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Digital Humanities at Edmon Low Library: Toolkits


"It has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters..."

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy



That is how to approach this guide to digital humanities toolkits. Some very wise and experienced people (and groups thereof) have spent many hours compiling useful lists of open-access, freely available, and/or low-cost tools for digital humanities work. Reinventing the wheel in this case is unnecessary, but as aggregate lists of resources are often helpful, this page offers a sampling of those toolkits.



DH Toychest: Digital Humanities Tools

Curated by Alan Liu, one of the larger names in digital humanities, this particular set of resources is updated frequently, identifies high-impact and high-power tools, and points users to other tool lists. It includes software for the following categories: Animation & Storyboarding | Audio Tools | Authoring/Annotation | Code Versioning | Content Management Systems | Crowdsourcing | Exhibition/Collection | Internet Research (tools for studying the Internet) | Mapping | Network/Social Network Analysis | Programming Languages Tools | Simulation | Text Analysis | Text Encoding | Text Collation | Text Preparation | Topic Modeling | Video Tools | Video & Film Analysis | Visualization (General * Diagrams & Graphs * Image * Infographics * Network Viz * Text Viz * Time Lines * Twitter Viz) | Deformance Tools. This site also contains a number of useful tutorials.


The Programming Historian

As with the previous site, this one has lovely tutorials, although at The Programming Historian they are in the form of very handy, pre-packaged lessons that translate seamlessly to the classroom. This all-volunteer effort has information on skills, technologies, and tools and is incredibly useful.



This site offers three basic tools that allow students to quickly experiment with text and spreadsheet analysis. DataBasic was created for classroom use, and the developers have included sample datasets so that users can easily get a sense of what a tool can do. There is a word counter/word cloud generator, WTFcsv (for quick spreadsheet overviews), and samediff (for comparing two sets of text).


DiRT (Digital Research Tools)

Coming out of Project Bamboo, this is a very comprehensive site where you can sort the listed tools according to categories, tags, recent updates, or name.


Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative Tools

This list was generated by the DH group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and it contains links to everything, from more general DH platforms like Scalar and Omeka to tools for data building/cleaning, wireframing, collaboration, content management systems and web publishing, data visualization, creating timelines, mapping, and analyzing networks.