Lesson Directory

There is no correct or preferred order to the lessons listed here; they are grouped into themes, which are listed in alphabetical order. We invite you to browse around. If you can’t find a skill, technology, or tool covered here, please let us know!

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

APIs let you programmatically request specific information from a website. Learn how to use them.

Data Management

You put a lot of effort into your research. Make sure that effort lasts by adopting sustainable strategies to your code, your data, and your research processes. A little bit of planning can save you a lot of time.

Data Manipulation

Just like it sounds, learn how to use programming to change, move, clean, or count data. These are essential techniques for preparing data to be used in various tools.

Mapping and GIS

Mapping can be an effective way to visualize and interpret historical data. These lessons introduce historical geographic information systems (GIS) using open source software.

Omeka Exhibit Building

Learn how to present historical materials online.

Python Programming Basics

Some introductory lessons for basic techniques in Python. If you’re new to programming in python, you’ll first need to set up a programming environment. For the most flexibility, we recommend that you follow these instructions on setting up python on the command line.

As an alternative to using the command line, many text editors are able to run python code within the editor. Some older python tutorials listed here reference one of these tools, called Komodo Edit. You can install this for Mac, Linux, or Windows.

Topic Modeling

A topic modeling tool takes a single text (or corpus) and looks for patterns in the use of words; it is an attempt to inject semantic meaning into vocabulary. It can help you to very quickly find ‘topics’ in a large corpus of texts.

Web Scraping

Learn how to use programming to download material from the Internet in a controlled, semi-automated manner.