PH Blog

The Programming Historian blog is our space to share news about the project, ideas for how you might use technology in your work, and exciting examples of the Programming Historian applied in the real world. Subscribe to the RSS feed for new blog posts.

September 30, 2019

2019 Newsletter no. 2

Jennifer Isasi

In June 2019, we started publishing a newsletter with a summary of our community’s progress throughout the year as part of our communication strategies. The goal of this initiative is to keep our users informed of lessons and translations, changes in the editorial board, upcoming events organized by our editors and, in all, to keep nurturing a welcoming and multilingual digital humanities community.

September 30, 2019

Bulletin d'information no.2

Jennifer Isasi

En juin 2019, nous avons commencé à publier un bulletin d’information résumant les progrès de notre communauté tout au long de l’année dans le cadre de nos stratégies de communication. Le but de cette initiative est de tenir nos utilisateurs informés des leçons et des traductions, des changements dans le comité de rédaction, des événements à venir organisés par nos rédacteurs et de continuer à nourrir une communauté des sciences humaines numériques multilingue et accueillante.

September 30, 2019

Boletín informativo nº2

Jennifer Isasi

En junio de 2019 comenzamos a publicar un boletín informativo con el progreso de nuestra comunidad a lo largo del año y como parte de nuestras estrategias de comunicación. El objetivo de esta iniciativa es mantener a nuestros usuarios informados de nuevas lecciones y traducciones, cambios en la dirección editorial, futuros eventos organizados por el equipo y, así, seguir generando una comunidad de las humanidades digitales inclusiva y multilingüe.

September 26, 2019

Martin Grandjean joins the Programming Historian Project Team

Sofia Papastamkou

We are excited to announce that Martin Grandjean joined the editorial board of the Programming Historian!

September 11, 2019

Le Programming Historian en français s'élargit! Appel à candidatures pour de nouveaux membres

Sofia Papastamkou

Le Programming Historian publie en libre accès des tutoriels ouvertement évalués par des pairs qui permettent l’initiation à et l’apprentissage d’un large éventail d’outils numériques, de techniques et de flux de travail pour faciliter la recherche et l’enseignement en sciences humaines et sociales. Le projet repose intégralement sur le travail de volontaires non rémunéré(e)s.

August 8, 2019

Programming Historian's English Publication Seeks Managing Editor

Adam Crymble

Programming Historian publishes novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate research and teaching. The managing editor for Programming Historian in English is a voluntary leadership role which comes with it the ultimate authority for the publication. All editors report directly to the managing editor, who has the executive power to accept or reject any paper, and to intervene as they see appropriate in the peer review of any lesson under their remit.

They should be a strong voice and a spokesperson for their publication. They are responsible for quality, and for managing expectations of editors, authors, and reviewers, as well as ensuring that all rules, policies, and relevant laws are followed by members of their team.

On a practical level, the duties include but are not limited to:

  1. Act as first point of contact for prospective authors and collaborators
  2. Solicit feedback on lesson proposals from the Editorial Board and inform author accordingly
  3. Assign editors to lessons in progress upon submission
  4. Monitor peer review process to ensure timely publication
  5. Manage disputes with editors where appropriate
  6. Take final decision on publication, and manage the final publication process as per the guidelines

The candidate will be supported by the rest of the team, which prides itself on creating a collegiate environment. We would be pleased to hear from candidates who also have an interest in supporting the project as a member of our technical team. The technical team is responsible for maintaining and extending the technical infrastructure of Programming Historian, including but not limited to the Jekyll/GitHub pages deployment, page template styling, and integration with 3rd-party services.

Interested candidates should submit a 1 page CV and 200-word expression of interest to Anandi Silva Knuppel ([email protected]) by 31 August 2019.


  • Fluent in English
  • Editorial experience
  • Time to commit the role
  • Self directed
  • Can attend monthly Skype meetings


  • Interest in Digital Humanities
  • Experience with digital community building

July 9, 2019

Programming Historian en español recibe Premio HDH 2018

Jennifer Isasi

Programming Historian en español recibe el premio a Mejor iniciativa formativa desarrollada durante el año 2018 de la HDH.

June 30, 2019

2019 Mid Year Newsletter

Jennifer Isasi

Newsletter #1

June 30, 2019

Bulletin d'information de mi-année 2019

Jennifer Isasi

Bulletin d’information #1

June 30, 2019

Boletín informativo de mitad de año 2019

Jennifer Isasi

Boletín informativo #1

April 8, 2019

Welcome to The Programming Historian en français!

Sofia Papastamkou

Paul Otlet's scheme on information and distant communication, Mundaneum, Archive Centre of the French Community of Wallonia-Brussels, Mons, Belgium. © Mundaneum

April 8, 2019

Bienvenue au Programming Historian en français!

Sofia Papastamkou

Schéma de Paul Otlet: documentation et télécommunication, Mundaneum, Centre d'archives de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Mons, Belgique. © Mundaneum

April 6, 2019

Map of Our Contributors and Our Readers

Adam Crymble

Map showing the countries where our editors currently live

March 16, 2019

Riva Quiroga y Joshua Ortiz Baco se unen al equipo de The Programming Historian en español

Jennifer Isasi

Riva Quiroga y Joshua Ortiz Baco se unen a The Programming Historian

December 5, 2018

François Dominic Laramée Joins the Programming Historian Project Team

Sofia Papastamkou

François Dominic Laramée has joined the Programming Historian

November 30, 2018

Linguistic diversity and Ad-hoc translation of the Programming Historian’s lessons

Anna-Maria Sichani

One of the interesting findings of the Programming Historian 2018 Community survey we conducted earlier this year, as part of our community engagement strategy, was that our readership expands and diversifies organically in terms of place of origin - from India to Russia and from Brazil, to Poland and Italy - and native language. This is of course a well-known aspect of open educational content: you never choose your readership – even if you have planned things differently.

November 9, 2018

Zoe LeBlanc Joins the Project

Brandon Walsh

Zoe LeBlanc has joined the Programming Historian

October 6, 2018

Convocatoria para editores de contenidos de The Programming Historian en español

Jennifer Isasi

Desde su lanzamiento en marzo de 2017, el equipo de The Programming Historian en español, junto con su red de colaboradores, ha traducido 38 tutoriales del inglés al español y ha iniciado el proceso para publicar lecciones originales en español. Continuando con nuestro compromiso con la diversidad lingüística y de hacer llegar estos tutoriales a un mayor número de usuarios, The Programming Historian está buscando un nuevo miembro para contribuir al equipo de editores de contenidos en español. El/la editor/a trabajará para hacer accesibles los tutoriales de PH al público hispanohablante, facilitará los procesos de escritura y traducción de tutoriales y actuará como editor de los mismos. De igual forma, apoyará la continuación de estrategias para construir una comunidad que ayude a aumentar el acceso y la colaboración de PH en el mundo hispanoparlante.

August 8, 2018

Writing Workshop Report Bogotá, Colombia

Adam Crymble and Maria José Afanador-Llach

Group Photograph of workshop participants in Bogota, 2018.

July 13, 2018

Programming Historian French-speaking initiative

Anna-Maria Sichani

Marie Puren and Sofia Papastamkou have joined the Programming Historian

July 9, 2018

The Programming Historian in DH2018

Maria José Afanador-Llach and James Baker

Members of the Programming Historian project team at DH2018

June 3, 2018

The Seven More Lessons No One's Yet Written (but need writing)

Adam Crymble

The Programming Historian Needs help historians digitally analyse!

May 24, 2018

Anna-Maria Sichani joins Project Team

Antonio Rojas Castro

Anna-Maria Sichani has joined the Programming Historian

May 22, 2018

Uses of the Programming Historian

Adam Crymble

If you’re looking for inspiration into how you can use the Programming Historian in your work, look no further. We’ve put together a list of some of the examples we’ve come across over the years. We’re sure it’s no where near complete, but it’s great to see the hard work of our authors, reviewers, and team translating into real impact in a range of settings.

April 16, 2018

The Programming Historian 2018 Community Survey

Anandi Silva Knuppel

To participate in Programming Historian 2018 Community Survey, follow this link to a Google Form: The survey should take only a few minutes to complete and will close July 15, 2018.

April 12, 2018

Convocatoria para taller de Escritura en Humanidades Digitales para América Latina

Maria José Afanador-Llach and Adam Crymble

The Programming Historian en español invita a la comunidad académica hispanohablante a participar en el taller Escritura en Humanidades Digitales para América Latina que se llevará a cabo en la Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) del 1 al 3 de agosto de 2018. El objetivo del taller es reunir a un grupo diverso de investigadores en distintas áreas de las humanidades para escribir tutoriales sobre metodologías en humanidades digitales, abordando específicamente necesidades de investigación en América Latina y el mundo hispano. Durante el taller se facilitará la producción de los primeros tutoriales originales en español para ser compartidos con una audiencia global.

April 6, 2018

Convocatoria para lecciones en español en The Programming Historian

Jennifer Isasi and José Antonio Motilla

The Programming Historian en español ha establecido una comunidad diversa en la que publicamos tutoriales revisados por pares dirigidos a humanistas que quieran aprender a utilizar herramientas digitales para sus propósitos de investigación y/o enseñanza. Hasta hoy, el equipo en español se ha centrado en la traducción de lecciones escritas en inglés, adaptándolas en la medida de lo posible a su uso en español.

April 4, 2018

The Programming Historian and India

Adam Crymble and James Baker

Traffic Report of Programming Historian visitors from India, 2012-2018.

When the Programming Historian launched its open access tutorials in 2012, historians were the target audience. By 2014 our audience statistics had already presented a surprise: India had emerged as the second largest source of Programming Historian readers - a title it still holds in 2018.

March 4, 2018

DH2017 Award - Programming Historian en español!

Adam Crymble

Programming Historian en español is DH 2017 Award Winner - Best Series of Posts.

February 20, 2018

Tips for (finishing) a Good Technical Tutorial

Adam Crymble

So you’ve got an idea for a tutorial, and you’re excited to share it with the readers of the Programming Historian. This post outlines a few tips for how to sculpt that idea into a manageable and sustainable lesson, while also giving a sense of the level of work involved. We hope that this will help our authors at those early stages of the process, and encourage them to sculpt project ideas that will result in valuable finished lessons that our readers can benefit from.

February 15, 2018

Lesson Sustainability and Retirement Policies

Matthew Lincoln

Last year we were excited to introduce some important behind-the-scenes infrastructure changes that would help catch broken links and metadata errors across all of the pages and lessons in The Programming Historian. However, no set of technical solutions can address every sustainability problem faced by lessons about the fast-developing world of software.

February 13, 2018

Jennifer Isasi y José Antonio Motilla se unen al equipo de The Programming Historian en español

Maria José Afanador-Llach

Jennifer Isasi y José Antonio Motillo se han unido a The Programming Historian

December 30, 2017

Noticias destacadas del primer año de The Programming Historian en español

Maria José Afanador-Llach

Durante el 2017 hemos trabajado para crear una comunidad global de humanidades digitales

November 20, 2017

Convocatoria para editor de contenidos en español de The Programming Historian

Maria José Afanador-Llach

Desde su conformación el equipo editorial de contenidos en español ha traducido 28 tutoriales del inglés al español con el apoyo de una red de colaboradores de países tales como Argentina, España, Colombia y México. Continuando con nuestro compromiso con la diversidad lingüística, The Programming Historian (PH) está buscando un nuevo miembro para contribuir al equipo de editores de contenidos en español. El editor o editora trabajará para hacer accesibles los tutoriales de PH al público hispanoparlante, facilitará los procesos de traducción de tutoriales y actuará como editor de los mismos. De igual forma apoyará las estrategias para construir una comunidad que ayude a aumentar el acceso y la colaboración de PH en el mundo hispanoparlante.

September 21, 2017

Corpus Linguistics in Action: The Fireplace Pose in 19th Century Fiction

Viola Wiegand , Michaela Mahlberg and Peter Stockwell

Here at the Programming Historian, we have a number of lessons focused on “distant reading.” These lessons pull from a variety of fields to demonstrate different ways to computationally surface patterns across a large collection of digital objects. But how do you build on those patterns as part of a research project? That question of what to do next is what the authors of this post have set out to answer.

July 31, 2017

Infrastructure for Collaboration: Catching Dead Links And Errors

Matthew Lincoln

The The Programming Historian has enjoyed a huge surge of new lessons and translations this past year. This work wouldn’t be possible without our ever-growing community of authors, reviewers, and editors. But as teams get bigger, one needs to take special care to organize around that size.

July 28, 2017

Our Lessons Page Overfloweth

Fred Gibbs

It’s been a busy year so far at the Programming Historian, and even reaching back into 2016, we’ve been editing and publishing more lessons than ever thanks to the great enthusiasm and energy of our authors and reviewers. Our original lessons index page that’s served us well for many years rapidly grew longer, denser, and considerably harder to use.

June 19, 2017

Sonic Word Clouds - a Digital History Project

Daniel Ruten

My name is Daniel Ruten, and I have just finished my undergraduate studies majoring in History at the University of Saskatchewan. During my last term, I took a course on Digital History (HIST396) with Dr. Jim Clifford. In it, I became familiarized with the various emerging digital tools and methodologies that are becoming increasingly important for historians to learn. The course also required that I create some kind of digital history project myself. For my project, I took inspiration from one lesson in particular featured on the Programming Historian website: historian Shawn Graham’s lesson on data sonification. Building off of what this lesson taught me, I developed my own method to represent and analyze textual data through sound, which I have termed Sonic Word Clouds. In this post I will briefly explain this method of sonification, while reflecting a bit on the learning process that both inspired the idea for this project and allowed me to make it a reality.

June 12, 2017

Programming Historian highlights from the first half of 2017

Adam Crymble

We've been busy publishing so far in 2017

March 31, 2017

Programming Historian supports research on history of protest

Adam Crymble

The Northern Star newspaper, 9 February 1839.

March 30, 2017

Two New Editors Join Project Team

Adam Crymble

Jessica Parr and Brandon Walsh have joined the Programming Historian

March 14, 2017

Matthew Lincoln joins Project Team

Adam Crymble

Matthew Lincoln has joined the Programming Historian

March 5, 2017

¡Bienvenidos a The Programming Historian en español!

Maria José Afanador-Llach

Programming Historian lanza su sitio en español.

March 2, 2017

Welcome to The Programming Historian en Español!

Maria José Afanador-Llach

Programming Historian launches its Spanish site.

March 2, 2017

DH2016 Award - Thanks to our contributors!

Adam Crymble

Programming Historian is DH 2016 Award Winner - Best Series of Posts.

February 22, 2017

Vote for Us in DH Awards

Adam Crymble

Please support The Programming Historian in the Digital Humanities Awards.

February 3, 2017

Call for Subject Specialist Editor

Adam Crymble

The Programming Historian is looking for a new team member.

January 29, 2017

Highlights from 2016 - Programming Historian New Additions

Adam Crymble

A toast to our authors! Eleven new tutorials published in 2016.

January 21, 2017

The Five Lessons No One's Yet Written (but need writing)

Adam Crymble

The Programming Historian Needs help historians digitally analyse!

December 3, 2016

The Programming Historian is People

Adam Crymble

Heatmap of Contributors to The Programming Historian since launch. Map produced using Google Fusion Tables.

It sounds cheesy, but projects like the Programming Historian don’t exist without people freely giving their time, energy, and passion. Part of our sustainability plan has always been to ensure the project wasn’t reliant upon grant funding, and that means we’ve had to work hard to entice volunteers to sustain our efforts. To ensure our relationship was mutually beneficial rather than one-way, we’ve always tried to make sure contributors were properly credited for their efforts.

October 18, 2016

#ColorOurCollections: Promoting Digital Archives

Jeanette Sewell

Libraries and digital archival repositories are getting in on a popular new trend. Since 2015, the adult coloring book market has exploded. Featuring everything from cats to science fiction TV shows and more, these exquisitely detailed coloring books aren’t just fun—they can also be an accessible way to raise interest in a variety of topics. Archivists and librarians, for example, are using them to transform their digitized archival materials into free, downloadable coloring pages and books that promote their unique collections.

September 19, 2016

#teachDH: Distant Reading in the Undergraduate Classroom

Evan Taparata

Close reading of primary sources is one of the most valuable skills historians can cultivate with their students. But as teachers, researchers, and students face unprecedented access to historical material in our “culture of abundance,” computer-assisted analysis of text is an increasingly viable and attractive skill. An insightful close reading of a single text, combined with a “distant reading” of a body of texts too large to comprehend on one’s own, can together offer students and researchers powerful new ways to understand historical documents.

August 25, 2016

Presentando al nuevo equipo de editores de contenidos en español de The Programming Historian

Evan Taparata

¡The Programming Historian tiene el placer de presentar su nuevo equipo de editores de contenidos en español!

August 22, 2016

Announcing The Programming Historian's New Team of Spanish Language Editors

Evan Taparata

The Programming Historian is proud to announce its new team of Spanish language editors!

July 20, 2016

Getting Started in the Digital Humanities with Digital Storytelling and the Immigrant Stories Project

Elizabeth Venditto

So you’re interested in the digital humanities. You’re considering a new skill or tool, maybe through a lesson here at the Programming Historian. But your research involves working with individuals and the stories they tell, rather than abstract data. Is there a place for you in the digital humanities? 

July 5, 2016

Seeking Spanish Language Editor

Adam Crymble

Building on our commitment to diversity and access, The Programming Historian is seeking a new team member to help us bring the project to 400-million Spanish speakers worldwide. We envisage this to include both cultivating of a Spanish-language community of users and contributors and facillitating the translation of existing resources. There is significant scope to make this role your own. This is a voluntary academic service position.

June 10, 2016

Add The Programming Historian to Your Library's Catalogue

Amanda Visconti

One of the suggested ways to help The Progamming Historian (PH) out in Adam Crymble’s recent post, The Progamming Historian’s Commitment to Diversity”, was adding PH to your library’s catalogue. Doing so not only helps legitimize the efforts of PH’s authors as the scholarship it is, it also increases public access to a strong, free resource for exploring the digital humanities (DH). By listing PH in library catalogues, we can help anyone using library search engines to seek DH knowledge find PH and have know it’s been vetted by librarians as a trustworthy resource.

May 10, 2016

The Programming Historian's Commitment to Diversity

Adam Crymble

If you spend too much time inside a project, you soon become unable to see its faults. At The Programming Historian, I suspect we fell victim to that problem.

March 28, 2016

Welcome to the Programming Historian Blog!

Evan Taparata

The editorial board of The Programming Historian is thrilled to welcome you to our blog—or perhaps more accurately, to welcome you back to our blog. The PH blog has previously been used to provide readers with the occasional update or to promote PH related events. In the coming months, you can expect regular posts in this space with material that complements and expands upon the growing body of lessons that form the heart of The Programming Historian.

June 2, 2015

Programming Historian Live, British Library

James Baker

19 October 2015, the British Library, London.

May 17, 2015

Python Workshop in Edinburgh

Adam Crymble

Programming Historian editor, Adam Crymble, will be leading a free ‘Python for Humanities Research’ workshop at the University of Edinburgh on 26 May 2015 as part of the ‘Digital Day of Ideas’.

November 5, 2014

How We Moved the Programming Historian to GitHub Pages

Caleb McDaniel

Earlier this year, the editors of The Programming Historian decided to move the site from a Wordpress installation to a static website hosted on GitHub Pages. This post is a brief overview of how we made the switch, using some of the same tools and computational methods featured in our lessons.

August 24, 2013

New navigation — and some hiccups

Miriam Posner

As you may have noticed, we’ve changed the way we’ve structured lessons on the Programming Historian. We’ve been working to include lessons about a wider range of topics than our initial all-Python, all-the-time version, and so we’re experimenting with ways to organize them.

June 27, 2012

Welcome to PH2!

Miriam Posner

We’re so excited to launch the Programming Historian 2! This newest version is updated and fine-tuned, but it also reflects a different, more distributed and inclusive way of thinking about teaching code. In addition to a solid set of core Python tutorials, we’re soliciting material from our friends around the web — all of which will be peer-reviewed and credited. You’ll be able to use the tutorials sequentially, but you should also be able to “fork” the lessons, following paths that suit your interests and the needs of your project.