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Humanist Archives: Nov. 10, 2019, 7:25 a.m. Humanist 33.388 - early history of digital humanities

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 388.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-11-09 23:32:57+00:00
        From: Robert Amsler 
        Subject: early history of digital humanities


The early history of digital humanities: An analysis of Computers and the
Humanities (1966-2004) and Literary and Linguistic Computing (1986-2004)

Chris Alen Sula, Heather V Hill

Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, fqz072,

Published: 05 November 2019


Most commentators locate the origin of digital humanities (DH) in
computational text analysis of the mid-twentieth century, beginning in 1946
with Roberto Busa's plans for the Index Thomisticus, a massive attempt to
encode nearly 11 million words of Thomas Aquinas' writings on IBM punch
cards. This event (and the narrative that follows) is found throughout the
literature, leading some to believe that early DH work - concentrated,
perhaps somewhat narrowly, on text analysis (such as classification
systems, mark-up, text encoding, and scholarly editing)' (Presner, 2010, p.
6). Others seem convinced that DH is still only text analysis or too
dominated by it (Meeks, 2013) and misguided in its approach (Fish, 2012).

Meanwhile, Underwood (2017) has recently made a case for disentangling
distant reading methods from DH generally, noting that the former predates
and does not depend on digital technology.

This article presents an empirical perspective on the early history of DH
by tracing publications in two foundational journals (Computers and the
Humanities (CHum), established in 1966, and Literary and Linguistic
Computing (LLC), established in 1986), with particular emphasis on media
types, authors' disciplines and locations, and teaching and learning. In
doing so, we examine the extent to which early DH work focused on text
analysis as well as broader trends in the early history of the field.

Issue Section: 
Full Paper [https://academic.oup.com/dsh/search-results?f_TocHeadingTitle=Full%20Paper]

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