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.


Introduction to Digital Methods

Cambridge Digital Humanities is running a series of 5 practical sessions in January and February 2019 for research students and staff at the University of Cambridge who want to gain experience in digital research methods as part of the Ethics of Big Data strand of our Learning Programme. This form includes a full list of session titles and a brief description of each session’s contents. Please sign up to notify us of your interest in the programme. The data you provide will also help us tailor the content to meet the learning needs of the research community at Cambridge.

Course sessions will cover:

Monday 21 January  Digital Research Design, Methods and Ethics.

Find out how to shape a digital research project from scratch. This session will introduce the building blocks of online research design, from the several methodologies available to conduct the research to the ethical guidelines that should underpin our projects.

Monday 28 January  Digital Data Collection

This session is a primer on digital data collection. The goal is to become familiar with online data sources and practices of internet-mediated data collection, including retrieving data from social media platforms.

Monday 4 February Data Wrangling

Garbage in, garbage out! Your output is as good or as bad as your input. Data collected from online sources is often dirty and messy. Discover how to clean and organise your data. After transforming raw data into a structured dataset, you will be ready to perform data analysis.

Monday 11 February  Analysing and Visualising Social Media Data 

So, you have a structured dataset from social media sources. What shall you do with it? This session will propose a variety of analytical strategies, with a focus on Social Network Analysis (SNA). SNA is the most widely used and abused method for analysing and visualising digital and social media data. At the end of this session, you will be familiar with the basic concepts, techniques and measures of social network analysis.

Monday 18 February  Digital Data Legacy: Share, Disseminate, Preserve 

The shelf-life of your dataset dictates the longevity of your findings. Sharing your data and assuring its integrity is a fundamental part of a digital research project. In this session we will discuss the principles of open data, channels for data dissemination and the fundamentals of data preservation.

Monday 25 February Creating Databases from Historical Sources

This workshop will examine strategies for transforming a variety of sources into structured digital data, ranging from crumbling manuscripts to printed documents and books.

Registration on the programme is currently limited to staff and PhD students at the University of Cambridge. For further information and to book your place please click on the session titles above.

Click here to express your interest

Please note that this does not guarantee you a place on this course and sessions must be booked individually through the University Training Bookings System. For further information and to book your place please click on the session titles above.

Please contact Dr Anne Alexander ( with any queries

Machine Reading the Archive Programme 2017-18

Cambridge Digital Humanities and Cambridge Digital History with the support of the Researcher Development Programme and AHRC DTP

Machine Reading the Archive brings together humanities and social science researchers, archivists and computer scientists to explore the challenges of working with archives in the digital age. Through a mentoring scheme supporting digital archive projects and a series of practical workshops, technical demonstrations, field trips and a one day end-of-programme showcase, we hope to seed new collaborations and encourage the exchange of ideas and practices across professions and disciplines.

Registered participants must be PhD students or staff at the University and Colleges of Cambridge.

There are two ways to take part in the programme – through our group sessions and workshops, and by applying for a place on our Projects track.

Machine Reading the Archive Projects provides PhD students and staff at the University of Cambridge individual mentoring and support in developing a digital archives project.
Selected participants for MRtA Projects will be offered 4 x 1 hour individual/paired mentoring sessions with our Digital Methods Fellows, Dr Gabe Recchia and Dr Paul Nulty and 1 x 1 hour individual session on collaboration, networking and funding opportunities with Dr Anne Alexander, Cambridge Digital Humanities Network Coordinator. The sessions will be arranged at mutually convenient times between December 2017 and June 2018. Successful applicants will also be expected to give a short presentation about their project at the end-of-programme workshop in June 2018.

Participants in MRtA Projects are strongly encouraged to attend Machine Reading the Archive group sessions and other relevant digital methods training sessions and workshops.
Applications for MRtA Projects are open from 18 October to 12 noon on 20 November.
Registration for the MRtA programme group sessions is open throughout the academic year.

Useful links:
•    Apply for MRtA Projects:
•    Read our FAQ about MRtA Projects:
•    Register here for the MRtA programme:
Dates for your diary:
Group sessions must be booked online as spaces are limited – please check the website for details:
• Curating your own digital archive (16 November) – book here:
•    Webscraping for beginners (21 November) – book here:
•    How to turn your PDFs into searchable text (introduction to simple OCR tools)(23 January)
•    Using Python to transform and analyse your data (introduction to Jupyter notebooks)(22 February)
•    Build and publish a simple digital archive or collection (Introduction to Omeka)(8 May)
•    Text-mining the archive – an introduction (24 April and 1 May)

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