Beyond Methods of Mining: A Workshop on Doing Historical Research using Digital Data

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bmm_title2Beyond Methods of Mining:

A Workshop on Doing Historical Research using Digital Data

Utrecht University, 14-15 September 2015

Across Europe, there has been much focus on digitizing historical collections and on developing digital tools to take advantage of those collections. What has been lacking, however, is a discussion of how the research results provided by such tools should be used as a part of historical research projects. Although many developers have solicited input from researchers, discussion between historians has been thus far limited.

The workshop seeks to explore how results of digital research should be used in historical research and to address questions about the validity of digitally mined evidence and its interpretation. In order to stimulate discussion on this subject we seek contributions that discuss how researchers can ensure the relevance of digitally mined evidence to larger historical questions and/or how digital history projects might be better integrated into the field of ‘traditional’ history scholarship. Thus we are not looking for discussions of the way that particular digital tools work, or how to visualize digitally produced data, but for discussions of how to effectively combine digital methods with established historical methods. Some discussion of methods is undoubtedly necessary, but each paper’s focus should be on the analysis and use of results rather than solely on methods of text mining.

This two-day workshop is organized by the HERA funded project: Asymmetrical Encounters: Digital Humanities Approaches to Reference Cultures in Europe 1815-1992. (http://asymenc.wp.hum.uu.nl/). It will include a public keynote address by Professor Jane Winters, Professor of Digital History at the Institute for Historical Research, University of London.

Submission:

We welcome submissions from all researchers who are using digital methods to answer questions of interest to historians. The thematic focus is on the nineteenth- and twentieth centuries and we are interested in comparative as well as single area studies. Please submit an abstract of up to 1,000 words, which explains the historical question being addressed in the paper, the digital and other methods used and the (indicative) results of the research, together with a brief bio.

Please send your submissions to Tessa Hauswedell t.hauswedell@ucl.ac.uk and Maarten van den Bos M.J.A.vandenBos@uu.nl by 15 March. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 15 April.

 

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