The digital humanities is an area of research, teaching, and creation concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities. Developing from the field of humanities computing, digital humanities embraces a variety of topics ranging from curating online collections to data mining large cultural data sets. Digital Humanities currently incorporates both digitized and born-digital materials and combines the methodologies from the traditional humanities disciplines (such as history, philosophy, linguistics, literature, art, archaeology, music, and cultural studies), as well as social sciences  , with tools provided by computing (such as data visualisation, information retrieval, data mining, statistics, text mining) and digital publishing.
Digital humanities scholars use computational methods either to answer existing research questions or to challenge existing theoretical paradigms, generating new questions and pioneering new approaches. One goal is to systematically integrate computer technology into the activities of humanities scholars, as is done in contemporary empirical social sciences. Such technology-based activities might include incorporation into the traditional arts and humanities disciplines use of text-analytic techniques; GIS; commons-based peer collaboration; and interactive games and multimedia.
Another goal is to create scholarship that is more than texts and papers. This includes the integration of multimedia, metadata and dynamic environments. An example of this is The Valley of the Shadow project at the University of Virginia or the Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular at University of Southern California.
The definition of digital humanities is volatile and is highly contested. Practitioners have also defined digital humanities in terms of pedagogy, although this is a lesser-used definition of the term.
A growing number of researchers in digital humanities are using computational methods for the analysis of large cultural data sets. Examples of such projects were highlighted by the Humanities High Performance Computing competition sponsored by the Office of Digital Humanities in 2008, and also by the Digging Into Data challenge organized in 2009 and 2011 by NEH in collaboration with NSF, and in partnership with JISC in the UK, and SSHRC in Canada.
At present, formal academic recognition of digital work in the humanities remains somewhat problematic, although there are signs that this might be changing. Some universities do offer programs related to the field.
Environments and tools 
Digital humanities is also involved in the creation of software, providing "environments and tools for producing, curating, and interacting with knowledge that is 'born digital' and lives in various digital contexts." In this context, the field is sometimes known as computational humanities. Many such projects share a "commitment to open standards and open source."
Digital humanities descends from the field of humanities computing, of computationally enabled "formal representations of the human record," whose origins reach back to the late 1940s in the pioneering work of Roberto Busa.
The Text Encoding Initiative, born from the desire to create a standard encoding scheme for humanities electronic texts, is the outstanding achievement of early humanities computing. The project was launched in 1987 and published the first full version of the TEI Guidelines in May 1994.
In the nineties, major digital text and image archives emerged at centers of humanities computing in the U.S. (e.g. the Women Writers Project, the Rossetti Archive, and The William Blake Archive), which demonstrated the sophistication and robustness of text-encoding for literature.
The terminological change from "humanities computing" to "digital humanities" has been attributed to John Unsworth and Ray Siemens who, as editors of the monograph A Companion to Digital Humanities (2004), tried to prevent the field from being viewed as "mere digitization." Consequently, the hybrid term has created an overlap between fields like rhetoric and composition, which use "the methods of contemporary humanities in studying digital objects," and digital humanities, which uses "digital technology in studying traditional humanities objects". The use of computational systems and the study of computational media within the arts and humanities more generally has been termed the 'computational turn'.
In 2006 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the federal granting agency for scholarships in the humanities, launched the Digital Humanities Initiative (renamed Office of Digital Humanities in 2008), which made widespread adoption of the term "digital humanities" all but irreversible in the United States.
Digital humanities emerged from its former niche status and became "big news" at the 2009 MLA convention in Philadelphia, where digital humanists made "some of the liveliest and most visible contributions" and had their field hailed as "the first 'next big thing' in a long time."
Organizations and Institutions 
The field of digital humanities is served by several organisations: The Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing (ALLC), the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), and the Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l'étude des médias interactifs (SDH/SEMI), which are joined under the umbrella organisation of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO). The alliance funds a number of projects such as the Digital Humanities Quarterly, supports the Text Encoding Initiative, the organisation and sponsoring of workshops and conferences, as well as the funding of small projects, awards and bursaries.
ADHO also oversees a joint annual conference, which began as the ACH/ALLC (or ALLC/ACH) conference, and is now known as the Digital Humanities conference.
Many conventional humanities scholars dismiss digital humanities as "whimsical." The literary theorist Stanley Fish claims that the digital humanities pursue a revolutionary agenda and thereby undermine the conventional standards of "pre-eminence, authority and disciplinary power."
See also 
- Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
- Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London
- Digital Humanities Observatory
- Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute
- Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
- Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities
- UCL Centre for Digital Humanities
- Digital Creativity
- Journal of Digital Humanities
- Digital Studies
- Digital Medievalist
- Digital Humanities Quarterly
- Literary and Linguistic Computing
- Southern Spaces
- Computers and writing
- Computational archaeology
- Cultural analytics
- Digital Classicist
- Digital library
- Digital Medievalist
- Digital history
- Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative
- Electronic literature
- Humanistic informatics
- Multimedia literacy
- New media
- Systems theory
- Text Encoding Initiative
- Text mining
- Topic Modeling
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