Rigsarkivets Digital History Methods Lab
(Kun på engelsk, det kommer snart på dansk)
The Digital History Methods Lab is comprised of workshops, seminars and talks designed to help historians, ethnologists and researchers within the Humanities to acquire the basic tools to start interacting with digital history and, in general, freely available transcribed historical databases at Rigsarkivet. Some of these databases are contained in the Danish Demographic Database (DDD), which includes more than 20 million historical records from many different sources that have been transcribed over the last 25 years and are freely available for research purposes.
Many historians, ethnologists and other scholars in the Humanities find these digital records inaccessible since digital methods are only slowly making its way into the historical curricula. Students in these fields are not taught to think about databases, programming or to work with data and many are uncomfortale with the idea of creating or using even a simple program such as Microsoft Excel, let alone anything involving programming. However, there is a growing interest in the exploration of mixed methods, digital methods, to undertake studies in many types of cultural and historical studies.
Using examples from DDD and providing some basic training as a stepping stone into digital history, this series of workshops shows how historians can start engaging with these methods and benefit from the freely available data for historical research.
The software presented in these workshps includes Microsoft Excel and Access, OpenRefine, Stata, QGIS
Spring 2018 workshop series at UCPH see program
Organize Fall 2018 workshop series at your university Request
Dissemination and presentations for teachers/student associations
Student associations, lecturers and other academic fora can book a talk/workshop from the list above or ask us to provide a one-hour general introduction to the sources:
- The collections of the Danish Demographic Database for historical research
- The collections of the Danish Demographic Database for economic history research
- The collections of the Danish Demographic Database for demographic research
TestimonialsHere is what some of the students that have been exposed to these types of workshops and courses think about them:
- Første gang jeg blev præsenteret for planen om at vi skulle indsamle data og lave beregninger i Excel havde jeg lyst til at løbe skrigende bort. Det viste sig dog imidlertid at være mere brugbart end jeg havde regnet med. Jeg lærte at se historie på en helt anden måde, nemlig gennem tal og tabeller. I stedet for at læse en lang tekst kunne jeg nu læse en tabel og derved få den samme information. I forhold til, at jeg aldrig før dette kursus har benyttet mig af Excel har jeg fået enormt meget ud af det. Det er en viden jeg ikke kommer til at slippe nogensinde og planen er at jeg vil benytte netop metoderne i mit kommende speciale. Der er ingen grænser for hvad man kan lave en database ud fra og hvis man lærer at læse en tabel får man en helt anden og nogle gange mere konkret vinkel på det historiske stof man arbejder med. Maria, after course in 2016/2017
- Suddenly I was able to organize the many interesting informations. It became possible to gain knowledge of the stories the informations stored. It was as if I discovered a whole new world. Anna Sofie, after course in 2016/2017
- First of all, I really enjoyed the presentation. You made it relatively easy to understand a software that I have had almost no prior experience in using. Secondly, it definitely broadened my understanding of how to use quantitative data as a source of historical interpretation. I may have forgotten some of the information by tomorrow, but I would definitely want to read up on it and hone this particular skill. Even for a history student with a dread of mathematics and numbers, it was three hours well spent. My only real issue with the course is that, for someone with no prior experience in the utilisation of this type of software, it really was a lot to take in over the course of three hours. I know it costs a lot of resources, but I'd prefer a series of seminars on the subject - it would give the information a chance to cement itself within ones brain! LBP, after a three-hour seminar in 2017