Textual analysis with computers

Course date(s): 
11 Jun 2013 to 18 Jun 2013
Two half-day workshops, 2-5pm on the days above.
Course tutor(s): 
Dr Carlos Galviz


Researchers in the social sciences and humanities are increasingly using computers to manage, organise and analyse non-numerical data from textual sources. This two half-day workshop introduces historians to this rapidly growing field and will furnish participants with a good working grasp of the NVivo software package and its uses for all historical research projects.

Course details

Researchers in the social sciences and humanities are increasingly using computers to manage, organise and analyse qualitative data, that is, non-numerical data from textual sources. This one-day workshop introduces historians and archivists to this rapidly growing field, explaining both its strengths as an analytical approach and, more practically, how to set about it. Participants will learn how to use the most recent version of NVivo, a package in the NUD*IST stream of software from QSR designed to help manage, organise and analyse qualitative data, with particular attention being paid to its use for historical research projects.

Aims and outcomes

Participants will complete the workshop having a clear idea of:

  • The types and range of data and material that can be incorporated into work with NVivo
  • How to prepare data for the software
  • How thematic code and retrieval devices work
  • How the writing of analytic memos /notes can be organised with the data
  • How to get a project started

Other aims include coverage (but to a lesser extent) of other functionality in NVivo - to provide a longer term view of the usefulness of the software:

  • How to organise structure and descriptive features of the data – e.g. socio-demographics
  • Graphic mapping tool (the Modeller)
  • How to hyperlink to external documents and file e.g. multimedia –web pages
  • How to link between documents
  • Coding using the NVivo ‘relationships’ tool
  • Using the Query tool – bringing together different elements of work done with the software

The workshop is open to postgraduates, academics and all who are interested in using computers for the analysis of qualitative historical data. It will take place in the IHR computer training room between 14.00 and 17.00 on 11 and 18 June 2013. Places are strictly limited and early application is strongly recommended.