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This page provides a small selection of tools ranging from simple productivity, communication and presentation tools/software such as feedly and prezi to more complex tools that can be used to manipulate or visualize data such as ArcGIS and Mallet. Most of the tools are open access (free) while some are proprietary (though the UW may have licenses so that you can use the software). Because new tools are constantly created please use the links below to find additional tools and software.
Image: Visualization of Chinese Canadian immigrant flows from the Spatial History Project at Stanford University.
Links to a variety of data visualization tools
Digital Tool Box for Historians
Links to a wide variety of tools of use to historians
Oral Historians Digital Toolbox
Although these tools are targeted to oral historians many have applications to all historians. Each tool is reviewed in depth.
Resources for Multimedia Creation
"List of resources for creating multimedia for faculty to use either for teaching or in thinking about tools students could use for course assignments or projects."
"A gateway to the tools used in sophisticated text analysis and retrieval."
Teaching History with Technology
This site for k12 teachers includes links to all sorts of tools useful for teaching in the presentations & multimedia section
How Did They Make That
Also see Miriam Posner's original How Did They Make That blogpost which provided "a set of digital humanities projects that might help you to get a handle on the kinds of tools and technologies available for you to use." And see the links to additional resources.
The following sites are do it yourself tutorials. The first is a basic introduction, the second a more advanced introduction to computer coding for historians.
"Providing the intellectual and strategic scaffolding to aid DH researchers successfully complete their research endeavors"
"Tutorial-based open access textbook... designed to teach humanists practical digital mapping and GIS skills." 4 lessons now available.
"The Programming Historian is a tutorial-based open access textbook designed to teach humanists practical computer programming skills that are immediately useful to real research needs."
Tooling Up for Digital Humanities
2011 Stanford course with a DIY approach. Explore topics such as text mining, visualizations & pedagogy via weekly modules.
Digital Humanities Now
"Digital Humanities Now showcases the scholarship and news of interest to the digital humanities community through a process of aggregation, discovery, curation, and review. "
Historical GIS: technologies, methodologies, and scholarship
print, suzzallo G70.212 G74 2007
History and GIS: epistemologies, considerations and reflections
print, Suzzallo G70.217.H57 H58 2013
Placing history : how maps, spatial data, and GIS are changing historical scholarship
printed book G70.212 .P55 2008
Spatial humanities: GIS and the future of humanities scholarship
print; suzzallo G70.212 .S654 2010
Topic Modeling: A Basic Introduction
"Topic modeling is a form of text mining, a way of identifying patterns in a corpus. You take your corpus and run it through a tool which groups words across the corpus into ‘topics’. "
Big Digital History: Exploring Big Data through a Historian’s Macroscope
"We peel back the layers of a particular approach to big data using topic modeling and network analysis. These techniques, which are growing in popularity in the humanities, need to be examined critically as they have been ported from divergent disciplines and domains."
These are just three productivity tools. For additional citation management options see Citations & Writing. For other rss readers see the 12 Best RRS Reader Apps.
Tool to collect images, links, bits of text, emails and more and organize in "notebooks"
News reader -- keep up with new blog posts.
Free and easy to use citation management software. Saves citations and formats footnotes & bibliographies.
Presentation: Webcasts & Podcasts
These free tools can be used to create podcasts and screencasts to use in the classroom or to supplement lectures.
"Free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds."
Non-linear whiteboard style presentation tool with zoom, pan, draw, and rotate features. Imbed images and video easily. Download completed presentations or publish and share.
Presentation: Collections, Timelines, Websites...
The first two tools were developed by the Center for History & New Media.
Omeka plugin that crosses Omeka collections with timelines and maps
Web-based authoring tool developed at the University of Virginia to weave images, maps, charts, video and data into highly interactive and compelling dynamic visualizations.
"StoryMapJS is a free tool to help you tell stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events."
"TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines."
Use a spreadsheet to create an interactive timeline whose items connect to a geomap.
Sources are listed in order of ease of use, the more difficult, the more powerful of a tool.
"Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online." Fall 2013: Register for free webinar
Free blogging tool
Sources are listed in order of ease of use, the more difficult, the more powerful of a tool. These tools allow you to graphically represent data such as census information via maps.
Social Explorer This link opens in a new window
Social Explorer provides access to current and historical census data and demographic information. Lets users create maps and reports on demography and social change.
StoryMap is a "free tool to help you tell stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events."
A major tool for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geographic data. The UW has a site license so the software can be downloaded.
Sources are listed in order of ease of use, the more difficult, the more powerful of a tool. For additional textual tools see TAPor: Text Analysis Portal for Research.
Java-based package good for analyzing corpora rather than individual texts; requires substantial fluency with java programming and statistical knowledge
Easy tool to allow one to find trends in the use of a word or idea over time (1800-2000) by searching through Google Books vast collection of texts
"a comprehensive platform for the automated recognition, transcription, and searching of historical documents."
Webtool that can be used to analyze texts for word frequency and trends in word usage; fairly low learning curve; works best with individual works or smaller corpora
"WordSeer is a text analysis environment that combines visualization, information retrieval, sensemaking and and natural language processing to make the contents of text navigable, accessible, and useful."