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Palgrave Macmillan

Visualizing History’s Fragments

A Computational Approach to Humanistic Research

  • Textbook
  • © 2024


  • Demonstrates how Digital Humanities can reveal the experiences of people usually in the margins of history
  • Proves that new digital research techniques have much to offer the humanities
  • Shows how such techniques can actually be applied through a specific case study
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About this book

This book combines a methodological guide with an extended case study to show how digital research methods can be used to explore how ethnicity, gender, and kinship shaped early modern Algerian society and politics. However, the approaches presented have applications far beyond this specific study. More broadly, these methods are relevant for those interested in identifying and studying relational data, demographics, politics, discourse, authorial bias, and social networks of both known and unnamed actors.

Ashley R. Sanders explores how digital research methods can be used to study archival specters – people who lived, breathed, and made their mark on history, but whose presence in the archives and extant documents remains limited, at best, if not altogether lost. Although digital tools cannot metaphorically resurrect the dead nor fill archival gaps, they can help us excavate the people-shaped outlines of those who might have filled these spaces.

The six methodological chapters explain why and how each research method is used, present the visual and quantitative results, and analyze them within the context of the historical case study. In addition, every dataset is available on SpringerLink as Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM), and each chapter is accompanied by one or more video tutorials that demonstrate how to apply each of the techniques described (accessed via the SN More Media App).





Table of contents (9 chapters)


Visualizing History’s Fragments is ostensibly about Ottoman Algeria, but it teaches us so much more: about how to ethically account for silences in the archive, how to intentionally approach the production of history, and how to creatively imagine what the future of digital humanities research can be.” (Lauren Klein, Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Associate Professor in the Departments of Quantitative Theory and Methods and English at Emory University, USA)

“This was the textbook that I wish I had had, either as a graduate student or even as a new faculty member. This is not exaggeration: I can't think of a comparable work that weaves such an engaging historical case study together with such a breadth of methodological material, whether applied statistics, computational methods, source bias, or different levels of measurement. A must read.” (Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo, Canada)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of California, Los Angeles, USA

    Ashley R. Sanders

About the author

Ashley R. Sanders is Vice Chair of the Digital Humanities Program at UCLA, USA. Her teaching interests include applied statistics, computational text analysis, and social media data analytics. Sanders has taught both introductory and advanced Digital Humanities courses for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Visualizing History’s Fragments

  • Book Subtitle: A Computational Approach to Humanistic Research

  • Authors: Ashley R. Sanders

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-46975-6Published: 20 June 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-46976-3Published: 19 June 2024

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXXI, 345

  • Number of Illustrations: 10 b/w illustrations, 108 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Historiography and Method, History, general, History of the Middle East, African History, Digital Humanities

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