What are the Digital Humanities?
A good place to start is with a clear definition of the humanities, as, for example, defined by the National Endowment for the Humanities: "The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life." —National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, 1965.
Digital Humanities happens when work done in the humanities makes central use of technology in education and as a method of research, to preserve or make accessible source materials, or as a way to communicate the outcomes of humanistic research.
What do DH projects look like? Check out the NEH's Office of Digital Humanities website for some great examples.
Additional DH links of interest:
Check out this article by Bethany Nowviskie.
For historians starting to explore the landscape and interested in developing their own projects: Daniel Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig's "Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web"
Two sites that help articulate best practices for evaluating digital humanities:
- Promotion & Tenure Criteria for Assessing Digital Research in the Humanities
- Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media