholars new [Places] 12:30 - 14:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This workshop is a very basic introduction to network analysis for humanities scholars. It will introduce the concepts of networks, nodes, edges, directed and weighted networks, bi- and multi-partite networks. It will give an overview of the kinds of things that can be thought about through a network framework, as well as some things that can’t. And it will introduce key theories, including weak ties, and small worlds. There will be an activity where participants will build their own test data set that they can then visualise. In the second half of the workshop we will cover some networks metrics including various centrality measures, clustering coefficient, community detection algorithms. It will include an activity introducing one basic web-based tool that allows you to run some of these algorithms and will provide suggestions for routes forward with other tools and coding libraries that allows quantitative analysis.

Attendees should bring their own laptops.

Ruth Ahnert is Professor of Literary History & Digital Humanities at Queen Mary University of London, and is currently leading two large AHRC-funded projects: Living with Machines, and Networking Archives. She is author of The Rise of Prison Literature in the Sixteenth Century (2013), and co-author of Tudor Networks of Power, and The Network Turn (both forthcoming).

Tue 28
Data Presentation and Preservation new [Places] 11:30 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

The afterlife of your research data forms a vitally important part of your research project. Research funders and academic journal publishers are often strongly committed to the re-use of data and are reluctant to fund or publish research where datasets are not accessible for the purposes of peer review or further use. Yet the push for open data exists in tension with the expectations of data protection law which requires transparency from researchers about how long they will retain personal data. This session will explore good practice in data sharing and archiving as well as introducing sources of further information and advice within the University on this topic.

February 2020

Tue 4
Social Network Analysis with Digital Data new (1 of 4) [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This course will provide a hands-on introduction to the field of Social Network Analysis, giving participants the opportunity to “learn by doing” the process of network data collection and analysis. After being introduced to the basic concepts, the participants will have the opportunity to explore all stages of a social network analysis project, including research design, essential measures, data collection and data analysis. The focus will be on the retrieval of electronic archival data (e.g. websites, digital archives and social media platforms) for non-programmers and on the production of network analysis with specialised software (e.g. Gephi). At the end, the participants will be equipped with the basic tools to perform meaningful visualisations and analyses of network data.

Tue 11
Social Network Analysis with Digital Data new (2 of 4) [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This course will provide a hands-on introduction to the field of Social Network Analysis, giving participants the opportunity to “learn by doing” the process of network data collection and analysis. After being introduced to the basic concepts, the participants will have the opportunity to explore all stages of a social network analysis project, including research design, essential measures, data collection and data analysis. The focus will be on the retrieval of electronic archival data (e.g. websites, digital archives and social media platforms) for non-programmers and on the production of network analysis with specialised software (e.g. Gephi). At the end, the participants will be equipped with the basic tools to perform meaningful visualisations and analyses of network data.

Tue 18
Social Network Analysis with Digital Data new (3 of 4) [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This course will provide a hands-on introduction to the field of Social Network Analysis, giving participants the opportunity to “learn by doing” the process of network data collection and analysis. After being introduced to the basic concepts, the participants will have the opportunity to explore all stages of a social network analysis project, including research design, essential measures, data collection and data analysis. The focus will be on the retrieval of electronic archival data (e.g. websites, digital archives and social media platforms) for non-programmers and on the production of network analysis with specialised software (e.g. Gephi). At the end, the participants will be equipped with the basic tools to perform meaningful visualisations and analyses of network data.

Tue 25
Social Network Analysis with Digital Data new (4 of 4) [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This course will provide a hands-on introduction to the field of Social Network Analysis, giving participants the opportunity to “learn by doing” the process of network data collection and analysis. After being introduced to the basic concepts, the participants will have the opportunity to explore all stages of a social network analysis project, including research design, essential measures, data collection and data analysis. The focus will be on the retrieval of electronic archival data (e.g. websites, digital archives and social media platforms) for non-programmers and on the production of network analysis with specialised software (e.g. Gephi). At the end, the participants will be equipped with the basic tools to perform meaningful visualisations and analyses of network data.