Digital humanities is an interdisciplinary academic field that engages digital media and tools in the study of the human record. Digital History is one of the more advanced Digital Humanities’ subfields with research dating back several decades. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of History, we as a community of scholars are committed to investigating the uses of digital technology for scholarship, teaching, and the advancement of humanities. We realize this commitment through:
- Teaching students to use digital tools in their research through the Digital Humanities Certificate curriculum;
- Supporting faculty digital projects in cooperation with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities;
- Managing department-wide digital projects that allow students and faculty to cooperate on common research;
- Hosting national and international conferences and colloquia on digital history and digital humanities.
Digital Humanities Certificate and Curriculum
An interdisciplinary certificate in Digital Humanities at the graduate level was approved by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska in April 2012. It is a 12-semester-hour program that allows graduate and post-baccalaureate students to gain scholarly credentials in Digital Humanities through courses cross-listed among the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures.
Digital History research can take a variety of forms including, but not limited to:
- Creation of thematic research archives and resources;
- Data mining and machine learning techniques using historical data;
- Use of geo-spatial tools and technologies to study the interaction of people and place;
- Programmatic analysis of large-scale textual corpora;
- 3D modeling of historical buildings and artifacts.
The Department of History regularly offers classes for students to master digital research skills. The digital history projects hosted at CDRH are a product of these classes and cooperation between both graduate and undergraduate students and faculty in developing their history research digitally.
Since 2010, Nebraska's Department of History has been running the History Harvest, an innovative authentic digital learning initiative. The History Harvest’s goal is to create a popular movement to democratize and open American history by utilizing digital technologies to share the experiences and artifacts of everyday people and local historical institutions.
At each “harvest,” community members are invited to bring and share their letters, photographs, objects, and stories, and participate in a conversation about the significance and meaning of their materials. Each artifact is digitally captured and then shared in this free web-based archive for general educational use and study.
Overall, the History Harvest project aims to raise visibility and public conversation about history and its meaning, as well as provide a new foundation of publicly available material for historical study, K-12 instruction, and life-long learning.
Department of History faculty collaborate on numerous department and Center for Digital Research in the Humanities projects.
University students have a chance to participate in research and building of the digital projects in all upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in Digital Humanities. Among them, History 397 Special Topics: Historical 3D Modeling, History 470/870 Digital History, and History 970: Digital History Research Seminar require students to develop their own digital projects.