Centre for Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities Reading Tips

A lot has been written about the digital humanities (DH). But where do you start? What are good standard works? Our affiliated members and programme team have compiled a list of recommended basic books on DH, based on their own expertise.

List of basic works

Confronting the digital revolution in academia, this book examines the application of new computational techniques and visualisation technologies in the Arts & Humanities:

  • Berry, D. M. (Ed.). (2012). Understanding digital humanities. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan. (Link)

A guide that explores the history, intellectual work, key arguments, ideas and important critique of the emerging discipline of digital humanities:

  • Berry, D. M., & Fagerjord, A. (2017). Digital Humanities: Knowledge and Critique in a Digital Age. Cambridge: Polity Press. (Link)

This compact, game-changing report provides an in-depth examination of the emerging field of digital humanities:

  • Burdick, A., Drucker, J., Lunenfeld, P., Presner, T., & Schnapp, J. (2012). Digital_Humanities. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. (Link)

Can established humanities methods exists with computational thinking? The author explores the opportunities and complications faced by humanists in this new era:

  • Dobson, J. (2019). Critical Digital Humanities. University of Illinois Press. (Link)

This author illustrates how the data landscape is rapidly changing and calls for a revolution in how we think about data:

  • Kitchin, R. (2014). The Data Revolution: Big data, open data, data infrastructures, & their consequences. London: Sage. (Link)

In this inaugural lecture, the author argues whey quantitative methods are indispensable for further scientific progress in the humanities:

  • Quené, H. (2017). De kansen van spreiding [in Dutch]. Inaugural lecture, Utrecht University, 13 March 2017. [pdf]

This book critically reflects on the role and usefulness of big data:

  • Schäfer, M.T. & Van Es, K. (2017). The datafied society. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. doi:10.5117/9789462981362. (Link)

Although his companion is slightly older, it offers a thorough, concise overview of the emerging field of humanities computing:

  • Schreibman, S., Siemens, R. & Unsworth, J. (2004). A companion to Digital Humanities. Oxford: Blackwell. (Link)

This reader brings together in one core volume the essential readings that have emerged in digital humanities with a commentary provided by the authors on the original piece:

  • Terras, M., Nyhan, J., Vanhoutte, E., Nyhan, J., & Vanhoutte, E. (2016). Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader. London: Routledge. (Link)

This chapter asks: how can instructors effectively teach about the role of digital technology in the humanities in an era in which the power and potential of digital technology grows so rapidly?:

  • Benjamin Wiggins, Course design in the digital humanities, in: Routledge International Handbook of Research Methods in Digital Humanities. (2020) (Link)

A book series that explores debates in the field of digital humanities as they emerge:

  • Debates in the Digital Humanities. (Link)


Further reading

Are you looking for a book or paper on a specific topic? Ask our affiliated members or send an email to cdh@uu.nl.