Schedule of Readings and Assignments

Unit 1: Intro to DH, London, and Sherlock Holmes

Week 1:

Aug. 24: Introduction

Aug. 27: What is DH? And Blog Set-up

Patricia Cohen,“Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities’ Riches”

Questions: What is Digital Humanities? Why are there multiple definitions? How can it help scholarship?
Due by end of class: introductory post on class blog (name, major, year, interests)

Week 2:

Aug. 31: Victorian London

“The Victorian Age: A Summary”

Online Assignment #1: Researching Victorian London        Due 8/31 by 8am
Explore Lee Jackson’s “The Victorian Dictionary” (, choose one entry, and write a blog post on what you learned about the Victorian era. Be specific and include a few quotations.

Sept. 3: Sherlock Holmes Stories

“A Scandal in Bohemia”

“The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”

Questions: What makes Holmes a great detective? How does he use technology? What is London like?

Week 3:

Sept. 7: No Class (Labor Day Break)

Sept. 10: More Sherlock Holmes

“Man With the Twisted Lip”

Unit 2: Digital Archives and Editions

Week 4:

Sept. 14: Introduction to Archives

Jerome McGann, “Radiant Textuality”

Rossetti Archive

Questions: What is a digital archive? What purpose does it serve? What gets archived?

Sept. 17: Archives & Presentations

Choose 1 of the following projects for the presentation:

“Old Bailey Online”

“Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures & Contexts”

“Songs of the Victorians”


Due: Presentations on Archives

Week 5:

Sept. 21: Introduction to Omeka

Miriam Posner, “Up and Running with Omeka”

“Omeka Showcase”


Online Assignment #2: Omeka Archive                                                                    

  1. Due 9/21 by 9:30am: Accept the Omeka invitation, create an account, and bring three digital items for inclusion in a Holmes archive.
  2. Due 9/25 by 8pm: Finish adding your items and collections, and write a 300-word essay incorporating some of the objects for an exhibit (See instructions under the “Assignment” tab).

Sept. 24:  Editions  (No Class; Online Assignment)

“Livingstone’s 18711 Field Diary: Multispectral Critical Edition”

Make-Up Online Assignment (just click the link below while signed into Hawkmail):

Week 6:

Sept. 28: Book Traces Lab, Meet in STL18

Jennifer Howard, “Book Lovers Record Traces of 19th-Century Readers”

Alexis Madrigal, “What is a Book?”

“Book Traces”

Online Assignment #3: Book Traces                                 Due 9/30 by 8pm

Find one 19th century book with marginalia in the library and enter it into “Book Traces.” Write a blog post about the marginalia you found and why it’s important.

Oct. 1: Juxta Editions Lab

Online Assignment 4: Juxta Editions                              Due 10/4 by 10am

Using Juxta Editions, make a digital edition of a Sherlock Holmes story. NOTE: You do not need to write a 300-word blog post.

Unit 3: Visualizations and Videos

Week 7:

Oct. 5:  Introduction to Visualizations

Nathan Yau, Visualize This (Chapter 1, “Telling Stories with Data”)

Oct. 8:  Google Ngrams

Ted Underwood, “How Not to Do Things with Words”

Patricia Cohen, “Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers”

Google Ngrams Viewer

Online Assignment 5: Google Ngrams                            Due 10/8 by 8am
Choose two or three words you’d like to compare across the 19th century, research them, graph them in Ngrams (including screenshots), and write a 300-word blog post about what the graph and your research tell you about your words over time. Include information about the settings you selected and what difference those settings make.

Week 8:

Oct. 12: Fall Break (No Class)

Oct. 15: Introduction to video editing  (Guest Lecturer, Melissa Rock)


Sample Videos

Online Assignment 6A: Video Essay Prep              Due 10/15 by 9:30am
Make a WeVideo account and bring 10-15 pictures and a 150-300 word script for your video.

Week 9:

Oct. 19: Work on videos (No Class)

Oct. 22: Presentations of videos

Online Assignment 6: Video Essay                             Due 10/22 by 8:00am
Submit your introductory video to the class blog.

Week 10:

Oct. 26: Class cancelled (assignment moved to Oct. 29)

Oct. 29th: Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables

Sample Blog Post: Alexandra Fontanez, “Visualizing Popular Sitcoms of the ’90s”

Online Assignment 7: Google Fusion Tables               Due 11/3 by 8pm
Make a Google Spreadsheet and then create a “default card” image, pie chart, bar chart, map, and network visualization of that data. Post a link to the spreadsheet and include screenshots of all the visualizations on the class blog. NOTE: You do not need to write a 300-word blog post.

Oct. 29:

Unit 4: GIS

Week 11:

Nov. 2: Introduction to digital mapping

Jenna Hammerich, “Humanities gone Spatial”

“The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”

Questions: Why use digital maps? What new questions can they answer/raise?

Nov. 5: GIS Presentations: Choose 1 from the list below

“Charles Booth Online Archive”

Locating London

“London Gallery Project”

Due: Presentations on GIS Projects
Questions: What makes a successful mapping project? How easy is it to use the sites and read the maps?

Week 12:

Nov. 9: Mapping Holmes

Sample Blog Post: Alexis Moody, “Fenchurch Street”

Online Assignment 8: Victorian London Locations     Due 11/8 by 8pm  

Choose one spot (not Baker Street) mentioned in a Holmes story.  Do a search for your street on Victorian Google Maps ( and then zoom in and take a screenshot. Then use a combination of the following sites to learn about the area you have chosen: “Historical Eye” (, the “Old Bailey Online” (,“Charles Booth Online Archive” (, “Locating London” (, and “British Histories” ( Write a blog post about what you’ve learned about the area (include 3-4 specific details about it) and its importance to the Holmes story.  Include screenshots.

Nov. 12: Mapping Holmes Part 2


Google Maps

Online Assignment 9: Mapping Holmes Stories

  1. Due 11/12 by 8am: Choose two locations from the same Holmes story, and submit the story title, longitude, latitude, description of the event, and a chapter number to the Google spreadsheet.
  2. Due 11/12 by 8pm: Embed completed Mapbox and Google Maps of Holmes stories to the class website.

Week 13:

Nov. 16: Discussion of DH Projects and Tour of 3D Printing Lab.

Questions: What are the most important qualities of a good DH project?  How does DH let scholars ask new questions? Have 2-3 projects in mind as examples. 

Nov. 19: Final Projects

Due 11/18 by 8pm (email): Final project proposal.

Week 14:

Nov. 23-26: No Class (Thanksgiving)

Week 15:

Nov. 30: Final Projects

Dec. 3: Final Project

Week 16:

Dec. 7: Final Projects

Final Exam:

Dec. 14: Presentations of Final Projects, 10:15am-12:15pm

Due: Final projects, Presentations, and Papers



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