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Computation and the Humanities

Towards an Oral History of Digital Humanities

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2016

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  • Presents a number of oral interviews and the key themes that emerge on the history of computing in Humanities and Cultural Heritage
  • Provides an analysis of some of the social, intellectual and creative processes that have helped shape the research into computing in the humanities
  • The book is accompanied by a website with additional and supplementary material such as archival photographs and sound recordings of oral history interviews

Part of the book series: Springer Series on Cultural Computing (SSCC)

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Table of contents (18 chapters)


About this book

This book addresses the application of computing to cultural heritage and the discipline of Digital Humanities that formed around it. Digital Humanities research is transforming how the Human record can be transmitted, shaped, understood, questioned and imagined and it has been ongoing for more than 70 years. However, we have no comprehensive histories of its research trajectory or its disciplinary development. The authors make a first contribution towards remedying this by uncovering, documenting, and analysing a number of the social, intellectual and creative processes that helped to shape this research from the 1950s until the present day.

By taking an oral history approach, this book explores questions like, among others, researchers’ earliest memories of encountering computers and the factors that subsequently prompted them to use the computer in Humanities research.

Computation and the Humanities will be an essential read for cultural and computing historians, digital humanists and those interested in developments like the digitisation of cultural heritage and artefacts.

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license


“This is a well-worked collection of interviews that leads the reader through the development of the field of DH. … Computation and the humanities is a unique portrayal of the history of DH, and is recommended as an authoritative source--to be dipped into as your interests dictate, or to study more thoroughly to better understand how DH has developed. Those in computing who are interested in cross-disciplinary research around the humanities can use this volume … .” (Computing Reviews, September, 2017) 

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Information Studies, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom

    Julianne Nyhan

  • Department of Information Studies, University College London, London, United Kingdom

    Andrew Flinn

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