What Is Digital Humanities?

“DH values collaboration, plurality, investigation of human culture, and the disruption of and reflection on traditional practices and is concerned with not just the use of digital technology for humanities projects but how the use of digital technology for humanities projects changes the user’s experience.” – THATCamp

Digital humanities has two areas of focus: using computational methods in humanities scholarship and using digital tools to publicize academic research in innovative ways. The first area includes techniques such as text mining or big data exploration. Adding digital techniques to our research toolbox in humanities fields allows us to explore in new and innovative ways, making connections that were impossible before. The second area of focus includes tools like website building, storymaps and timelines. These tools allow us to present our findings in ways that could not be done before the internet, or utilize it to reach a broader audience for scholarship.

At the Jane Bancroft Cook Library, we focus on tailoring our projects to the user and accessibility. This means making digital projects that meet each faculty, student and staff member’s needs, regardless of technical skill level – everyone starts somewhere! – and customized to the envisioned audience of the project, whether that is a class full of fellow students or the general public.

Digital Humanities Projects Include:

  • Websites
  • Storymaps
  • Animation
  • Podcasts
  • Big Data Analysis
  • Text Mining

Digital Humanities Librarian

Lena Bohman was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and earned a B.A. in American Studies from Brown University and an MLIS from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Lena specializes in helping students and faculty with digital projects, including both publicizing research through the web and using digital methods to conduct research, as well as helping run the library’s digital collection and makerspace technology. Lena’s research interests have included rural cemeteries and how they can be a resource for disenfranchised communities and the history of immigrant St. Louis, and she has given conference presentations on the role of animation and digital advertising in Digital Humanities. She and her two dogs, Kenzi and Baxter, participate in dog sports and therapy dog activities, and she is also an avid cross stitcher and collects art, graphic novels, and perfume.