Eric Lease Morgan: “Digital Humanities and Libraries” (IOrg Lecture)

Written on 02/18/2014. Filed under .

IOrg Lecture

Digital Humanities and Libraries

Eric Lease Morgan

Digital Projects Librarian
University of Notre Dame

This presentation outlines a current trend in some academic libraries, specifically, the inclusion of a digital humanities as service offerings.

The digital humanities is not so much a discipline as much as it is a methodology. It is a
practice where digitized content of the traditional humanist is quantitatively analyzed as if it were the content studied by a scientist. This sort of analysis can be done against just about any sort of human expression: written and spoken words, music, images, dance, sculpture, etc.

Invariably, the process begins with counting and tabulating. This leads to measurement, which in turn provides opportunities for compare and contrast. From here patterns can be perceived and anomalies observed. Finally, predictions, theses, and judgments can be articulated.

Digital humanities work does not replace the more traditional ways of experiencing expressions of the human condition. Instead it supplements the experience.

This presentation elaborates upon these ideas and describes how they are being put into practice in libraries.