Digitising the analogue

Some time ago it suddenly hit us that it has been a while since we read an academic book or article in a physical format. This for the simple reason that we can retrace digital information much quicker — i.e. annotating a PDF, extracting highlighted text automatically with ZotFile or quickly looking up a specific word in a pdf document. A second realisation was that as PhD students in the field of digital history and hermeneutics these “small” digital aspects of a scholars life are almost never highlighted.

When we talk about the digital turn, most people think about large-scale digitisation of historical sources and the use of computational tools and techniques such as social network analysis, text mining, natural language processing, linked open data as well as the still often used Excel or Access file. Digital humanists will not be surprised by this brief selection of methods and tools which are also often critically analysed and discussed during conferences and are slowly being teached more and more in the classroom. Websites such as the programming historian offer other interesting examples and practical explanations of different techniques.

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