Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely

Humanities (Digital Humanities)

  • Ulrich TiedauEmail author
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_112-1

Big Data in the Humanities

Massive use of “Big Data” has not traditionally been a method of choice in the humanities, a field in which close reading of texts, serendipitous finds in archives, and individual hermeneutic interpretations have dominated the research culture for a long time. This “economy of scarcity” as it has been called has now been amended by an “economy of abundance,” the possibility to distance-read, interrogate, visualize, and interpret a huge number of sources that would be impossible to be read by any individual scholar in their lifetime, simultaneously by using digital tools and computational methods.

Since the mid-2000s, the latter approach is known as “Digital Humanities” (hereafter DH), in analogy to “e-Science” sometimes also as “e-Humanities,” especially in Europe, although under the name of “Computing in the Humanities,” “Humanities Computing” or similar it has been in existence for half a century, albeit somewhat on the fringes of the Humanities canon....

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Further Readings

  1. Berry, D. M. (Ed.). (2012). Understanding digital humanities. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  2. Burdick, A., Drucker, J., Lunenfeld, P., Presner, T., & Schnapp, J. (2012). Digital humanities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fish, S. (2011, December 26). The old order changeth. Opinionator Blog, New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/the-old-order-changeth/. Accessed August 2014.
  4. Fitzpatrick, K. (2011). The humanities done digitally. The Chronicle of Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/article/The-Humanities-Done-Digitally/127382/. Accessed August 2014.
  5. Gold, M. (Ed.). (2012). Debates in the digital humanities. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Kirsch, A. (2014, May 2). Technology is taking over English departments: The false promise of the digital humanities. New Republic. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117428/limits-digital-humanities-adam-kirsch. Accessed August 2014.
  7. Kirschenbaum, M. G. (2010). What is digital humanities and what’s it doing in English departments? ADE Bulletin, 150, 1–7.Google Scholar
  8. McCarty, W. (2005). Humanities computing. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nyhan, J., Flynn, A., & Welsh, A. (2012). A short introduction to the Hidden Histories project. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 6(3). http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/6/3/000130/000130.html. Accessed August 2014.
  10. Schreibman, S., Siemens, R., & Unsworth, J. (Eds.). (2004). A companion to digital humanities. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Schreibman, S., Siemens, R., & Unsworth, J. (Eds.). (2007). A companion to digital literary studies. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Terras, M. (2012). Infographic: Quantifying digital humanities. http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/dh/2012/01/20/infographic-quantifying-digital-humanities/. Accessed August 2014.
  13. Terras, M., Nyhan, J., & Vanhoutte, E. (Eds.). (2013). Defining digital humanities: A reader. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-6963-6.Google Scholar
  14. Warwick, C., Terras, M., & Nyhan, J. (Eds.). (2012). Digital humanities in practice. London: Facet.Google Scholar
  15. Wiliford, C., & Henry, C. (2012). One culture: Computationally intensive research in the humanities and social sciences. A report on the experiences of first respondents to the digging into data challenge (CLIR Publication No. 151). Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Digital HumanitiesUniversity College LondonLondonUK