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Digital Methods for Complex Datasets

IJHAC Volume 10, Issue 1

Edited by Jennifer Guiliano, Mia Ridge


Seeking to challenge the focus on 'big data' by understanding it outside of the computational power required to process it, this volume explores the role of digital methods in the future of digital humanities research. The essays are united by the theme of complexity - but manifest that complexity across an unusual spectrum. The methods included rise out of fields of study including library and information science, informatics, literary studies, English, and computer science. Sources explored include traditional national archives, international web archives, medieval musical scores, digitised books, early modern network ontologies and educational data/learning analytics. These essays discuss the practical implications of web scraping, the implications of creating new scholarly objects, the importance of documentation and the intricacies of applying topic modelling and linked open data methods. Together, the volume suggests that the humanities comfort with multiplicities, contingency, and uncertainty in sources may lend itself to resisting the reductionism that makes technical projects easier to manage, flattening messy, human data into neat binaries. These essays remind us that their results must be contextualised through scholars' knowledge of the sources and the methods by which they came to be constructed not just as ‘big data’ datasets.


Editors’ Note

Notes on Contributors

The Future of Digital Methods for Complex Datasets: An Introduction
Jennifer Guiliano and Mia Ridge

Mindset and Guidelines: Insights to Enhance Collaborative, Campus-wide, Cross-sectoral Digital Humanities Initiatives
Chad Gaffield

Towards Interoperable Network Ontologies for the Digital Humanities
Alison Langmead, Jessica M. Otis, Christopher N. Warren,
Scott B. Weingart, and Lisa D. Zilinksi

Medieval Music in Linked Open Data: A Case Study on Linking Medieval Motets
Tamsyn Rose-Steel and Ece Turnator

Modeling the Humanities: Data Lessons from the World of Education
Armanda Lewis

Semi-supervised Textual Analysis and Historical Research Helping Each Other: Some Thoughts and Observations
Federico Nanni, Hiram Kümper, and Simone Paolo Ponzetto

Lost in the Infinite Archive: The Promise and Pitfalls of Web Archives
Ian Milligan

The World Wide Web as Complex Data Set: Expanding the Digital Humanities into the Twentieth Century and Beyond through Internet Research
Michael L. Black

Mechanized Margin to Digitized Center: Black Feminism’s Contributions to Combatting Erasure within the Digital Humanities
Nicole M. Brown, Ruby Mendenhall, Michael L. Black, Mark Van Moer, Assata Zerai, and Karen Flynn

About the Author

Jennifer Guliano is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Affiliated Faculty in the Native American Studies Program at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She received a Bachelors of Arts in English and History from Miami University (2000), a Masters of Arts in History from Miami University (2002), and a Masters of Arts (2004) in American History from the University of Illinois before completing her Ph.D. in History at the University of Illinois (2010). She has served as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant and Program Manager at the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (2008-2010) and as Associate Director of the Center for Digital Humanities (2010-2011) and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of South Carolina. She most recently held a position as Assistant Director at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland where she also served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of History and the Digital Cultures program in the Honor’s College. She is the author of Indian Spectacle: College Mascots and the Anxiety of Modern America (Rutger University Press, 2015) and co-author of the forthcoming 2016 work, Getting Started in the Digital Humanities with Simon Appleford.

Mia Ridge is a Digital Curator in the British Library's Digital Scholarship team. Mia's PhD in digital humanities (Department of History, Open University) was titled 'Making digital history: The impact of digitality on public participation and scholarly practices in historical research'. Mia has held international Fellowships at Trinity College Dublin/CENDARI (Ireland, 2014), the Polis Center Institute on 'Spatial Narrative and Deep Maps' (USA, 2012) and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media 'One Week|One Tool' program (USA, 2013), and had short Residencies at the Powerhouse Museum (Australia, 2012) and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum (USA, 2012). She is Chair of the Museums Computer Group (MCG), a member of the Executive Council of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research's Digital History Seminar. Formerly Lead Web Developer at the Science Museum Group, Mia has worked internationally as a business analyst, user experience consultant and web programmer in the cultural heritage and commercial sectors. Her edited volume, 'Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage' (Ashgate) was published in October 2014.

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