Skip to main content

Humanities Data Workshop Series

Posted by on Friday, October 26, 2018 in Uncategorized.

Humanities Data Workshop Series and Working Group

This program of linked workshops is designed to help humanities scholars at any level gain experience with data in ways that are relevant to their own research work.  Workshops will build on one another in sequence, but anyone may attend any session without concern for prerequisites or prior knowledge.  We will always take time to help orient newcomers, and Digital Humanities Co-working hours on Thursday afternoons can be a perfect place to catch up or continue working.

The last sessions of the series will focus on helping scholars develop a dataset of their own and exploring things that can be done with data once it’s gathered, structured, and “tidy”.

Though the series is primarily targeted to humanities scholars, we believe it will be valuable to anyone new to the methods and practices of data-oriented research.

Additional working groups in the coming semester will give scholars an opportunity to explore more specialized methods and tools for data analysis.  This series will provide an excellent foundation for researchers interested in continuing such work.

We hope to see you!


Monday, October 29, 12:10-1:00 pm, Center for Digital Humanities

Pre-Session: Is data relevant to your research?

You do have data!  If you’re curious about new ways to organize and analyze humanities research materials, come join this entry-level conversation.  Lunch will be served.


Wednesday, October 31, 12:00-1:00 pm, 3rd Floor, Wond’ry

Session 1: What is research data for you?

In this session, we’ll discuss different kinds of data used in different kinds of research. Does it make sense to refer to a document archive as “research data”?  Why or why not?  What kinds of information do you gather in your research notes – how do you process or store or otherwise act on it?  Are there questions you’d like to ask of your data that your current research methods won’t help you address?


Wednesday, November  7, 12:00-1:00 pm, 3rd Floor, Wond’ry

Session 2: Research Data Curation & Management

Building on Session 1, we will discuss methods and practices for managing research data – no matter what your research data may look like.  We’ll talk briefly about file formats and filenaming conventions for documents and media files as well as metadata and ways to keep track of it.


Wednesday, November  14, 12:00-1:00 pm, 3rd Floor, Wond’ry

Session 3: Research Questions and Data Modeling

Building on Session 2, we will discuss the kinds of research outcomes that data-centered methods can produce.  What questions do you want to ask of your data?  What data do you need to record in order to address those questions?  And, equally importantly, how do you structure your data in order to ask those questions?  We’ll discuss different data-centered research methods as well as different database types and begin designing a data model for each participant.


Wednesday, November  28, 12:00-1:00 pm, 3rd Floor, Wond’ry

Session 4: Data cleaning

No matter how brilliant a data model may be in theory, it will only work if individual data items are clear, well formulated, and unambiguous. Data cleaning can involve normalizing spellings, standardizing decimal places, removing errant apostrophes, or anything in between.  In this session, we’ll discuss principles and tools for cleaning research data at any scale.


Wednesday, December 5,  12:00-1:00 pm, 3rd Floor, Wond’ry

Session 5: Data Workshop

This session will focus on building and cleaning participants’ own datasets.  We’ll start by setting achievable goals and work plans for each project.  Bring your work in progress and any questions you may have.


Wednesday, December 12, 12:00-1:00 pm, 3rd Floor, Wond’ry

Session 6: Data Circus!

This session will focus on fun things you can do with data once it’s structured (Session 3) and clean (Session 4).  We’ll test out a variety of platforms for data visualization and analysis, including network graphs and mapping, and discuss next steps for everyone’s data projects.