The Briefest History of DH

Digital humanities, affectionately dubbed DH, enjoin scholars in humanities to answer previously unanswerable questions with digital means. Originally called humanities computing, the field began as statistical methods looking at word frequencies in important texts. This by itself was not unknown – remarkably, books composed of total word frequencies and locations within texts had already been created by hand for years (called “concordances”), but the ease of doing this with digital means has steadily increased until it has spurred concordance art projects.

Joining the DH World

DH has since grown into many different fields, some of which are listed on our terminology page here. While DH now encompasses anything that encounters digital sources, methods, or products in pursuit of humanities questions, the community of DHers has grown tighter with blogs, classes, and conferences. Entering this community has become easier and easier as more areas within the field are expanded or invented on the spot. We thought it would be helpful to introduce a list of DH-relevant terms, as well as exemplars of different DH fields. Other resources you can find here are an explanation of how digital humanities builds on traditional humanities and links to tools that you can start using yourself.