What are the Digital Humanities?

Digital media have revolutionized the practice of scholarship from the archive to the monograph. Over the next few decades, computation will become as vital in humanistic scholarship as it is today in fields like plasma physics and climate modeling. Researchers have already begun to develop new methods for analyzing online collections which are too large for traditional methods, and students now require formal experience with digital technologies to be competitive, both in academia and other workplaces.

Getting Started in DH

Short Guide to the Digital Humanities (PDF)

A 14-page article that introduces the field of Digital Humanities and answers all of your questions about the field before you even ask! For an in-depth introduction to the entire field and its buzzwords, this article is worth the read.

Project DiRT, digital research tools

This toolbox is itself a tool for DH! We highly recommend using Project DiRT as a search engine to help explore what is available – the categories that organize Project DiRT’s tools spark ideas of what can be done with DH. You can use these to determine what actions are relevant to your work, and clicking through a few of the options that interest you will show you the tools available. The toolbox allows sorting by cost and user platform which is important in proposing a DH project.

Miriam Posner’s How did they make that? and How Did They Make That? The Video!

Miriam Posner’s work is very helpful for the beginner looking to figure out just what DH is. She goes through various scholarly projects as case studies for (only some of) the different kinds of projects that can be done through DH. She also talks through programs and tools used in making each of the projects she highlights, including links to the tools as well.

DH Tools for Beginners

A compendium of stories from Medium, this site is wonderful if you’ve found a tool that you’d like to use and are looking for some beginner’s pointers, how-tos, and step-by-steps. The number of tutorials currently available is small, but contributions are growing. The articles all have an estimated reading time under 15 minutes each, so these tutorials are also interesting to look at if you’re simply looking to learn more about the kinds of things that you can do with DH!

A Digital Tool Box for Historians

A Pinterest collection of neat tools for historians (and other researchers) – ranging from project-sized tools to daily organizational helpers. Helpful for finding useful tools, although many of these tools are not specific to DH projects!

Relatively New to DH?

The CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide

An interactive guide to DH with explanations of the field, links to sample projects, information about the DH world/scholarly community, and tools. Use this Resource Guide after your initial explorations – because it includes a lot more, this guide is more complex and is better for those who already have a foundational understanding of the field of DH, its possibilities, and its tools. For those looking for further definition of how DH is defined, CUNY DH Resource Guide’s Defining the Digital Humanities will be of interest!

Getting Started in the Digital Humanities

A terrific listing of readings, resources, and workshops – so many, in fact, that this resource is better for those seeking a more thorough understanding of DH or looking to get involved or connected to the DH community!


A Digital Humanities Resource Guide A source for current scholarship on Digital Humanities from the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) – good for those looking for scholarly writing about the field.

Digital History: A guide to gathering, preserving, and presenting the past on the web

Also for those looking for scholarly writing about DH, this is an open-source, peer-reviewed scholarly journal about DH.

Starting Points for the Digital Humanities
Tooling Up for Digital Humanities – An introduction to the tools, methods, and programs.


Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia offers a great sortable collection of DH syllabi in its Pedagogy section.

Other syllabi to explore

Introduction to Digital Humanities, Todd Presner, UCLA
Intro to Digital Humanities, Johanna Drucker, UCLA
English 197: Close Reading and Distant Reading in Literary Studies, Alan Liu, UCSB
English 389, Emory University, Brian Croxall
Data Visualization, Fall 2013, Kevin Quealy and Shan Carter, UC Berkeley

(This page has been adapted from What Are the Digital Humanities? at the Princeton Center for Digital Humanities.)