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Digital Humanities

Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communications

What is it?

Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communications are interdisciplinary fields in librarianship that facilitate the production and dissemination of academic research through the use of emerging digital tools and applications, while enhancing the communication of and access to the results of this research.


The digital humanities is an interdisciplinary area of research involving the application of computational methods to humanistic topics of inquiry. Digital humanities projects range widely in scale and technologies. A simple project may involve marking up a set of documents according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) schema or plotting historical events on a map. A larger project may describe a complex digital object using the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) or generate metadata for an archival collection using crowdsourcing tools. Large-scale projects in the digital humanities may utilize "big data" concepts like MapReduce in combination with statistical programming languages to analyze massive datasets of literary texts.


What unites the digital humanities is not specific technologies but a critical, humanistic approach to digitally-enabled research. There is a growing community of digital humanists across Vanderbilt. Heard Libraries is committed to fostering the digital humanities at Vanderbilt by providing consultant expertise, including advice about the selection of metadata standards, programming languages, and platforms. We'll also help you connect with other researchers on campus working on similar projects and make sure you make the best use of available campus resources.