digital humanities research

DevDH: Development for the Digital Humanities


“No matter how digital humanities is defined, the development of research agendas encompasses the planning, organizing, motivating, and use of finite resources to achieve a greater understanding of the humanities and the human condition. provides the intellectual and strategic scaffolding to aid researchers in successfully completing their research endeavors. Responding to the increasing number of first-time digital humanists who are initiating projects, as well as the growing mandate from Universities and Colleges to undertake digital humanities-based research and teaching, DevDH introduces a series of resources to aid those who might be seeking assistance. is the brainchild of Simon Appleford and Jennifer Guiliano, who collectively have over a decade working in digital humanities project development, management, and grant writing. DevDH (or develop DH) was built to respond to the growing demand for digital humanities training in that area but also as an online repository of training materials, lectures, exemplars, and links that offer best practices to beginner, intermediate, and advanced digital humanists. As a visitor to the site, you’ll have access to a number of presentations, guides, and examples that we’ve created or selected for their contribution to digital humanities as a discipline.”

digital humanities humanities

Digital Scholarship and Digital Studies: The State of the Discipline by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Sarah Werner

Book History

While popular imagination has “the digital” opposed to “the book,” the two are now inextricably linked. This review essay looks at the range of digital tools available for conducting book history; the importance of software studies, platform studies, critical code studies, and media archaeology for book historians; and the intertwined connections between print and digital in the production and dissemination of today’s books. The authors argue for understanding the necessities of understanding the myriad relationships between page and screen, and the abiding materiality of the digital form. 

data digital humanities

Stats: Wales data sources

Welsh Overview:

  • 3.1 million people (mid 2011).
  • The main urban areas are Cardiff (346,100), Swansea (239,000) and Newport (145,700).
  • About 1 in 20 of the UK population live in Wales.
  • The total land surface of Wales comprises nearly 2.1 million hectares, of which some 80 per cent is devoted to agriculture.
  • Life expectancy from birth in Wales is 78.2 years for males and 82.2 years for females (2010-12).5
  • Just over 52 per cent of local authority municipal waste was prepared for reuse, recycling or composting in 2012-13.8
  • 1,656 maintained schools, and approx 465,000 pupils. More than 500 schools teach through the medium of Welsh.
  • There were nearly 129,000 enrolments at higher education institutions in Wales in 2012/13.
  • In 2013 there were 9.5 million sheep and lambs about one quarter of the UK total.
  • There were around 35,200 babies born in 2012.
  • Around one fifth of the population of Wales say they can speak Welsh.
  • There were 9.6 million domestic UK tourist trips to Wales in 2012.

Need data on Wales?

Wales Government:
Data Unit Wales:
Stats Wales:
Census 2011:

digital humanities language linguistics National Library of Wales

A digital lib-bib-cell-hus

National Library of Wales [photo by Dylan Moore]

Which will stand the test of time?

  • Library (English) from librarium (Latin) – a chest for books.
  • Llyfrgell (Welsh) – from Latin a cell for books.
  • Bibliotheka – from Ancient Greek to Latin. Biblio- (from Byblos a port in today’s Lebanon from where papyrus was imported to Greece) and -theke ( from Greek tithemi – to place or put).

We lost, in Middle English, bochus (from Old English) – a house for books.


In these digital days, do we need a place to store books, or a place to ‘put’ them. Printing a character on wood or paper seems quite similar to storing or ‘printing’ our digital data on magnetic or optical media – but we don’t think of it like that very often and we can’t see it without machines to translate back into our own languages. Our digital vaults (computer machine rooms) are more like the libraries of old – sealed, protected places where only the authorized may wander.

What about a digitheke – or is that the world-wide-web as we know it? The loss of the bibliothecary seems a shame, but lives on in the twittersphere – of course (@bibliothecary)

Swansea University Welsh History

The Demise of Welsh History?

Huw Bowen’s suggestions for sustainable Welsh History:

There are many things that we could do, but here are two suggestions.
First, there should be an annual festival of Welsh history.  We seem to have festivals of virtually everything in Wales, but for some reason not Welsh history.  This is a major omission from the cultural calendar, and it is one that History Research Wales is well placed to rectify.
Second, there should be a properly funded Welsh Institute of Historical Research to serve the needs of communities, local councils, national institutions, and government.  It should be the ‘go-to’ place for advice on the history that informs the development of every single form of activity that takes place.  Such an institute would not only represent a ‘world first’ but also demonstrate that Wales is fully in touch with its past and properly understands its place in the broader scheme of things.
Europeana funding

Living Labs

The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) is the international federation of benchmarked Living Labs in Europe and worldwide. Founded in November 2006 under the auspices of the Finnish European Presidency, the network has grown in ‘waves’ up to this day. To this date, 8 Waves have been launched, resulting in 370 accepted Living Labs. The ENoLL international non-profit association, as the legal representative entity of the network, is headquartered in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.

What is a Living Lab?
A Living Lab is a real-life test and experimentation environment where users and producers co-create innovations. Living Labs have been characterised by the European Commission as Public-Private-People Partnerships (PPPP) for user-driven open innovation. A Living Lab employs four main activities: 
  1. Co-Creation: co-design by users and producers 
  2. Exploration: discovering emerging usages, behaviours and market opportunities 
  3. Experimentation: implementing live scenarios within communities of users 
  4. Evaluation: assessment of concepts, products and services according to socio-ergonomic, socio-cognitive and socio-economic criteria.

Future Everything Festival (link)

FutureEverything is an award-winning innovation lab for digital culture and annual festival, established in Manchester in 1995. For almost 20 years FutureEverything has been exploring the meeting point of technology, society and culture which lies at the heart of the digital debate. Through a community network and regular events it makes connections between thinkers, developers, coders, artists, designers, urbanists and policy makers – inspiring them to experiment and to collaborate in new ways.
The FutureEverything festival brings people together to discover, share and experience new ideas for the future. Pioneering the practice of city-wide ‘festival as laboratory’ it combines a large scale cultural event – encompassing art, music and discussion – with new technology, novel research methods and playful social experiments. It has been named by The Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world.
data digital humanities language visualisation

Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym

Dafydd ap Gwilym website:

The editors of the works of Dafydd ap Gwilym included on the site are visualised using Cytoscape. The layout is manually tweaked after being laid out by Cytoscape’s algorithms. Raw data can be found here

Dafydd ap Gwilym editors -trees-2
data digital humanities humanities South Wales visualisation

Turning an Eye to Crime

Turing an eye to crime: South Wales Police crime data.

Cytoscape layout of crime data

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0. UK Crime data

digital humanities humanities Swansea University technology

CODAH: Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities

Swansea University‘s Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities was founded in summer 2014.

CODAH aims to deepen links and share knowledge between staff and students in Arts and Humanities and Computing (and other disciplines), in terms of research, teaching, public impact, resourcing and strategy.

Dr Tom Cheesman (Dept of Languages) and Dr Robert S Laramee (Computer Science) are joint directors.

copper digital humanities South Wales Swansea University zotero

A World of Welsh Copper: Cu@Swansea

Hafod and Morfa Copperworks from White Rock Image Credit

If anyone has not become aware of the work of the Welsh Copper project then a trawl through some of the information available from it may be in order. Cu@Swansea has gathered huge momentum over the last few years, building on the innovative regeneration work begun in the 80’s, and aiming now to create a heritage hub and industry, with space for people to enjoy and share.  “It’s really copper that lies at the heart of Wales’ development as an industrial nation” says Professor Huw Bowen at Swansea University, and it is this project that is bringing the global world of Welsh Copper back to life.

The project website, among many other interesting things, includes a bibliography, powered by Zotero, for copper related research material, and it is this use of Zotero to provide open access, online bibliographies that is a nice example of simple digital technologies that can enhance projects.

Keep up with the news and follow the project @copperhistories