State of the Field: Digital History

C.A. Romein (Corresponding author), Max Kemman, Julie M. Birkholz, James Baker, Michel de Gruijter, Thorsten Ries, Albert MEROÑO‐PEÑUELA , Ruben Ros, Stefania Scagliola

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Computing and the use of digital sources and resources is an everyday and essential practice in current academic scholarship. The present article gives a concise overview of approaches and methods within digital historical scholarship, focusing on the question ‘How have the digital humanities evolved and what has that evolution brought to historical scholarship?’ We begin by discussing techniques in which data are generated and machine searchable, such as OCR/HTR, born‐digital archives, computer vision, scholarly editions and linked data. In the second section, we provide examples of how data is made more accessible through quantitative text and network analysis. The third section considers the need for hermeneutics and data‐awareness in digital historical scholarship. The technologies described in this article have had varying degrees of effect on historical scholarship, usually in indirect ways. With this article we aim to take stock of the digital approaches and methods used in historical scholarship in order to provide starting points for scholars seeking to understand the digital turn in the field and how and when to implement such approaches in their work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-312
Number of pages22
Issue number365
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020


  • digital humanities
  • digital history
  • HTR
  • OCR
  • Born-digital
  • computer vision
  • digital scholarly editions
  • Linked Open Data
  • Linked Data
  • Quantitative Text Analysis
  • Network Approach
  • Network Analysis
  • digital hermeneutics


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