Right, this is the “I don’t have time to read through this whole page and check out all these sites” section. These are the sites that were repeatedly recommended to me when I began talking to digital historians. An important piece of advice, via Douglas Adams: DON’T PANIC. It’s ok if you’re not familiar with every word or topic on these sites.
1. Programming Historian. Over 30 tutorials on digital tools and techniques, including data management, data manipulation, mapping/GIS, Omeka, Zotero, distant reading, web scraping, APIs, Python. If you don’t understand the above list, don’t worry. There’s nothing esoteric in there, it’s just not familiar yet.
2. The Historian’s Macroscope: Big Digital History. This is a book, published online, written in public. There’s a lot here, and it’s great.
3. Scottbot. The blog of Scott Weingart.
4. William J. Turkel’s blog. The blog of, well, William J. Turkel.
Begin with The Blackwell Companion to the Digital Humanities online (there is also a print edition). The Blackwell Companion begins by exploring the uses of DH for a variety of humanistic disciplines, and then moves on to the principles of computing, its applications for humanities scholarship, and ends with the production, dissemination, and archiving of digital scholarship. The Companion is dense, but it is accessible, and provides a solid background and introduction to the field.
A drawback of the Blackwell Companion is that it was published in 2004, meaning it is now ten years out-of-date. The CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide, the beginner’s guide from the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, is a great resource for those entering the field in 2014 and is meant to be a quick resource guide. Unlike the Blackwell Companion, the CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide does not discuss specific disciplines or methodologies. Rather, it provides resources on online resources (Twitter, discussion forums, and blogs), journals, conferences, scholarships, and so on. Of particular note are their pages on Tools & Methods, Data Management Tools, Research & Citation Management Tools, and Writing Process Tools and Methods.
For those who feel comfortable in the world of computing and programming, Programming Historian has 30 tutorials on a range of tools and methods. The original lessons concentrate on Python and HTML, but the site has since expanded to include lessons on APIs, data management, data manipulation, mapping and GIS, Omeka, web scraping, and more.
Also check out the Digital Research Tools Wiki, designed to help users move from their desired goal to the specific tools that can help them.
If you’re a member of the American Historical Society, consider signing up to their online community for the Getting Started in Digital History Workshop, intended to be “a place for discussion before, during and after the event, to allow ongoing communication related to the event. It is open to AHA members, non-members, workshop participants and anyone who is interested in getting started in digital history (whether they attend the workshop or not).”
Digital Scholarship in the Humanities -the blog of Lisa Spiro, the executive director of Digital Scholarship Services at Rice University’s Fondren Library. In particular, check out the post on Getting Started in the Digital Humanities.
William J. Turkel’s blog ranges from beginner to advanced topics in digital scholarship. Turkel himself was one of the original creators of Programming Historian and his research and teaching interests include computational history and digital research methods. In particular, check out his post on Going Digital.
The Scottbot Irregular is the website of Scott Weingart, PhD student in Information Science and History of Science at Indiana University. In particular, check out his posts on teaching digital humanities, including his page of curated syllabi and his post on A Working Definition of Digital Humanities.
The blog of Ian Milligan, professor of history at the University of Waterloo, focuses on both the practice of digital history as well as digital archiving (and 20th century Canada!). In particular, check out his post on Too Much Information: The case for the Programming Historian.
Melissa Terras is a professor of digital humanities at the University College of London in addition to being the director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. Her blog is on the digital humanities broadly, but also has more focused content on digital cultural heritage. In particular, check out her posts on A Decade in Digital Humanities and Peering Inside the Big Tent: Digital Humanities and the Crisis of Inclusion.
Kristen Mapes, Digital Humanities Specialist in the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University, blogs about digital humanities, Twitter, and medieval studies. In particular, check out her posts on using Twitter as a professional tool.
The Emergence of the Digital Humanities, the blog for Steven E. Jones’ book of the same name, contains posts of related to the book – including the introduction and select chapters. Also check out his professional website, especially his posts on the eversion of networks.
Hack Education is a education technology blog run by technology journalist, education writer, and recovering academic Audrey Watters. While not on the DH specifically, Hack Education provides coverage of the impact overall of technology on education – something with which we should all be concerned. In particular, check out the post/guide What Should You Know About Education Technology.
Twitter (at, you know, twitter.com)
To begin, see the post on How to Start Tweeting (And Why You Might Want To) on ProfHacker.
DPLA (Digital Public Library of America)