Week 1: Introduction to DH

Lecture : This week’s lecture will be an introduction to Digital Humanities and an overview of the unit. It will pick up themes from the unit title:

  • What concepts are important in understanding Digital Humanities?
  • What tools are used in Digital Humanities?
  • What are the debates around Digital Humanities?

We will also introduce the three areas which the course highlights (Digital Media, Digital Heritage and Digital Scholarship) and mention some careers and jobs in these fields. [slides]


Gardiner, Eileen & Ronald G. Musto. 2015. The digital humanities: a primer for students and scholars. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1: “Introduction to the Digital Humanities” (pp1-13)

Bond, Sarah E., Hoyt Long & Ted Underwood. 2017. ‘Digital’ Is Not the Opposite of ‘Humanities.’ The Chronicle of Higher Education. (November 1 2017)

Tutorial content:

Tutorial activity

Look at each of the three sites below and answer the questions (some questions ask you to find information on the site, some ask you to reflect on what you are seeing)


What is the shortest travel time between Ephesus and Neapolis in autumn?
How much longer is the cheapest route and how much cheaper is the transport cost of 1kg of wheat?
What do you think is one type of data that is being used in calculating these results?
How could you use these sort of results in further work?


For this exercise, concentrate on the Map view (but please do have a look at the other views as well!)
List the names of two kinds of frogs whose calls are played.
Summarise the content of one newspaper clipping which appears – be sure to record the location it is associated with.
Which of these terms bests describes your experience of Drifter:
– multimedia historical presentation?
– multimedia geographic presentation?
– multimedia work of art?

Peel Island Lazaret

On the Explore page, see if you can find the Recreation Hut (hint – photographs will help!), then find it in the map view
Do you think that the 3D visualisation on the Explore page is a kind of map? Why or why not?
Go to the In Depth page and look at the 3D model of Hut Q2 -how many stumps support the structure?
What do you think is the value of a project such as this? To what extent can it substitute for being there?

After you have explored and discussed these projects, divide into groups and discuss these questions:

– what is digital about the sites (beyond just being online)?
– why are these projects part of the humanities (or are they not part of the humanities)?
– what is contributed by situating material/information in space?


This week we will walk through the process of setting up a hosted WordPress account. You will also learn how to install plugins in WordPress and how to use a plugin to ensure that you have automatic backups of your site. Your tutor will show you how to do this, other resources which are available are an instruction sheet and a video.

We strongly recommend that you invest a little extra money and register your domain privately; some reasons for doing this are set out in this blog post.

We will also discuss digital identity and online presence: how should you behave in this environment? An important resource is the university guidelines for the use of social media in coursework, but you should also think about (and discuss) questions such as:

  • who can see what I am posting (who will I share the site with)?
  • what might I want to use the site for in the future (e.g. part of a portfolio)?

Story Map Journal