Cambridge Digital Humanities Network


The Cambridge Digital Humanities Network was the predecessor of Cambridge Digital Humanities, and it remains an essential part of our activities today. The Network was set up in 2011 with funding from the University's Research Policy Committee as part of a series of Strategic Research Initiatives and Networks, designed to encourage research across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.

Strategic Research Initiatives and Networks build on areas of existing research strength by bringing together a critical mass of expertise from across the Schools, with four key aims:

• to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges
• to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines
• to increase research capacity and profile by providing a platform for large-scale funding applications, recruitment and international research partnerships
• to enhance the University's ability to help shape national and international research, policy and funding agendas.

The networking activities of Cambridge Digital Humanities, such as organising events, building links between scholars from different disciplines, sharing information and developing a sense of community across the University around digital humanities research, are now carried out across all four divisions.

The Cambridge Digital Humanities Network Coordinator is Dr Anne Alexander and the co-Directors of the Network are Professor Simon Goldhill and Professor Andrew Webber.


2018-19 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2018

Friday 12 October 2018
Introduction to Podcasting

Monday 15 October 2018
The Library as Data: Introduction to Cambridge University's Digital Collections

Tuesday 30 October 2018
Introduction to Archival Photography

Wednesday 7 November 2018
Blogging for Researchers; behind the scenes with Doing History in Public

Thursday 8 November
Creating Databases from Historical Sources

Monday 12 November 2018
Blogging for Researchers: integrating social media with your blog

Wednesday 21 November 2018
Using Images at Scale to Understand Environments and Behaviours

Tuesday 11 December 2018
Generative Adversial Networks Experimentation Lab

Lent Term 2019

Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 January 2019
Machine Feeling

Monday 14 January 2019

The Undetection of the New: An Overview of Machine Learning Limitations and their Social Impact

Tuesday 15 January
A Feeling for Worlds: Encountering Animals as Sensors

Monday 11 February
Optical Character Recognition (OCR): An Introduction

Monday 25 February
Creating Databases from Historical Sources

Monday 11 March
Sandars Lecture Series 1: Collections

Tuesday 12 March
Sandars Lecture Series 2: The Medieval Manuscript and its Digital Image: Interfaces

Wednesday 13 March
Sandars Lecture Series 3: The Medieval Manuscript and its Digital Image: Tools

Easter Term 2019

Wednesday 1 May
Seeing/Knowing: Using Visualisation as a Research Instrument

Wednesday 1 May 
Looking Back and Thinking Ahead: Humanistic Methods and/in Digital Humanities 

Monday 13 May
Computer Vision and the Digital Humanities:  An Overview

Tuesday 14 May
Computer Vision and the Digital Humanities: Practical Applications

Friday 17 May
Highway to Hell or Stairway to Heaven? How Digital Changed the Music Industry

Monday 20 May
Explaining Complexity: Using Animation, Illustration and Interactive Media to Communicate Research

Tuesday 4 June
Telling Stories about Data

Monday 17 June 2019
Social Media as an Historical Source: Methods, Challenges, Ethics

Tuesday 18 June 2019
Machine Reading the Archive: End of Programme Workshop

Wednesday 18 September  and Wednesday 25 September 2019
The Letters Connection: Social Network Analysis in the scientific correspondence collection

Digital Methods

The Digital Media in Practice theme offers opportunities to acquire a wide range of practical skills connected with creating and disseminating digital content in the process of research and scholarly communications. We provide intensive training in making digital video and audio, practical introductory sessions to get you started using social media and blogging platforms.

For information on current and past events please click here

Machine Reading the Archive

The primary aim of Machine Reading the Archive is is to help participants develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and possibilities of working with archival data in the digital age, drawing on theory, methods and practice from the humanities, computer science and the archival profession.

For information on  current and past events please click here.

Ethics of Big Data

In a world where massive, networked and distributed datasets play an essential role in communication, social interactions and the economy, our Ethics of Big Data theme explores the practical and ethical challenges of researching with big data. The programme for this theme will be developed in collaboration with the Ethics of Big Data research group.

For information on current and past events please click here.

Ways of Machine Seeing

Building on the success of collaborative workshops held in 2016 and 2017, Ways of Machine Seeing draws on insights from art history, film studies, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and machine vision to examine the interactions between art, culture and technology through a series of workshops and courses.

For information on current and past events please click here.

Cambridge Data School

The first Cambridge Data School will take place from 3–6 June 2019. The deadline for applications is now closed.  If you wish to receive notifications about future Data School events, please subscribe to the Cambridge Data School mailing list.


The objectives of the Data School are to:

  • democratise access to tools and methods for digital data collection, analysis and reporting
  • foster the development of ethical practices in digital research
  • encourage dialogue between academia, civil society, the public sector and industry about the social, ethical and policy implications of digital research methods

The Data School will leverage expertise in internet-mediated research and digital verification methods providing practical instructions and knowledge exchange across sectors, professions and disciplines. Participants will be drawn from civil society groups, academia and the public sector.

Preference will be given to individuals from organisations whose access to digital data-driven training is limited due to lack of human or financial resources.In order to stimulate peer learning, the desired composition of the class is diverse, with participants from different fields, and thus selection will be guided by this objective.

Course Content

The Data School course content will be structured around the life-cycle of a digital research project, covering principles of research design, data collection, cleaning and preparation, methods of analysis and visualisation, and data management and preservation practices. The course will be tailored to the learning needs of participants, with content selected from the following topics:

  • Ethical digital research design
  • Online data collection
  • Social Media data extraction
  • Dataset exploration, structuration and cleaning
  • Digital data verification methods
  • Social Network visualisation and analysis

Additional topics will be covered if there is enough interest from participants - please tell us on your application form if there is a particular method or skill you want to learn.

Teaching Team

The 2019 Data School teaching team will include:

  • Dr Hugo Leal (Cambridge Digital Humanities Methods Fellow, Research Associate, Conspiracy and Democracy project, CRASSH, University of Cambridge)
  • Matthew Mahmoudi (Student lead, Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps, Centre of Governance and Human Rights, University of Cambridge).
  • Dr Anne Alexander (Director of Learning, Cambridge Digital Humanities; Ethics of Big Data research group, University of Cambridge)


Keynote speakers

We’re delighted to announce the first of our keynote speakers: Paul Bradshaw. Look out for further announcements on our website about our other keynotes over the coming weeks.

Paul Bradshaw runs the MA in Data Journalism and the MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University, and also works as a consulting data journalist with the BBC England Data Unit. In 2016 he won the CNN MultiChoice Sport Reporting Award for an investigation into people trafficking in football. A journalist, writer and trainer, he has worked with news organisations including The Guardian, Telegraph, Mirror, Der Tagesspiegel and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He publishes the Online Journalism Blog, is the co-founder of the award-winning investigative journalism network, and has been listed on both's list of leading innovators in media, and the US Poynter Institute's list of the 35 most influential people in social media.

Past Events

Easter Term 2018

Tuesday 24 April 2018
Text-mining the Archive 1

Tuesday 1 May 2018
Text-mining the Archive 2

Tuesday 8 May 2018
Introduction to Omeka: build and publish a simple digital archive

Tuesday 15 May 2018
Collaborating with the Machine: Opportunities, Challenges, and caveats

Monday 21 May 2018
Lenses or Mirrors? How Algorithms Affect Ways of Seeing Race and Gender

Tuesday 5 June 2018
Digital Collaboration Tools

Monday 11 June
Social Network Analysis in Social Media

Tuesday 12 June 2018
Re:search - do search engines shape scholarship?

Thursday 14 June 2018
Machine Reading the Archive End of Programme Workshop 2018

Tuesday 19 June 2018
'Scores of Scores': Possibilities and Pitfalls with Musical Corpora

Monday 25 June 2018
Academic Social Networking Sites: a user's guide

Summer 2018

Wednesday 4 July 2018
From Sources to Data: Historical People in the Digital Archive

Wednesday 11 July 2018
Searching Questions

Lent Term 2018

Tuesday 16 January 2018
Introduction to APIs: how to get bulk data from websites

Monday 22 January 2018
Democracy by Design: Activists, Apps and Activist Apps 

Tuesday 23 January 2018
Introduction to OCR: tools for turning pdfs into machine-readable data

Thursday 25 January 2018
Protest Event Analysis: a practical introduction
Harnessing the power of Big Data to understand collective action 

Tuesday 6 February 2018
Beyond Words Workshop 2 (Technical Challenges)

Tuesday 13 February 2018
Social Media Data and Research Ethics: challenges and opportunities 

Tuesday 20 February 2018 CANCELLED
Academic Social Networking: a user's guide

Tuesday 27 February 2018  CANCELLED
Introduction to Programming with Python

Tuesday 6 March 2018
Academic Research, Data, and the Law: An Introduction to General Data Protection Regulation

Thursday 15 March 2018
Digital Imaging, Modelling, Making and Interpretation of 3D Cultural Heritage Objects and Replicas

Monday 26 March 2018
Automatic Text Recognition: an introduction to Transkribus

Tuesday 27 March 2018
Automatic Text Recognition: diving into the background

Michaelmas Term 2017

Tuesday 17 October 2017
Digital Research Project Design for Beginners

Thursday 16 November 2017
Curating your own Digital Archive

Tuesday 21 November 2017
Webscraping for Beginners

Monday 27 November 2017
The Ethics of Doing Research in the Digital Age: Understanding Digital Footprints

Tuesday 5 December 2017
Can Social Media Work for Me?

Friday 15 December 2017
Beyond Words: Workshop 1 (Mapping the Conceptual Terrain)

Michaelmas Term 2016

Monday 19 September 2016
Digital Echoes: Understanding Patterns of Mass Violence with Data and Statistics

Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November 2016
An Introduction to Working with Data for Humanities Researchers

Thursday 8 December
Can Social Media Work For Me?

Lent Term 2017

Wednesday 22 March 2017
Under the Hood of the Digital Collection

Easter Term 2017

Tuesday 25 April
Automated Text Recognition: From Print to Handwriting

Tuesday 2 May
Network Analysis in the Digital Archive - An Introduction

Monday 15 May
Going Live

Tuesday 13 June
Crossing Borders; an introduction to public debate on social media

Thursday 15 June
Machine Reading the Archive; end of programme workshop

Monday 26 June
Ways of Machine Seeing 2017

Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September
Archives, Activism and Social Media

Easter Term 2016

Monday 16 May
Filming Revolution: A digital methods development workshop with Alisa Lebow

Monday 6 June
Digitally Mapping the Romanian avant-gardes

Thursday 16 June
Scholarship in the digital age – a survival guide for researchers

Friday 17 June
Nubo Influo - Developing a Computational Approach to Understanding Online Influence

Monday 11 July
Ways of Machine Seeing

Lent Term 2016

Friday 12 February
Strategies for Managing Social Media Resarch

Monday 7 March
Citizen Journalism and Narratives of Power in the Arab Revolutions

Thursday 17 March
Academic Social Networking Sites: A Rough Guide for Researchers

Michalemas Term 2015

Monday 19 October
Researching Global Labour Movements

Wednesday 4 November
Who Makes Data Big?

Friday 20 November
Mapping Contagion

Easter Term 2015

Monday 20 April
Cambridge Big Data

Thursday 30 April
Opportunity or Threat: EU Data Protection Reform

Thursday 7 May
Cultural Rights: The New Human Rights Frontier?

Monday 18 May
Graphical Display: Challenges for Humanists

Lent Term 2015

Tuesday 20 January
Crowdsourcing for Humanities Researchers

Thursday 29 January
CANCELLED Cultural Rights: The New Human Rights Frontier

Thursday 26 February
Data and Life on Tenison Road

Michaelmas Term 2014

Thursday 23 October
Researching (with) Social Media: A Reading Group

Thursday 30 October
Big Data, Communications and Media Theory: Conceptual Challenges

Thursday 13 November
Researching (with) Social Media: A Reading Group

Thursday 27 November
CultureFinder Workshop

Thursday 4 December
Researching with Social Media: A Reading Group

Easter Term 2014

Wednesday 23 April 2014
Collective Volition: Twitter and the Many in One

Friday 2 May 2014
CultureFinder Workshop

Monday 2 June 2014
Kindred Britain

Wednesday 4 June 2014
Crowdsourcing and Participatory Data-gathering

Tuesday 10 June 2014
Research Lunchtime Forum: Digital Support for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Lent Term 2014

Friday 7 February 2014
World Factory Data Expedition - A Digital Methods Development Workshop

Thursday 27 February 2014
The challenges and opportunities of new technologies for evaluating visitor experience at events

Monday 3 March 2014
Big Data, Questions, Challenges , and Possibilities

Wednesday 5 March 2014
Working with Images: A Rough Guide for Researchers