Brief Introduction(s) to the Digital Humanities

New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theatre Collection photograph file / Productions / Don Quijote (cinema 1915)

New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theatre Collection photograph file / Productions / Don Quijote (cinema 1915),


Brief Introduction(s) to the Digital Humanities

A number of the members of the DH community at Pitt have put together the following list of texts that do a good job of introducing the overall state of the Digital Humanities in North America at the current moment. It begins with a section called, "Articles and Shorter Pieces," which has been kept intentionally brief so as to give you a good taste of the field without being overwhelming. Should you end up with a desire to read more, the next section entitled, "Larger Works," should satisfy many a curiosity. Finally, this post ends with a "Projects" section which includes just a few projects, some created here, others elsewhere, that have captured the attention of this community.

Articles and Shorter Pieces

David M. Berry, “The Computational Turn: Thinking about the Digital Humanities,” Culture Machine 12, 1-22.

  • Berry is a theorist and a maker, but his texts often take the long view, which makes him an apt choice here.

Anne Burdick, et al, “A Short Guide to the Digital_Humanities,” in Digital_Humanities, 121-135. Entire book can be found here:

  • Provocative and useful overview of DH from creation to assessment.

Matt Kirschenbaum, "What is Digital Humanities and What's it Doing in English Departments?"

  • A history about the formation of DH as a "proper" field than it is about English, and it covers how DH became a thing of note at the MLA conference.

Tara McPherson, "Introduction: Media Studies and the Digital Humanities,” Cinema Journal 48, 119–23. JStor link:

  • Another fine introduction from a slightly different point-of-view.

Christof Schöch, “Big? Smart? Clean? Messy? Data in the Humanities,” Journal of Digital Humanities

  • Those wanting to know something about "data" in the humanities can start here. Others may have a more provocative approach, but this one is pretty even keel.

Larger Works 

Anne Burdick, et al, Digital_Humanities,

Johanna Drucker, DH101, 

Matthew Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities,


The Hermeneutics of Shipping Logs
Ben Schmidt, Northeastern University, NULab

Alison Langmead and Drew Armstrong, University of Pittsburgh

Music21: A Toolkit for Computer-Aided Musicology
Mark Cuthbert, MIT

NYPL Building Inspector
NYPL Labs in collaboration with the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division at the NYPL

Quantifying Kissinger
Micki Kaufman, CUNY Graduate Center

  • Identity
  • Faculty Work
  • VMW