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Digital Humanities at Carolina: Home

A resource for those interested in practicing and surveying the digital humanities at UNC.

What is the digital humanities?

There is a well-worn joke that the most significant work of the digital humanities is defining the digital humanities. For a short history of the field, see "What is Digital Humanities and What's it Doing in English Departments" (2010) by Matthew Kirschenbaum. If you're interested in the current guiding questions of digital humanities, see the Debates in the Digital Humanities edited by Matthew K. Gold and Laura F. Klein (2016 and 2012).

There is a wide variety of work being done in the digital humanities under many different banners, but the best work is always situated in a community of practice. For that reason, I have listed "Join the Community" as the most significant first step for getting started. (If you want to know about the local digital humanities scene, the definitive resource is the website of the Triangle Digital Humanities Network.) This is a guide not just for doing digital humanities then, but for doing digital humanities in the context of The University of North Carolina and the larger Triangle. The most significant questions for getting started in digital humanities are usually not technical but social: "Who is doing similar work? Who could I partner with? Who can help me understand this process?"

Of course, this guide also attempts to answer the technical questions as well by pointing to resources like The Programming Historian and The Library Workflow Exchange. Developing technical skills is paramount because the essential scholarly contribution of the digital humanities is the adaption of new media technology to significant humanities questions. A project's success is measured by its ability to develop or adapt technology to shed light on critical humanities questions. The selection of a particular technological method may be the most significant choice for a project's success. You don't need to be a techno-wizard to do this work, but you do need to have a nuanced understanding of why one technology may be better than another for your particular humanities problem. In an ideal world, this decision is made by building consensus through the community of practice.

This guide contains the following parts:

Your Librarian

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Sarah Morris
Pronouns: She/her/hers
123 Davis Library
Subjects: Folklore