Spring 2019 Events


Latin American Ephemera Hackathon

January 16 9:00–5:00 PM

What insights, avenues for research, or new tools might we discover by experimenting with computational methods on material from library collections? In partnership with Princeton University Library, the CDH invites research software engineers and programmers for a one-day hackathon on the Latin America Ephemera collection, which includes around 12.2k published items. The library will provide dirty OCR text for the content, in addition to IIIF metadata and images that are already available. Exploration possibilities include named entity recognition, classification, automated image processing, machine learning, topic modeling, and data visualization/sonification/physicalization. High-performance computing resources will be available for use by participants, with assistance from Research Computing. Light breakfast, lunch, and afternoon refreshments will be provided.

RSVP is required for this event. Interested parties should contact CDH developer Nick Budak (nbudak@princeton.edu) for more information.


Legal Aspects of Data

Wesley D. Markham
February 6 12:00–1:20 PM

Information may want to be free but institutional researchers, including those at universities, operate under certain constraints having to do with privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. Who owns data generated under sponsored research? Under what conditions can it be shared? What are best practices for managing sensitive data, particularly that involving living people? How does Princeton manage data security? When should data not be open and how does this apply to decisions about licensing and publishing datasets? How does one obtain and work with existing datasets that are themselves under strictures including, but not limited to, copyright? Representatives from Princeton’s Office of the General Counsel will join us to consider questions related to these concerns and offer practical advice for managing legal aspects of data.

Reading Group

Reading Group: Meeting 6

February 13 12:00–1:20 PM

For our first meeting of the Spring semester, the Collections as Data Reading Group turn to the topic of services and systems at PUL, and how they support - or could better support - work with data-driven collections.  

We'll be joined by Esme Cowles, Software Development Manager at Digital Repository and Discovery Services (Library Information Technology, Imaging and Metadata Services) who will walk us through PUL's digital library infrastructure. 

Information Session

Information Session - CDH Grants Spring 2019

February 13 4:00–5:00 PM

The CDH invites you to attend an information session on funding opportunities this spring, including Dataset Curation Grants, Research Partnerships and more! CDH staff members will be available to discuss proposal drafts and review datasets. The session will be held on Wednesday, February 13, 4-5pm at the CDH (B Floor of Firestone Library).

Schedule a consultation to discuss your proposal with one of our staff, no fewer than 5 work days before the deadline.  


[POSTPONED] Teaching With Data: Digital Humanities in the Classroom

Nora Benedict
Miranda Marraccini
Brian Kernighan
Brandon M. Stewart
February 18 12:00–1:20 PM

This event has been POSTPONED until Fall

This event is co-organized by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

What does it mean to bring digital humanities (DH) theories and methods into the classroom? What new possibilities for learning emerge when students are asked to engage humanities material as data, and use techniques such as network analysis, visualization, and text analysis? How do humanistic methods transform approaches to data science? Come hear insights from teachers from different humanities fields, social science and computer science who have used DH in their teaching and advising independent research.


Nora Benedict, CDH Postdoctoral Fellow

Brian Kernighan, Professor in the Department of Computer Science 

Brandon Stewart, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology 

Miranda Marraccini, PhD Candidate in the Department of English





Playing with Data I

Sharon L. De La Cruz
Aatish Bhatia
February 21 12:00–1:20 PM

Come experiment and interact with data in new ways. This two-part workshop series, in partnership with the Council on Science and Technology and the CST Studio Lab, will provide an introduction to creative coding with p5.js, a Javascript library which is intended to “make coding accessible for artists, designers, educators, and beginners.” Participants will work with CDH project data and library collection data as they learn the basics of p5.js and work towards a creative data visualization. Join us as we explore ways to experiment and create with data!

The first workshop will be at CDH, the second will be at CST Studio Lab.

No previous programming experience required. Bring a laptop.

Space is limited, RSVP to cdh-info@princeton.edu.


Reading Group

Reading Group: Meeting 7

February 27 12:00–1:20 PM

What's next for the Finding Aids? Session moderators Kelly Bolding and Faith Charlton (Rare Books and Special Collections)

To continue our discussion about PUL's systems and services, our next Collections as Data Reading Group session will delve into Princeton's Finding Aids site to investigate how Princeton's rich archival metadata can be used for computational research and analysis.

We will start with a special presentation by the PULFA 3.0 team, who will discuss the working group’s progress thus far and give some ideas about how Princeton's Finding Aids may evolve in the future. 


Playing with Data II

Sharon L. De La Cruz
Aatish Bhatia
February 28 12:00–1:20 PM

In this second of two workshops, participants will continue learning creative coding with p5.js and experimenting with data, working towards drawing custom shapes, animation, and sonifying data.

The first workshop will be at CDH, the second will be at CST Studio Lab.

Attendance at the first workshop or prior experience with p5.js is required.

Space is limited, RSVP to cdh-info@princeton.edu


Public Digital Humanities: Building an Audience for Data

Jim Casey
March 6 12:00–1:20 PM

What is the public digital humanities and why is everyone talking about it? How does the use of data expand the range of possible audiences (and partners) for current research in the humanities?

This workshop will provide a brief survey of the kinds of projects undertaken by practitioners in the public digital humanities today. We will explore common strategies for making our scholarship not just accessible but useful for a range of campus & community audiences.

Depending on participant interest, we may focus on resources for social media, podcasts, online exhibits, crowdsourcing, or more. Participants will develop new ideas for digital projects to share research with public audiences.


Unsolved Data Problems

Meredith Martin
Dan Trueman
Brian Kernighan
Jennifer L. Rexford
Marina Rustow
March 13 3:30–4:30 PM

Unsolved Data Problems will introduce faculty and students in the computer and data sciences to the untapped research possibilities inherent in humanities data. A panel of Princeton faculty - Meredith Martin (English), Marina Rustow (History and Near Eastern Studies) and Dan Trueman (Music) - will discuss some of Princeton’s landmark digital humanities projects, and the challenges they’ve faced when transforming historical, multilingual and experimental source material into data and code.

Projects discussed include the Princeton Prosody Archive, the Princeton Geniza Lab, and bitKlavier. Jennifer Rexford and Brian Kernighan (Computer Science) will moderate the panel.

Help discover innovative algorithmic solutions to these unsolved computational problems. This panel will be of particular interest to researchers working in the fields of: computer vision, natural language processing, machine learning, and audio/music engineering.

Light refreshments to follow.

This event is collaboratively organized by the Center for Digital Humanities,  the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning.

Reading Group

Reading Group: Meeting 8

April 3 11:00–12:20 PM

Wed April 3 - Services: Who makes Collections as Data work? 

In this meeting, we turn our attention to the people, roles and skills needed to make data-driven work on our collections possible.  Please look again at the Collections as Data: 50 Things You can Do document. 


We will discuss:

  • Where do researchers currently go to interact with PUL collections as data?
  • What services, roles and workflows does PUL currently have in place to make our collections available and useable as data? What new services, roles and workflows do we need?
  • What new skills or training would be needed to support the research use of collections as data? Who would provide that support?
Lunch will be availalbe
Drop-ins welcome! No need to RSVP. More information about the topics we’ve discussed this year can be found on the CDH’s Reading Group page




Data Conversations: Department of History

Jessica Mack
Sean Fraga
Rhae Lynn Barnes
April 11 11:00–12:20 PM

Data Conversations are informal exchanges among faculty and graduate students with DH experience that address broad questions concerning research data in the humanities and social sciences. Participants will speak from experience and provide discipline-specific perspectives for DH newcomers.

In this edition of Data Conversations with the Department of History we will be joined by Rhae Lynn Barnes (Assistant Professor, History) who will talk about the use of algorithms and image analysis, Jessica Mack (Postgraduate Research Associate, History) who will discuss textual analysis in twentieth-century intellectual production at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and Sean Fraga (Postgraduate Research Associate, History) who will talk about his use of digital mapping and geospatial analysis in investigating the role of maritime commerce in nineteenth-century American settlement of the Pacific Northwest.


Building Bridges with Data

April 12 7:30–4:30 PM

How do we ethically engage with physical (print) archives in the twenty first century? How do we access, create, and maintain archives for global change? In short, how do we build transcontinental bridges across cultures and institutions through a shared interest in archival data? “Building Bridges with Data” addresses these issues with a series of roundtable discussions around how archives — and archival data — allow for the creation of powerful cross-continental conversations. This symposium will invite conversations from renowned global scholars about sustainable methodologies and strategies for engaging with archives and material.

Please R.S.V.P. by April 10, 2019.



  • Alberto Manguel, Former Director of the National Library of Argentina
  • Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Librarian for Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, and Iberian Peninsular Studies, Princeton University
  • Gabrielle Winkler, Special Collections Assistant for the Latin American Ephemera Collection
  • Alex Gil, Digital Scholarship Coordinator, Humanities and History Division, Columbia University Libraries
  • Francesca Giannetti, Digital Humanities Librarian, Rutgers University
  • Luiza Wainer, Metadata Librarian, Spanish/Portuguese Specialty, Princeton University
  • Marcy Schwartz, Professor of Spanish, Rutgers University
  • Rubén Gallo, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., Professor in Language, Literature, and Civilization of Spain, Princeton University
  • Jessica Mack, Postgraduate Research Associate in History and Digital Humanities, Princeton University
  • Robert Karl, Assistant Professor of History, Princeton University
  • Nora Benedict, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton University



8:30 AM – 9:00 AM  - Breakfast

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM  - Welcome

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM - Panel 1: Accessing Materials and Data

Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Gabrielle Winkler, and Alberto Manguel 

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM - Coffee Break

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM - Panel 2: Creating and Curating Data for Change

Alex Gil, Francesca Giannetti, and Luiza Wainer 

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM -  Lunch Break

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM -  Panel 3: Maintaining Materials for the Future

Rubén Gallo, Marcy Schwartz, Robert Karl, Jessica Mack, and Nora Benedict

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM  - Coffee Break

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM  - Closing Remarks & General Discussion





Slavic DH Workshop: Russian Literary Studies in the Digital Age

May 28 8:30–4:00 PM

On May 28, the Slavic DH Working Group at Princeton will host a day-long workshop combining discussions, demonstrations and hands-on exploration of cutting-edge digital humanities approaches to the study of Russian literature. Frank Fischer and Boris Orekhov from the Higher School of Economics Centre for Digital Humanities (Moscow) will lead the workshop. Researchers at all levels of familiarity with DH are welcome to attend.

9:30–10:30am Introduction: The State of Digital Humanities in Russia

10:45am–12:15pm Programmable Corpora: A New Infrastructural Concept for Digital Literary Studies
Hands-on work with the Russian Drama Corpus

1:30-3:00pm Tolstoy Everywhere: Unleashing the Information Hidden in the 90-Volume “Collected Works”
An overview and exploration of the 91st Volume Project, a digitized index for the collected works of Leo Tolstoy

3:30- 5pm Neural Network Poetry Meets Distant Reading: Analyzing Computer-Generated Echoes of Russian Literary History

A discussion of the historical origins of computer-generated poetry and an introduction to neural-net approaches as a new practice of distant reading.

RSVP by Thursday May 2. Please note that non-Princeton guests must RSVP for access to Firestone Library. 

This event is sponsored by the Princeton Slavic Department and the Center for Digital Humanities.

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