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Mon 30 Jan, Mon 6 Feb 2023
14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

Provided by: Cambridge Digital Humanities


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CDH Methods | Harvesting Data and Visualising Cultural Transmission

Mon 30 Jan, Mon 6 Feb 2023


Convenors: Leah Brainerd & Alex Gushurst-Moore (CDH Methods Fellow)

Centuries of ceramics. Millenia of maquettes. How do we grapple with large datasets? Join archaeologist Leah Brainerd and art historian Alex Gushurst-Moore to increase your computational literacy, learn how to scrape data from collections databases, and interpret that data through visual means.

Over two, two-hour sessions, you will be introduced to:

  • Collections databases: what they are, how they are built, and how to navigate them
  • Web-scraping: how do you go from a webpage on the internet to a dataset on your computer? A basic introduction to how web-scraping with R *Statistics works with a worked example, ethics of data, and learn how to evaluate a website for future data collection
  • Data visualisation software: what options are available and how to use the open-source, online system mapping tool, Kumu
  • Cultural evolutionary theory: cultural evolution is the change of culture over time; explore a theoretical perspective that views cultural information as an evolutionary process which teaches us, through cultural transmission, more about human decision making

The workshop will take place over two sessions. The first session (30 January) will cover collections databases and web-scraping. The second session (6 February) will cover data visualisation and cultural evolutionary theory. These sessions will consist of practical tutorials and discussion with the course leads. After each session, participants will be given an optional task to try out new skills acquired, on which they can receive feedback from the course organisers.

Target audience

CDH Methods Workshops are open to staff and graduate students who want to learn and apply digital methods and use digital tools in their research. 


This workshop is aimed at beginners. It is useful if participants have basic computer skills. If you wish to participate in the take-home work you will need to have R Statistics and R Studio installed (we will share full instructions to download via the course Moodle page which will be shared following registration). Participants are requested to complete this simple information questionnaire before the event.


Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainers
1 Mon 30 Jan   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room map Alexandra Gushurst-Moore,  Leah M. Brainerd
2 Mon 6 Feb   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room map Alexandra Gushurst-Moore,  Leah M. Brainerd
CDH Methods Fellow Workshop Series

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