Week 11: 3D Objects, 3D Printing and Digital Public History – March 31

3D printing in the news (take a few minutes to read this at the start of class):


Virtual exhibit tour:


Augmented Reality Examples:

Use your phone to scan these QR codes. If your phone gives you a warning that it lacks World Tracking, just click OK. It just means the A

Olympic Bell
Clarnico (hard to get the audio to play. Look for the pause button and try to click beside it.
City Mill River
Iron Age Village at the London Aquatics Centre


  • Inmaculada Remolar, Cristina Rebollo, and Jon A. Fernández-Moyano, “Learning History Using Virtual and Augmented Reality,” Computers 10, no. 11 (November 2021): 146, https://doi.org/10.3390/computers10110146.
More Examples:


Week 10:  Palladio, Visualizations and Linked Open Data – March 24

  • Readings:
  • Dan Edelstein et al., “Historical Research in a Digital Age: Reflections from the Mapping the Republic of Letters Project,” The American Historical Review 122, no. 2 (April 1, 2017): 400–424, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/122.2.400.

Lab: Palladio

  • Marten Düring, “From Hermeneutics to Data to Networks: Data Extraction and Network Visualization of Historical Sources,” Programming Historian 4 (2015), https://doi.org/10.46430/phen0044.
  • More resources:
    • http://hdlab.stanford.edu/palladio/help/
    • Getting Started with Palladio: https://hcommons.org/?get_group_doc=1003007/1552175523-FolgerworkshopnetworksPalladiotutorial.pdf

Week 8: Introduction to Text Analysis with Python

  1. Lab:

    The Programming Historian, available online, http://programminghistorian.org. Do the Introduction to Python lessons.

    1. Python Introduction and Installation
      1. We will use the Python IDLE (Python GUI) instead of the text editor suggested by the lessons, which is already installed on the lab computers. So we will skip the installation lesson.
      2. Search and open IDLE (Python 3.5 64-bit)
      3. It should open the Python 3.5.4 Shell
      4. Try this: >>>print ‘hello world’
        1. Hit enter
      5. Click “File” and “Open New File”
      6. You are ready for the next lesson.
    2. Understanding Web Pages and HTML
    3. Working with Text Files in Python
    4. Code Reuse and Modularity in Python
    5. Downloading Web Pages with Python
    6. Manipulating Strings in Python
    7. From HTML to List of Words (part 1)
    8. From HTML to List of Words (part 2)
    9. Normalizing Textual Data with Python
    10. Counting Word Frequencies with Python
    11. Creating and Viewing HTML Files with Python
    12. Output Data as an HTML File with Python
    13. Keywords in Context (Using n-grams) with Python
    14. Output Keywords in Context in an HTML File with Python
    15. Introduction to Jupyter Notebooks
    16. Advanced: Clustering with Scikit-Learn in Python (might not be possible on lab computers)


Here are the lessons I planned to use today. But we’re missing one package on the lab computers, so it will not work (and the cloud platform I planed to use is no long available to the public).

Download: Introduction to Text Analysis Jupyter Notebooks


Search for Jupyter Notebooks in the start menu (if you are using Windows) and click to open. It will open in the browser.

Navigate to where you unzipped the folder.

Click on lesson 1-getting-started-with-jupyter

Week 6: Quantitative History and Historical Databases

February 18


  • Steven Ruggles, “The Revival of Quantification: Reflections on Old New Histories,” Social Science History 45, no. 1 (2021): 1–25. 
  • P. Baskerville et al., “Mining microdata: Economic opportunity and spatial mobility in Britain and the United States, 1850–1881,” 2014 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data), 2014, pp. 5-13, doi: 10.1109/BigData.2014.7004446.

Lab: Working with historical database in Excel (or Google Drive Sheets).

Quantitative history and spreadsheets workshop

Part 1: Clifford’s British Imports Database

  • Which country supplies the most “Copper Unwrought” in 1886? How much and does it cost per ton?
  • How much does the total “Copper Unwrought” imports increase between 1856 and 1906?
    • Create a bar chart showing this trend. Do you know how to add the years as labels on the x-axes?
  • How do the “Cotton Raw” imports change?
    • Which year is it most expensive?
    • How much cotton does the West Coast of Africa export to the UK in 1866? When is the last year the West Coast of Africa sends cotton to the UK? Why does it end (the answer is in the spreadsheet)?
  • What are the top 10 commodities imported by value in 1901?
  • What are the top 10 commodities imported by quantity?
    • Tips:
      • A load is about the equivalent to an Imperial ton of timber
      • A tun is about the equivalent of an Imperial ton of train (whale) oil
      • There are 20 Hundredweights (CWTS) in an Imperial ton
      • There are 2240 Pounds (LBS) in an Imperial ton
      • A gallon of petroleum weighs about 6.1 lbs
    • What is the best approach? You need to normalize the data to Imperial Tons. Can you use an IF statement? https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/if-function-69aed7c9-4e8a-4755-a9bc-aa8bbff73be2

Video: https://usask.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=4b1c0935-60de-46a5-88e3-ae240116ddce

A temporary link to the Great Plains data.

Analysis 1950:

  1. Bring the relevant data into this tab.
  2. Calculate Corn bushels/acre, wheat bushels/acre and corn for grain, kilograms/hectare
  3. Find the averages for Iawa

Analysis 1900 to 1997

  1. find the total average wheat kilograms/hectare between 1950 and 1997


Week 5: Digital Archives – February 10



Lab: Omeka digital archives and the importance of metadata.

Week 4

First blog posts:

  • They were all well done.
  • Please include images and hyperlinks
  • Think about using subject headings. See Sam’s post for an example.
  • I’ll be a little tougher grader with the second post.

Week 4: Non-Academic Digital History and Games February 3

  • Andrew Denning, “Deep Play? Video Games and the Historical Imaginary,” The American Historical Review 126, no. 1 (March 1, 2021): 180–98, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhab002.
  • Julien Bazile, “Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry.,” The American Historical Review 126, no. 1 (March 1, 2021): 217–19, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhab005.
  • Michael D. Hattem, “Assassin’s Creed III.,” The American Historical Review 126, no. 1 (March 1, 2021): 214–16, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhab004.
  • Christopher P. Magra, “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.,” The American Historical Review 126, no. 1 (March 1, 2021): 216–17, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhab003.
  • Gabi Kirilloff, “Interactive Fiction in the Humanities Classroom: How to Create Interactive Text Games Using Twine,” Programming Historian 10 (2021), https://doi.org/10.46430/phen0095.
    • We will start working on creating the interactive game in the lab, but please read the lesson before class.

Lab: Creating Interactive Games

Gabi Kirilloff, “Interactive Fiction in the Humanities Classroom: How to Create Interactive Text Games Using Twine,” Programming Historian 10 (2021), https://doi.org/10.46430/phen0095.

Blog post 2: A post reviewing a digital public history project, virtual reality app, augmented reality app or video game. February 9

  • Digital exhibits from museums
  • Augmented reality apps on your phone (Moon Landing)
  • A virtual reality app (I have an Oculus headset with the Anne Frank House VR app installed and can arrange to share it if we are back on campus).
  • History YouTube series or channel (check with me first, as I’d like you to focus on something made for YouTube and not just reposted BBC documentaries.
  • History podcasts
  • Educational or commercial video games excluding the four discussed in the readings
  • Exhibits in the StoryMaps platform: https://storymaps-classic.arcgis.com/en/gallery/#s=0
  • Omeka exhibits

Week 3

  1. Are we all digital historians now?
  2. How is this a good thing?
  3. What are some of the problems and concerns?
  4. How can we do a better job as digital historians?
  5. How should we chance citation?

Academic Digital History – January 27


  • Putnam, Lara. “The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast.” The American Historical Review 121, no. 2 (April 1, 2016): 377–402. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/121.2.377.
  • Ian Milligan, “We Are All Digital Now: Digital Photography and the Reshaping of Historical Practice,” Canadian Historical Review 101, no. 4 (December 1, 2020): 602–21, https://doi.org/10.3138/chr-2020-0023.
  • Daniel J. Story et al., “History’s Future in the Age of the Internet,” The American Historical Review 125, no. 4 (October 21, 2020): 1337–46, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhaa477.

Lab: Digital tools for every historian

  • Smartphone cameras linked to cloud backup
    • How do you take a good photograph of a sheet of paper, a book or a large map
    • Which encoding should you use? heic? jpg? other?
    • Where should you back up your images?
    • How do you keep track of what you’ve got?
  • Google Scholar
  • Other scholarly databases
  • Primary source databases
    • How many history databases have you used?
  • Internet Archive
    • Use the advance search to find a document about Coffee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from the 1860s
  • Zotero
    • Download and install Zotero if you’ve not used it already.
  • My Maps or Google Earth
    • Give My Maps a try. It is a very basic GIS tool that is free to use and you can access it from any browser.
  • Spreadsheets
  • Transcribing tools
    • https://transkribus.eu/
      • A potentially powerful tool using artificial intelligence to transcribe handwriting. How well does it work?
    • https://tropy.org/
  • Oral history software:
  • Primary source search and storage
    • Evernote
  • Digital publishing: WordPress, Medium, The Conversation, etc
  • Networking: Twitter

Lab 2: TimeLine.js

Week 2: What is Digital History and Who are Digital Historians – January 20


Lab 2:

  • Explore some examples on Timeline.js: https://timeline.knightlab.com/
  •  Think of a topic that has images, maps, texts and videos (the easiest option is to find a Wikipedia site with lots of images.)
  • Build a timeline and create a blog on your site with a link to the timeline. The university WordPress doesn’t let us embed the timeline.

Here is my incomplete timeline for the Great Smog in London: https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline3/latest/embed/index.html?source=1pYlNIDrpJ0q_kVW7Lsxmu1oL2jZSm-L7Pd-e1e-9ui8&font=Default&lang=en&initial_zoom=2&height=650

Homework due January 26: Complete your first required blog post on an academic digital history project. What is it? What does it offer? Is it valuable? Representative?

  1. The Liberated Africans Project: http://www.liberatedafricans.org/
  2. Map of Early Modern London: https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/
  3. 9/11 Digital Archive: http://911digitalarchive.org
  4. Geography of the Post: U.S. Post Offices in the Nineteenth-Century West http://www.cameronblevins.org/gotp/
  5. The Old Bailey Online: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/
  6. Mapping the Republic of Letters: http://republicofletters.stanford.edu/
  7. Quantifying Kissinger: http://blog.quantifyingkissinger.com/
  8. Digital Harlem: http://digitalharlem.org/
  9. Occupy Web Archive: http://webarchives.cdlib.org/a/occupy
  10. Returning the Voices to Kouchibouguac National Park: http://returningthevoices.ca
  11. Old Maps Online: http://www.oldmapsonline.org/
  12. American Panorama: https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/:
  13. Enchanting the Desert: http://enchantingthedesert.com/home/
  14. The Lucas-Heaton Letters: http://loudounmuseum.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=8f83bd92c18f40dfbb4a455acbe85f2d&webmap=d69b68d0e43445f8baea7eb27b9f49c4
  15. Canada is the Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada: https://lglc.ca/
  16. Musical Passage: http://www.musicalpassage.org/#home
  17. Mapping Occupation: http://mappingoccupation.org/
  18. Six Degrees of Francis Bacon: http://www.sixdegreesoffrancisbacon.com/
  19. Coloured Conventions: http://coloredconventions.org/
  20. Wearing gay history: http://www.wearinggayhistory.com/
  21. Becoming Richard Pryor: http://www.becomingrichardpryor.com/pryors-peoria/era/1919-1941/
  22. Canada’s Year Without a Summer: http://niche-canada.org/yearwithoutasummer/
  23. 100 Years of In Flanders Fieldshttp://cityofguelph.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=f39b056d38fe460f8269eed11eb3cd66
  24. Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present
  25. Clio Visualizing History: https://www.cliohistory.org/
  26. Any other significant digital history project, but please check with me first.

Lab 1: Basic WordPress Development

WordPress is a common content management system that allows users to create websites without knowing how to code. You will create a WordPress website in this class and use it to post your blog posts.


Today we will set up your WordPress websites and share them with the rest of the class (by adding a comment to this post with a link to your site).

  1. Log on to https://sites.usask.ca/.
  2. Find your way into the WordPress Dashboard
  3. Choose a new Theme for your website and play with the personalized options.
    1. Choose a title for your website and a subtitle
    2. add a banner image if your theme requires one
    3. create a menu
  4. create an about page
  5. decide how public you want the website to be. If you want to keep it somewhat private, you can click the box that discourages search engines from indexing the site. In practice, it is pretty hard to get attention for a blog, but this will reduce the chance that it comes up when someone searches your name. If you are concerned about privacy, there are other options to make your content password protected.
  6. Post a short blog post. Try embedding a photo, YouTube video and other content. The USask Sites limits what we can embed, but lots of content should work.

If you finish the basics before the end of the class or have worked with WordPress before, you might want to use the time to go deeper and learn more about how this content management system works and how you can tweak it to

USask provides free access to Linked In Learning (formally called Lynda.com) content and given we are online, I think this is a good resource to learn the basics of WordPress, as you can work at your own pace. I will also be able to join you via Zoom to help you through any issues.

You can access the lessons through this link: https://training.usask.ca/linkedin-learning/LIL.php


Here is a very good WordPress essentials course. I will give you a list of the most important videos and which ones you might want to skip.

  • WordPress 5 Essential Training
    • WordPress: An introduction
      • skip forward
    • 1. Up and Running with WordPress
      • Skip Install and running WordPress as the IT people at USask have taken care of this for us.
      • The Admin Panel
      • Skip change the language unless you want to learn about launching a site in another language.
    • 2. Content Management

If you already know how to work with WordPress, there are a few more advanced lessons that you should consider: