Making the most of messy data: ideas from the Oxford Digital Humanities Summer School on how to handle humanities data

Dr Alice Crawford–  17 July, 2017 


This talk will share some of the “take-aways” from the 5-day workshop on Humanities Data which I attended recently at the Oxford Digital Humanities Summer School. The workshop provided a hands-on introduction to tools and methods for managing, cleaning and processing data in digital humanities projects, and was led by experts from the Oxford e-Research Centre, the Illinois Center for Informatics Research and the HathiTrust Research Center. Sessions covered assessing data for quality and fitness-for-use, contextual data modelling, using OpenRefine to facilitate work with messy data, and data exploration with Python. A final exercise introduced us to Rapid Dataset Prototyping and showed us how to make our data ready for use in timelines, maps, network diagrams or other conceptual models. I look forward to reporting on the workshop highlights, and hope this will be helpful to anyone starting out on a humanities data project.