Understanding Design for the Digital Humanities

Understanding Design for the Digital Humanities

Bridgette Wessels, Keira Borrill, Louise Sorensen, Jamie McLaughlin and Michael Pidd

2015

Cite the Book
Wessels, B., Borrill, K., Sorensen, L., McLaughlin, J. and Pidd, M. Understanding Design for the Digital Humanities. University of Sheffield: The Digital Humanities Institute, 2015. Available online at: <https://www.dhi.ac.uk/books/understanding-design-for-the-digital-humanities>
About the Publication

Understanding Design for the Digitial Humanities is one of the outputs from a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council called ‘Participating in Search Design: A Study of George Thomason’s English Newsbooks’, which ran from 2013 to 2014. It involved collaboration between the University of Sheffield’s departments of History, English and Sociological Studies, the Humanities Research Institute and the content provider ProQuest.

The aim of the Newsbooks project was to explore how Participatory Design techniques could be used to help us understand how search is used within humanities research methodology and to use this knowledge in the design of better search interfaces for online resources. The project used as its test case a dataset of approximately 50,000 pages of the 17th Century newsbooks collected by the bookseller George Thomason. The Newsbooks are currently only available as digitised images via ProQuest’s Early English Books Online (EEBO) and as part of Jisc’s Historical Texts. Test research questions for addressing the potential impact of the search design revolved around understanding the role of newsbooks as the drivers of community formation.

The resulting prototype search interface for the Newsbooks can be found on the project website: http://www.dhi.ac.uk/projects/newsbooks-project.

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