Hands On DH

We will do, as a group during our meetings, a wide variety of tutorials as seem appropriate to the subject matter. These will largely come from The Programming Historian or my own collection.

For starters, before the first meeting of the class, you should give Exercises 1 - 4 a whirl from my first module of the Crafting Digital History Workbook http://workbook.craftingdigitalhistory.ca/module-1/Exercises/

Your Own Personal DH Computer

You should never feel that you have to do any computing work in isolation; it’s not a marathon, but a relay.

Everyone’s machine is different. Everyone’s familiarity and comfort level with things digital is different. Everyone has aptitude for this work; they just might not have had an opportunity to practice, or have guidance. As you can imagine, these truths present several challenges to teaching and learning. Insofar as any of these can be mitigated, having the same computing setup helps, and so we are using our own version of the DHBox, a virtual Ubuntu computer pre-loaded with many useful digital humanities tools that you may access through any web browser.

If you are on campus or are logged into Carleton’s systems via a VPN, go to Select a username, password, and your email address. Your username must be four characters or longer. Then select ‘1 month’. Then select launch.

You now have a virtual computer that you can use for the next month. (When the month expires, you have to create a new dhbox for yourself; your old one will be completely deleted. This is to conserve space. Before the month ends, always download your materials from the DHBox!)

Whenever you come back to the dhbox, you can now click ‘login’ and your personal dh computer and your work will be there waiting for you. Once you’ve logged in, the site will reload to the DHbox welcome screen, but your user name will show at the top right.

Click on your username, and there will be a new option, ‘apps’. Click here to go into your dhbox.

Inside the DHBox, you can click on ‘home’, ‘file manager’, ‘command line’, ‘r studio’, ‘brackets’, ‘jupyter notebooks’. The ‘home’ page will tell you how many days until your dhbox expires. Keep an eye on this, as you’ll want to get your materials out of dhbox before that happens. ‘File manager’ allows you to view all of your files, as well as uploading/downloading materials from dhbox to your local computer. ‘Command line’ allows you to interact with the computer at the terminal prompt or command line - this is where you type in commands to your machine. ‘R Studio’ is an environment for doing statistical computing, ‘Brackets’ is for web development, and ‘Jupyter Notebooks’ is an environment for creating documents that have running code inside of them.

Text Analysis and Other Interventions

Please see Module 4 of the Crafting Digital History Workbook for a wide variety of different kinds of analyses, from networks to images, from sonification to twitterbots.

For text-encoding markup, please see this modification of Melodee Beal’s TEI tutorial

For working with APIs, please see this exercise

For OCR’ing pdfs, try this package for R

Some videos

A handful of videos that you might find useful are collected here

Cover Image Dominik Scythe, Unsplash