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Digital Humanities

A introduction and guide to digital humanities


Digital Humanities (DH)

Digital Humanities (DH) explores how culture and technology interact by systematically applying digital resources to analyse history, language, and culture. DH also analyses the application of these resources by researchers.

Rapid technological advancements and widespread cultural adoption of digital tools and mediums have provided new ways of analysing traditional humanities research areas and even created entirely new research areas.

In recent years everyday life has become increasingly dependent on technology. As such, the popularity of DH as an academic discipline has exploded in recent years.

Digital Humanities vs STEM

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are collectively known as STEM. STEM subjects are synonymous with change and progress; the humanities, on the other hand, are associated with the unchanging or eternal; these differences supposedly demonstrate their mutual exclusivity.

“It is technology … married with the humanities that yield us the results that make our heart sing.” - Steve Jobs, Apple.

However, universities are moving toward greater integration among the STEM and humanities disciplines set apart in the late nineteenth century. Will the future of the humanities in higher education emerge from programs, projects, and methodologies more typical of technological universities?



Milestones in DH

Milestones in DH

The timeline depicts milestones in the history of the "Digital Humanities" or "Humanities Computing"

1949-1970: DH in Computing Centers:

1973-1992: DH and Scholarly Societies:

1992-2004: DH and Libraries:

 2005-2012: DH mainstreamed:


More DH guides ...

Stellenbosch University: Stellenbosch University collections showcase digital content from the Library and Information Service's unique digital collections and repositories

University of Cape Town: offer digitisation for curation and preservation services for a wide variety of audio-visual, photographic and paper documents