This free module provides an overview of important concepts both in terms of the historical data that might be used in databases and in terms of the design process. The module takes the form of a handbook, broken down into chapter headings and acts as the preliminary module for the Building and using databases for historical research online course.
Digital research skills courses
Case studies and introductory training modules in the use of various advanced digital techniques. Although primarily focused on semantic data markup and text mining, there is also information about other areas: visualisation, linked data, and cloud computing.
14 Apr 2014
Managing digital data is a critical skill for anyone conducting research in History. Whether you are an individual scholar or a partner in a large collaborative project, the way in which you collect, organise and manage your data will have a big impact on your research. It will affect the ways in which you can ask questions of your data and consequently it will influence your interpretation. Further, it will affect your ability to verify your conclusions at a later date as well as inhibit the potential to re-use and share the data. Your data might consist of oral history recordings, images of ancient artefacts, economic and social statistical data or transcribed copies of archive documents. Irrespective of where your data comes from and what form it takes, it will be the bedrock of your research and so it is important that you look after it!
25 Nov 2014
Researchers increasingly see the value of including mapping in their work, but the software used for creating maps - Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – can do much more than simply create maps as illustrations. GIS is being used in a variety of contexts to make sense of information with a spatial component, be it at the level of buildings and streets or at the level of nations, and to perform sophisticated geospatial and topographical analyses. Historians approaching their work with geographical research questions in mind not only have to come to terms with the cartographical and technical learning curves that come with the use of GIS, but they also have to address the added complication of changing geographical ‘units’ (both administrative boundaries and physical topography) over time. Fortunately, these complexities can be overcome, turning GIS into an extremely powerful research tool.
2 Dec 2014
4 Mar 2015
9 Jun 2015
This intensive one-day workshop will equip students with the knowledge and skills to use the internet with confidence as a tool for historical research. It introduces the principal online resources available to historical researchers, and shows how to make best use of them in pursuit of primary sources and secondary literature. Suitable for those at any stage of an academic career who wish to build or refresh their skills, the course covers English-language material for British, European and world history from late antiquity to the present.