© 2018

Guide to Programming for the Digital Humanities

Lessons for Introductory Python


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Computer Science book series (BRIEFSCOMPUTER)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Brian Kokensparger
    Pages 1-4
  3. Brian Kokensparger
    Pages 5-13
  4. Brian Kokensparger
    Pages 27-36
  5. Brian Kokensparger
    Pages 59-68
  6. Brian Kokensparger
    Pages 91-93

About this book


As an introduction to programming for the Digital Humanities (DH), this book presents six key assignments oriented on DH topics. The topics include Computing Change Over Time (calculating burials at a historic cemetery), Visualizing Change Over Time (visualizing the burials at the historic cemetery), Textual Analysis (finding word frequencies and “stop words” in public domain texts), XML Transformation (transforming a simplified version of XML into HTML styled with CSS), Stylometry (comparing the measured features of graphic images), and Social Network Analysis (analyzing extended relationships in historic circles). 
The book focuses on the practical application of these assignments in the classroom, providing a range of variations for each assignment, which can be selected on the basis of students’ specific programming background and skills; “atomic” assignments, which can be used to give students the experience they need to successfully complete the main assignments; and some common pitfalls and gotchas to manage in the classroom. 
The book’s chief goals are to introduce novice computer science (CS) students to programming for DH, and to offer them valuable hands-on experience with core programming concepts.


Introductory Programming Python Language Digital Humanities Visualization Stylometric Analysis

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Journalism, Media and ComputingCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA

About the authors

Brian Kokensparger is a faculty member in Computer Science at Creighton University, where he teaches introductory programming courses, as well as courses in database design, computer organization, and software engineering.  Brian is also a faculty mentor in Creighton's Digital Maximilian–Bodmer Archive digital humanities project, and works with the Prospect Hill Cemetery board in digitization and analysis of its burial permit records.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Guide to Programming for the Digital Humanities
  • Book Subtitle Lessons for Introductory Python
  • Authors Brian Kokensparger
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Computer Science
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs Computer Sci.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-99114-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-99115-3
  • Series ISSN 2191-5768
  • Series E-ISSN 2191-5776
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 93
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 15 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Programming Techniques
    Digital Humanities
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Finance, Business & Banking
Energy, Utilities & Environment


“Guide to programming for the digital humanities: lessons for introductory Python is written in a voice that is clear, easy to read, and simple to understand. This fantastically well-organized book first gives the reader a series of progressively more detailed top-down views of its content … and some observations regarding the author’s revisions--which are based on (still ongoing) years of teaching Python for DH to future-oriented undergraduates.” (Chaim Scheff, Computing Reviews, July 29, 2019)

“Kokensparger (Creighton Univ.) uses assignments for a digital humanities Python course as a guide to teaching an introductory computer science course to students with diverse interests. Kokensparger's strong background in instructional technology informs the design, rationale, and presentation of a sequence of six programming assignments.” (C. Vickery, Choice, Vol. 56 (10), June, 2019)