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About the Programming Historian

Peer Review

All tutorials at Programming Historian are rigorously peer reviewed, guided through the review process by one of our editors. Review involves a thorough exchange with the lesson editor to ensure the lesson works as intended and that all concepts are explained for a non-specialist reader, before the tutorial is sent to external reviewers.

The review process is an integral component of a collaborative, productive, and sustainable effort for scholars to teach and learn from each other. Once a tutorial slips into our editorial workflow, we 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.

Open Source

The Programming Historian team is committed to open source values. All contributed lessons make use of open source programming languages and 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. Since 2016, a citable version of the Programming Historian project has been deposited on Zenodo. The 2022 deposit is available at Since 2018, the UK Web Archive has made regular crawls of the Programming Historian. These are archived and made publicly available via their website.

Diamond Open Access

All submissions to Programming Historian are published under a Creative Commons ‘CC-BY’ license. This adheres to a ‘Diamond’ open access model of publishing. 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.

The Programming Historian (ISSN 2397-2068) is indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals.


The Programming Historian has won multiple awards which recognise and celebrate our achievements in the spheres of open access publishing and digital scholarship. In 2016 our English-language journal was the winner of the Digital Humanities Awards in the Best Series of Posts category, then in the following year, 2017, Programming Historian en español won that very same accolade. In 2018, The Programming Historian en español, was the winner of ‘Mejor iniciativa formativa desarrollada durante el año 2018’, Humanidades Digitales Hispánicas Association. We won the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute’s Open Scholarship Award 2020 and in 2021 we were awarded Coko Foundation’s Open Publishing Award in their Open Content category. In 2022, we won the Best DH Training Materials category of the Digital Humanities Awards.

Diversity Policy

The Programming Historian team is committed to diversity, and we insist on a harassment-free space for all contributors to the project, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, or technical experience. Our commitment to diversity extends to our Editorial Board, which has adopted a diversity policy whereby we aim to ensure that members from any one gender or any one nationality do not comprise more than 50% + 1 of the members on the team. We encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply to our Editorial Board when positions are advertised, and we commit to considering and discussing a candidate’s potential to offer different perspectives to those already on the team when deciding between two equally qualified candidates. This policy is designed to ensure that the project continues to benefit from diverse viewpoints. This policy is under perpetual review and we welcome suggestions on it from the community.

Funding & Ownership

The Programming Historian is an international volunteer-driven project whose financial activities are administered by ProgHist Ltd, a charity registered in England and Wales (1195875) and incorporated in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee (12192946). It is published by the Editorial Board of the Programming Historian.

For a list of our funders and supports, see the ‘Support Us’ page

History of the Project

The Programming Historian was founded in 2008 by William J. Turkel and Alan MacEachern. Turkel published a blog post at the time, setting out their intentions for the project. Initially it focused heavily on the Python programming language and was published open access as a Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE) ‘Digital Infrastructure’ project. In 2012, Programming Historian expanded its editorial team and launched as an open access peer reviewed scholarly journal of methodology for digital historians. In 2016 we added a Spanish Language publication to the initial English-language publication and in 2017 started publishing translated lessons under the title Programming Historian en español. In 2018 we hosted our first Spanish-language writing workshop and issued a call for new lessons in Spanish. In the same year we added a French language publication and launched Programming Historian en français in 2019. A year later, we were joined by a Portuguese-speaking team and launched Programming Historian em português in early 2021.