All Things Digital

The University of Virginia has a long tradition of innovative scholarship in the digital humanities -- even before it was called DH. With important research centers, makerspaces, and hubs for collaborative innovations like the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), the Sciences, Humanities and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI), and Scholars' Lab, UVa is a great place for DH research and teaching.

Click here to learn more about DH initiatives at UVa; you'll find links to DH courses and resources to support your use of technology in the classroom. Read on for links to resources to help you get started, collaborate, and teach.

Getting Started

What makes a good research project? What makes a good digital research project in the humanities? One way to organize your research in the early stages is to map out your goals and work backwards. Guidelines from the MLA, AHA, and College of Arts and Sciences on evaluating digital work can help you define your project at the beginning.

You can also check out this helpful list of resources for valuaing and evaluating DH scholarship, from our friends at UNC's Digital Humanities Initiative, and the AHA's guide to getting started in digital history. Si prefieres leer en español, aquí puedes repasar una guía de buenas prácticas para la elaboración y evaluación de proyectos HD, elaborada por el grupo profesional la Red de HD.

More broadly, DH communities like HASTAC are clearinghouses for all kinds of inquiries and ideas, and DH Commons has a searchable or browseable database of teams that are looking for collaborators.

At UVa, Scholars' Lab and UVa Libraries are natural starting points for help with data visualization, creating digital media, and post-production guidance. If you're looking for something that's specific to your field, THATCamp routinely offers training sessions at conferences. Look for DH-specific trainings or workshops, like DH for Caribbean History: Design Workshop.


In the humanities, we tend to publish single-author articles and books. But DH allows for new kinds of collaboration; this ethos of sharing can be a big shift from one that fears "getting scooped." For ideas on how to be an effective collaborator, and why collaborative methods can be a healthy addition to our research and teaching, check out this post from HASTAC.

The AHA found that collaboration is one of the five skills most requested of humanists, within and without the academy. For some ideas on how to build collaborative skills, check out their resources on career diversity, which is searchable and browseable by skill. The MLA's Journal of Digital Humanities also offers great suggestions for documenting your contributions to team projects.


By using technology in the classroom, and designing innovative course modules, we can reach students in new ways, show them how to present evidence from different perspectives, and encourage them to ask new kinds of questions. Click here to consult the MLA guidelines for DH pedagogy and get new ideas on student-centered teaching with technology from HASTAC. You can also visit the Center for Teaching Excellence, which offers workshops and seminars for faculty and graduate students throughout the year. Previous programs include the Teaching with Technology Summer Camp, the Teaching + Technology Support Partners, and the Teaching + Technology Initiative.


Training in DH is one way to develop a portfolio of research projects in higher education or alternative academic careers (by some measures, they are not alternative. NSF research estimates that 17% of PhDs in the sciences remain in higher education; the estimate is 54% for humanists). #alt-academy has ideas on organizing dissertation projects into multimedia forms (photography, music, new media). Versatile Phd, "a web-based, woman-owned, socially positive business that helps universities provide graduate students with non-academic professional development," allows you to create a profile, gauge interest from potential employers, and meet collaborators from other fields. UNC Libraries organized field-specific information for humanists/social sciences and STEM fields. And the Times Higher Education has a snarky but not wrong list of ten things not to do as a PhD student.

Professional associations like the MLA and AHA have great resources for PhD candidates whose research interests extend beyond the academy. The AHA used data visualization tools to help you get a better sense of "Where Historians Work." The MLA Connected Academics project includes thoughtful discussions from current and recent graduate students on assessing your skills and linking them to careers, talking with your advisor about career goals and research agendas, and negotiating intellectual friction between DH and traditional dissertation projects. Dissertation Reviews also has helpful posts on graduate advising and publishing your work as a graduate student. You can find more advice about the profession under the "talking shop" tag.