7AAVMHIS Digital Resources for Historical Studies
20 credits, Autumn semester
This module draws on the long history of collaboration between digital humanists and historians to investigate digital resources, tools and methodologies for historical studies. Topics will include evaluating digital resources for history, modelling and manipulating historical data, and editing historical sources. Tools and methods from Digital Humanities will be examined in the context of building and using resources for historical studies: these will include XML to edit and encode historical texts, databases to record and manipulate structured historical data, and GIS to visualise quantitative information on maps. The course will have a strong practical component, including labs working on computers to apply the tools to example situations. It will also address theoretical questions, drawing on thinking by both historians and digital humanists about facts, evidence, argumentation and the nature of historical knowledge. We will also discuss how historical data can be modelled and manipulated, what value these digital tools and methods have, and what their limitations are. Particular focus will be given throughout to the strong interpretative element in the modelling and manipulation of data.