The Programming Historian is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed suite of tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate their research. Tutorials provide guidance on a variety of digital methods and approaches including but not limited to programming. Our mission is to fill a unique niche for those interested in the Digital Humanities, by providing a bridge between broad ‘getting started’ portals and generic 'programming’ resources.
We’ve assembled and carefully edited a variety of lessons that describe and illustrate fundamental digital and programming principles and techniques. We have lessons on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Data Management, Data Manipulation, Distant Reading, Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Network Analysis, Digital Exhibit Building, Programming, and Web Scraping. Our tutorials include nearly a dozen lessons on popular DH tools such as MALLET, Omeka, and QGIS.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then we’ve failed you. But don’t suffer in silence! Let us know what you can’t find. Better yet, contribute a lesson.
The Programming Historian is committed to open source and open access principles. All contributed lessons must make use of open source programming languages and open source software whenever possible. This policy is meant to minimize costs for all parties, and to allow the greatest possible level of participation. We believe everyone should be able to benefit from these tutorials, not just those with large research budgets for expensive proprietary software.
Gold Open Access
All submissions to The Programming Historian are published under a Creative Commons 'By’ license. This adheres to a ’Gold’ open access model of publishing, which is fully compliant with RCUK funding and HEFCE publishing requirements for scholars in the UK. This means that the version of record is made freely available without subscription fee or restrictions on access. Authors are permitted to republish their tutorials anywhere. And so can anyone, as long as they cite the original author and respect his or her moral rights.
We do not charge Article Processing Charges (APCs), nor do we charge library subscriptions.
All tutorials that appear on The Programming Historian have been rigorously peer reviewed and copy edited. Each lesson is guided through the review process by one of our editors who are assigned to the piece. Review involves a thorough exchange with the editor to ensure the lesson works as intended and that all concepts are explained fully for a non-specialist reader, before the tutorial is sent to external reviewers to test it and provide further comments. We aim to return reviewed material to authors quickly, but our first priority is always to ensure a quality product.
Our peer review process is a bit different from what might be considered the “traditional” peer review process. We do not solicit reviews to judge whether a tutorial is “good enough” to be published. Rather, we consider the review process an integral component of a collaborative, productive, and sustainable effort for scholars to create useful technical resources for each other. Once a tutorial slips into our editorial workflow, our goal is to do everything we can to make sure the tutorial becomes as useful as possible and published in a reasonable amount of time. Consult our Reviewer Guidelines for more information.
We strive to ensure all tutorials are functional on their date of publication. From time to time technology changes and tutorials cease to function as intended. If this happens, please report it and we will assign an editor to fix the problem.
Funding & Ownership
The Programming Historian is a volunteer-led initiative, controlled entirely by its editorial board with the help of community contributors. It is not a legal entity, and does not currently receive direct funding from any source.
The project is grateful for past support by the Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE), and for hosting support from the Roy Rosenzweig Centre for New Media (RRCHNM). If you would like to provide financial support to help the project grow, please contact one of the Editorial Board members.
This project is our attempt to demonstrate what open access academic publishing can and should be. Please tell your librarian to include the project in your library catalogue.
Please direct correspondence in the first instance to Fred Gibbs at the University of New Mexico.