Digital humanities

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The interdisciplinary subject Digital Humanities ('digital humanities') comprises the systematic use of computer-aided processes and digital resources in the humanities and cultural studies as well as reflection on their application. Its representatives are distinguished by a traditional education in the humanities and cultural sciences as well as by their familiarity with a number of relevant concepts, procedures and standards in computer science . In Germany, in particular, the researchers are computer philology , the historical in computer science , the information science and computational linguistics . Typical fields of work and research are, for example, digital editions , quantitative text analysis, visualization of complex data structures or the theory of digital media.

About the terminology

“Digital Humanities” and “e-Humanities” are terms of a new kind, both of which are more common today than the somewhat older terms “Computing in the Humanities” and “Humanities Computing”. E-humanities is formed analogously to e-science and stands for “enhanced” or “enabled” humanities. So far, it remains unclear whether digital humanities are a subject, a method or a certain way of thinking, when the mere use of computers to answer questions in the humanities often leads to assigning them to digital humanities.

The first international symposium on the subject of "Literature and Data Processing" took place in Germany in June 1970 at RWTH Aachen University . Around 100 scientists, mathematicians, engineers and humanities scholars from different disciplines from six countries came together to discuss the relevance of modern electronic data and information processing for the humanities, which are increasingly being used in their traditional knowledge interests, research subjects and methods seen provoked and challenged by computers. From November 1973, regular colloquia on the use of EDP in the humanities were held at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen .

Science organization

The American professional organization The Association for Computers in the Humanities (ACH), the European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH) (until 2011 Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing (ALLC)) and the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities / Société pour l ' étude des médias interactifs (SDH-SEMI) are combined in the umbrella organization The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO). In 2013 the Association Digital Humanities in German-speaking countries (DHd) was founded as an associated regional association of the EADH.

One becomes a member of one of these organizations by subscribing to the journal Literary and Linguistic Computing , which is thus the most important specialist journal in this field. The ADHO organizes the Digital Humanities conference once a year , which takes place alternately in the USA, Canada or in Europe. In addition, the ADHO awards the Busa Prize every three years for special merits in the digital humanities.

The journal Literary and Linguistic Computing has existed since 1986, and other journals have been added over the years. The German-speaking forum on computer philology has existed since 1999 . Further relevant journals are listed in the literature section .

CenterNet is an international association of around 100 digital humanities centers from 19 countries. The organization serves the digital humanities and related disciplines.


In the traditional humanities, the digital humanities are widely regarded as "whimsical". The literary theorist Stanley Fish also claims that they undermine traditional values ​​in the humanities. In addition, the digital humanities lack theoretical reflection and they allegedly tend to uncritically affirm technological, non-objective concepts. At the same time, the first DH analyzes in the area of ​​cultural sociological diachrony provide some amazing results that both clearly confirm some prevailing opinions and clearly question others, such as the thesis of the increasing economization of modern societies.


Central topics of the humanities computer use are:

Scientific projects

German projects

Austrian projects

  • Austrian Center for Digital Humanities (ACDH) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Department of Image Science, Lab for Digital Humanities, Danube University
  • Archive for digital art, formerly Database of Virtual Art since 2000, approx. 3500 discussed works
  • Center for Information Modeling - Austrian Center for Digital Humanities at the University of Graz (ZIM-ACDH)
  • Digital Humanities Austria
  • MedienKunstGeschichte, since 2005
  • Graphic Collection Göttweig online, since 2007
  • GAMS - Humanities Asset Management System
  • Styria cultural and scientific heritage

Swiss projects

European projects

American projects


Introductory literature

  • Fotis Jannidis, Hubertus coal, Malte Rehbein (eds.): Digital Humanities. An introduction . Verlag JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2017. ISBN 978-3-476-02622-4 .
  • Susanne Kurz: Digital Humanities. Basics and technologies for practice . 2nd Edition. Springer Vieweg, Wiesbaden 2016. ISBN 978-3-658-11212-7 .
  • Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (Eds.): A New Companion to Digital Humanities . John Unsworth, Chichester 2016 (first 2004)
  • Dave M. Berry: The Computational Turn: Thinking About the Digital Humanities , in: Culture Machine, Vol 12 (2011), [ -1-PB.pdf online]
  • Manfred Thaller : Controversies around the Digital Humanities . In: Historical Social Research . tape 37 , no. 3 , 2012, p. 7-229 .

Introductions to individual questions of digital humanities

  • Andreas Aschenbrenner, Tobias Blanke, Stuart Dunn, Martina Kerzel, Andrea Rapp, Andrea Zielinski: From e-Science to e-Humanities - digitally networked science as a new work and creative area for art and culture . In: library. Research and practice . tape 31 , no. 1 , 2007, p. 11-21 , doi : 10.1515 / BFUP.2007.11 .
  • Christoph Classen, Susanne Kinnebrock, Maria Löblich: Towards Web History: Sources, Methods, and Challenges in the Digital Age . In: Historical Social Research . tape 37 , no. 4 , 2012, p. 97-188 ( ).
  • Peter Haber : Digital Past. History in the digital age. Munich 2011.
  • Oliver Grau : Museum and Archive on the Move: Changing cultural Institutions in the digital Era , Munich: DeGruyter 2017.
  • Oliver Grau : The Complex and Multifarious Expression of Digital Art & Its Impact on Archives and Humanities.  In:  A Companion to Digital Art. Edited by Christiane Paul. Wiley-Blackwell, New York 2016, 23–45.
  • Adelheid Heftberger: Collision of the squad. Dziga Vertov's films, the visualization of their structures and the digital humanities . Munich: edition text + kritik 2016.
  • Heike Neuroth, Andreas Aschenbrenner, Felix Lohmeier: e-Humanities - a virtual research environment for the humanities, cultural and social sciences. In: library. Research and Practice, 3 (2007), pp. 272–279.
  • Heike Neuroth, Fotis Jannidis, Andrea Rapp, Felix Lohmeier: Virtual research environments for e-humanities. Measures to optimally support research processes in the humanities. In: library. Research and Practice, 2/2009.
  • Torsten Schrade: Epigraphy in the digital environment . (URN: urn: nbn: de: 0289-2011051816 ). In: Scriptum 1 (2011), No. 1. ISSN  2192-4457 . (Article available under a Creative Commons license).
  • Torsten Schrade: From the inscription tape to the data object. The development of the epigraphic specialist portal “German Inscriptions Online.” In: Inscriptions as evidence of cultural memory - 40 years of German inscriptions in Göttingen. Contributions to the anniversary colloquium on October 22, 2010 in Göttingen, edited by Nikolaus Henkel. Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden 2012, pp. 59–72.
  • Eva-Maria Seng, Reinhard Keil , Gudrun Oevel (eds.): Studiolo . Cooperative research environments in the eHumanities (= reflexes of immaterial and material culture. Volume 1). De Gruyter, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-11-036464-4 .
  • Judith I. Haug (Hrsg.): Musicology in the digital age. Symposium of the Virtual Library for Musicology , Göttingen 2012. Munich, Münster and Berlin: Virtual Library for Musicology 2013.

Journals (chronological)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See on this distinction u. a. David M. Berry: "The Computational Turn: Thinking About the Digital Humanities", in: Culture Machine 12, 2011, 2-4. URL: [] or Patrik Svensson: Humanities Computing as Digital Humanities, in: DHQ 3.3, 2009 .
  2. Swantje Dogunke: Glossary: ​​Digital Humanities. In: June 17, 2015, accessed April 13, 2019 .
  3. Literature and data processing. A conference report , ed. by Helmut Schanze . Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 1972 ISBN 3-484-10153-9
  4. ^ Computers and literature . A broadcast by WDR 3 on July 19, 1970 by Burghard Rieger for the "Literature and Data Processing" conference from July 15 to 17, 1970 at RWTH Aachen University
  5. 40 years ago: first of 90 Tübingen “digital humanities” colloquia. In: November 21, 2013, accessed May 19, 2019 .
  6. About . In: CenterNet . Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Benjamin Caraco: Les digital humanities et les bibliothèques . In: Le Bulletin des Bibliothèques de France . 57, No. 2, January 1, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  8. Patricia Cohen: Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities' Riches. In: . November 16, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2017 (American English).
  9. ^ Stanley Fish: The Digital Humanities and the Transcending of Mortality. In: January 9, 2012; Retrieved January 14, 2018 (American English).
  10. Thomas Thiel: Digital Humanities: An empirical turning point for the humanities? In: July 24, 2012, accessed January 12, 2018 .
  11. Steffen Roth: Fashionable Functions: A Google Ngram View of Trends in Functional Differentiation . In: International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction . tape 10 , no. 2 , 2014, p. 34–58 , doi : 10.4018 / 978-1-4666-9461-3.ch010 (English).
  12. ^ Object database and cultural archives of the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne and the German Archaeological Institute. In: Retrieved June 6, 2018 .
  13. ^ Website of the “Digital Art History” working group. Retrieved July 3, 2018 .
  14. VerbaAlpina - the alpine cultural area reflected in its multilingualism. Retrieved June 21, 2020 .
  15. About Artigo. In: Play4Science project, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, accessed on September 13, 2018 .
  16. BSTK Online - Database of Old High German and Old Saxon glosses manuscripts. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  17. eIdentity. In: Institute for Natural Language Processing at the University of Stuttgart, accessed on November 11, 2018 .
  18. Official website of the GigaMesh Software Framework. Retrieved April 16, 2020 .
  19. LegIT- The vernacular vocabulary of the Leges barbarorum
  20. LOEWE focus on Digital Humanities Hessen - Integrated processing and evaluation of text-based corpora. In: Retrieved January 7, 2019 .
  21. mainzed - Mainz Center for Digitality in the Humanities and Cultural Studies. In: Retrieved January 7, 2019 .
  22. ^ Website of the "metropolitalia" project. Retrieved February 5, 2019 (Italian).
  23. BBAW: Personal Data Repository , a DFG project to establish a digital infrastructure for scientific biographical information
  24. ^ Janna Hennicke: Person Data Repository
  25. Herzog-August-Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, accessed on February 8, 2019 .
  26. VisArgue: Analysis and visualization of political communication. In: Retrieved February 25, 2019 .
  27. Boris Dreyer (ed.): The surveys in Hermos and Kaystrostal and the excavations at the thermal baths of Metropolis (Ionia) and at the stadium of Magnesia am Mäander: New methods and results . Results of the international and interdisciplinary conference at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg on November 3, 2012 (=  Orient & Occident in Antiquity . No. 1 ). LIT-Verlag, 2014, ISBN 978-3-643-12400-5 , The WissKI Project , p. 169 ff . (English, limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed March 9, 2019]).
  28. ^ Center for Music Edition Media. Retrieved May 16, 2019 .
  29. (c) 2003–2017 Danube University Krems - University for Further Education. All rights reserved .: Department of Image Sciences - Danube University Krems. Retrieved December 2, 2017 .
  30. Home - ADA | Archive of Digital Art. Retrieved December 2, 2017 (en-EN).
  31. ^ Institute - General. In: Retrieved December 9, 2019 .
  33. ^ Media Art History. Retrieved December 2, 2017 (American English).
  34. ^ Graphic Collection of Göttweig Abbey. Retrieved December 2, 2017 .
  37. Digital Humanities on, accessed on June 5, 2018.
  40. ^ World Literary Atlas
  41. ^ Project Bamboo Archive. Retrieved April 22, 2020 .