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AHDA - Digital Texts

  • The Open University Hawley Crescent London, NW1 8NP United Kingdom (map)

Digital Texts, 19 January 2016
James Baker (Sussex)The Open University in London (map and directions)

This workshop introduces you to the data that lies behind the images of texts you search on the web and how that data – unyoked from web interfaces – can open up new possibilities for your research. As a starting point to your exploration of working with textual data, this workshop introduces tools available to you on the command line – an unassuming but powerful environment where texts and their contents can be counted, mined, manipulated, and ripped apart. No skills are required to take this workshop, the only prerequisite is that you are sufficiently open minded to try something new!

This workshop is led by James Baker, Lecturer in Digital History at the School of History, Art History and Philosophy and at the Sussex Humanities Lab. James is a historian of long eighteenth century Britain, a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow, and a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research Digital History seminar.

Required preparation

Please go to and follow the instructions in the Readme file. Make sure you have completed the required installation and downloads before coming to the workshop.

If you have any questions, please email James Baker.


1100-1110 Welcome

1110-1145 Digital Texts as Data

1145-1230 Shell: one approach to working with data

1230-1315 Lunch

1315-1400 Counting and Mining Texts

1400-1445 Ripping a Text Apart

1445-1530 Finding People and Places

1530-1600 Next Steps