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Analysing and Visualising Social Media Data (Workshop) new Mon 11 Feb 2019   14:00 Finished

This session introduces a variety of analytical strategies, with a focus on Social Network Analysis, the most widely used and abused method for analysing and visualising digital and social media data. At the end of this session, you will be familiar with the basic concepts, techniques and measures of social network analysis.

Archival Photography: An Introduction new Wed 12 Jun 2019   11:00 Finished

This session focusses on providing photography skills for those undertaking archival research. Dr Oliver Dunn has experience spanning a decade filming documents for major academic research projects. He will go over practical approaches to finding and ordering materials in the archive, methods of handling and filming them, digital file storage, and transcription strategies. The focus is very much on low-tech approaches and small budgets. We’ll consider best uses of smartphones, digital cameras and tripods. The session is held at the Digital Content Unit at the University Library.

Beginner's Filmmaking Workshop new Mon 17 Feb 2020   10:00 Finished

Tutors: Sarah McEvoy / Kostas Chondros

Are you curious about making a short documentary film?

This beginner’s filmmaking workshop will help you to start thinking visually and communicate using sound and film. Over two days you will be introduced to different camera shot types, how to construct a basic story, use digital video cameras and sound recorders to shoot your own footage, and then edit a short sequence for export.

The workshop assumes no or very little prior knowledge of filmmaking and no prior preparation is required for the workshop. This is a hands-on practical workshop, working in small teams of two or three people. We expect a willingness to be open to ideas and work in a team to jointly create a short film clip.

The workshop will give you the foundational skills to incorporate film and sound in your own future projects, for example short clips for social media, publicity about research projects as a way to engage wider audiences etc.

During the workshop you will work with dedicated video equipment, but the techniques you will learn can be adapted to film making with smartphones, tablets and other readily available personal electronic devices.


Day 1 – Monday 17th February

  • 10.00 Welcome and introductions
  • 10.30 Aims of the session
  • 10.45 Introduction to shot types, camera movements, framing, telling a story, basic rules of camera use, rules of recording sound
  • 11.45 Splitting into groups – interactive demonstration of how to use the cameras
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Filming around Cambridge, practical exercise working in groups
  • 16.00 Return to room to look at footage from all groups
  • 17.00 Feedback session and summary of day 1 intro to day 2

Day 2 – Tuesday 18th February

We will be working on apple macs and Final Cut X; however we do not expect any prior knowledge of working with either computer or software

  • 10.00 Importing footage onto computers
  • 10.15 Basic editing, creating a 2-minute clip, summary of creating a sequence
  • 10.45 Adding clips to timeline, tools for manipulating clips, using second video track, transitions and filters, syncing audio
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Credits, titles, adjusting audio levels, adding music or narration, exporting footage, saving files
  • 16.00 Looking at each other’s edited clips
  • 16.45 Evaluation
  • 17.00 Finish

Handouts will be emailed after the workshop, and include:

Presentation – shot types, how to construct a sequence Editing on Final Cut x Camera functions, audio recording, info about equipment and editing software and model release forms

What you need to take with you

Headphones – preferably the kind you can plug in rather than Bluetooth headphones

Storage device – if you want to take footage you shoot with you after the workshop, you will need a hard drive, USB or SD card that can hold at least 8GB. Video files are large. Please make sure that the device is formatted to FAT32 if you use it on a PC, as we will be using macs. You can check this by right clicking the device and checking the properties. If you prefer, you don’t need to save the footage that you film and can also upload the exported film to Dropbox.

Upon booking this workshop a questionnaire will be issued to participants which must be completed in order to satisfy the booking.

The workshop is led by:

Sarah McEvoy holds BA Hons Fine Art and an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths University of London and has most recently completed an MA in Art and Design in Education at UCL Institute of Education. Sarah has worked with arts organisations and charities creating short documentaries and has most recently filmed and edited a film working with a socially engaged artist in the community of South East London. As an artist-educator, Sarah works with youth groups and adults with learning disabilities in the community and museums and galleries.

Kostas Chondros holds an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. He also holds an MA in Social Exclusion, Minorities & Gender from Panteion University and a BA in Social Anthropology & History from the University of the Aegean, Greece. Since joining the Personal Histories film production team in 2011, Kostas has filmed several events and taught camera & film production skills. Additionally, as a freelance filmmaker, Kostas documents improvised music performances and collaborates on film projects with other artists and performers. He is also a musician, poet and translator.

Find out how to use blogging in your research. The first of two sessions on research blogging will explore the benefits and limitations of blogging for public engagement.

The second of two sessions on research blogging will explore how social media can enable public engagement with your blog, learn how to set up a Twitter chat and explore other methods to get people talking about your research.

Bug Hunt 2020 [cancelled - Covid 19] new Tue 21 Apr 2020   13:00 CANCELLED

This programme is an opportunity to learn, through practical experience and shared investigation, how to apply digital methods for exploring and analysing a body of archival texts. The core of the programme will be 5 x 2 hour classroom based sessions supplemented by group and individual work on tasks related to the project design, delivery and documentation in between sessions. In addition to attending all five face-to-face sessions, participants should set aside an additional 8-10 hours over the duration of the course for work on project-related tasks.

During the programme we’ll work together on a particular topic: how insects were represented in books created for children in the 19th century. This question will help us to think about how children’s encounters with the natural world might have been framed and shaped by their reading. We’ll work on digital collections of 19th century children’s books exploring how such collections are built and how they can be used for machine reading. We’ll develop specific research questions and you’ll learn how to explore them using different tools for textual stylistic analysis. At the end, we’ll present findings and consider the implications of what we’ve discovered.

Topics covered include;

• The development of methods for machine reading the archive – ideas, motivations and ethics • Children’s books of the long 19th century – a beginner’s guide • Designing a small-scale investigation • Building a collection of digital texts • Transforming texts into searchable data • Analysing stylistic patterns in the data

Creating Databases from Historical Sources (Workshop) Mon 25 Feb 2019   11:00 Finished

This workshop will examine strategies for transforming a variety of sources into structured digital data, ranging from crumbling manuscripts to printed documents and books.

Leonardo Impett, Cambridge Digital Humanities

Application forms should be returned to CDH Learning ( by Friday 22 May 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 26 May 2020.

This course will introduce graduate students, early-career researchers, and professionals in the humanities to the technologies of image recognition and machine vision, including recent developments in machine vision research in the past half-decade. The course will seek to combine a technical understanding of how machine vision systems work, with a detailed understanding of the possibilities they open to research and study in the humanities, and with a critical exploration of the social, political and ideological dimensions of machine vision.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the basic tasks of machine vision, such as Image Classification, Object Detection, Image-to-Image Translation, Image Captioning, Image Segmentation etc.
  • Understand the fundamental technical operations of image processing and machine vision: the pixel encoding of images, Gaussian and convolutional filters,
  • Explore critical aspects of machine vision in a technically-informed way: e.g. the problems in algorithmic bias brought about by featureless convolutional networks
  • Develop and run their own simple machine vision and image processing pipelines, in a visual programming language compiling to Python
  • Understand the potential synergies and limitations of machine vision applications in humanities research and cultural heritage institutions
Data Presentation and Preservation new Tue 28 Jan 2020   11:30 Finished

The afterlife of your research data forms a vitally important part of your research project. Research funders and academic journal publishers are often strongly committed to the re-use of data and are reluctant to fund or publish research where datasets are not accessible for the purposes of peer review or further use. Yet the push for open data exists in tension with the expectations of data protection law which requires transparency from researchers about how long they will retain personal data. This session will explore good practice in data sharing and archiving as well as introducing sources of further information and advice within the University on this topic.

Data Wrangling (Workshop) new Mon 4 Feb 2019   14:00 Finished

Garbage in, garbage out! Your output is as good or as bad as your input. Data collected from online sources is often dirty and messy. Discover how to clean and organise your data. After transforming raw data into a structured dataset, you will be ready to perform data analysis.

Application forms should be returned to CDH Learning ( by Tuesday 6 October 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by Thursday 8 October 2020.

Massive digital archives such as the Internet Archive offer researchers tantalising possibilities for the recovery of lost, forgotten and neglected literary texts. Yet the reality can be very frustrating due to limitations in the design of the archives and the tools available for exploring them. This programme supports researchers in understanding the issues they are likely to encounter and developing practical methods for delving into massive digital archives.

Digital Data Collection and Wrangling new Tue 14 Jan 2020   11:30 Finished

This session addresses the technical and ethical aspects of digital data collection and wrangling – two fundamental stages in the lifecycle of a digital research project. Participants will be introduced to online data sources and practices of internet-mediated data collection, including retrieving data from social media platforms. As data collected from online sources is often dirty and messy, we will also provide a short practical introduction to the process of transforming raw data into a clean and structured dataset using free and open-source software.

Digital Data Collection (Workshop) new Mon 28 Jan 2019   14:00 Finished

This session is a primer on digital data collection. The goal is to become familiar with online data sources and practices of internet-mediated data collection, including retrieving data from social media platforms.

The shelf-life of your dataset dictates the longevity of your findings. Sharing your data and assuring its integrity is a fundamental part of a digital research project. In this session we will discuss the principles of open data, channels for data dissemination and the fundamentals of data preservation.

Digital Mapping for Historians new Wed 26 Jun 2019   09:30 Finished

This intensive workshop will provide an overview of a range of applications of digital mapping in historical research projects and introduce GIS tools and software.

Digital Research Design and Data Ethics new Tue 24 Nov 2020   10:00 [Places]

This CDHBasics session explores the lifecycle of a digital research project across the stages of design;

  • data capture
  • transformation
  • analysis
  • presentation and preservation

it also introduces tactics for embedding ethical research principles and practices at each stage of the research process.

Digital Research Design, Methods and Ethics (Workshop) new Mon 21 Jan 2019   14:00 Finished

Find out how to shape a digital research project from scratch. This session will introduce the building blocks of online research design, from the several methodologies available to conduct the research to the ethical guidelines that should underpin our projects.

We are currently reformatting our Learning programme for remote teaching; this will require some rescheduling so bookings will reopen and new sessions will be created for online courses as soon as possible. In the interim we would encourage you to register your interest so as to be notified of the new schedule. Please be aware that we hope to run many of our courses online, but that this is dependent on staff availability and resources so please be aware we may have to postpone or cancel some sessions

This workshop will develop your coding practice from testing ideas to creating an efficient workflow for your code, data and analysis. If you are using Jupyter Notebooks (but even if you’re not) this workshop will demonstrate how to better manage your code using good programming practices, and package your code into a program that is easier and quicker to run for lots of data and more reliable.

Required preparation (instructions provided): Python 3 installed on laptop; a text editor or IDE installed on laptop; git installed on laptop and signed up for GitHub; a short internet-based exercise in working with the command line.

Dr Nathan Crilly and Chih-Chun Chen explore the challenges of communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences through a variety of digital media formats. Three case studies will be reported from an EPSRC-funded research project which sought to clarify and communicate the nature of complex system design and its relationship to emerging technologies. For example, the project studied the way in which technologists working in Synthetic Biology and Swarm Robotics conceptualise and address the complexity of the systems they are designing. Outputs from the project include: • A 35-page ‘primer’ on the subject of complexity (now with over 6000 downloads) • A three-minute animated movie discussing the subjectivity of complexity (now with 2500 views) • An interactive website (implemented by Dr Chen since she has programming skills) that generates annotated bibliographies for complexity resources tailored to a user’s interests (launched in March 2019) Dr Crilly and Dr Chih-Chun will discuss the process of engaging with media partners, including working with science communication agencies, animators and film-makers, reflect on what they learned from the process and what they would do differently in future.

Film-making for Beginners new Sat 1 Dec 2018   09:30 Finished

Learn to think visually and communicate using sound and film: participants will be introduced to the language of film, shot types, camera movements, framing, basic rules of camera use, how to tell a story, and editing in the Phoenix Training Suite.

Film-making for Beginners (Level 2) new Mon 24 Jun 2019   09:30 Finished

Learn to think visually and to communicate using sound and film. Participants will be introduced to the language of film, shot types, camera movements, framing, basic rules of camera use, how to tell a story, and editing. Some prior knowledge of filming is required. Please see the CDH website for more details (

From Blog to Book new Thu 10 Oct 2019   14:00 Finished

Blogging as a digital means of research communication seems so simple: with free, easy-to-use platforms we’re all just a few clicks away from setting one up. But having set a blog up, the difficult work begins. Who are you talking to? What are you trying to achieve? How will you generate your content? How will the people you want to talk to find it? How are you going to keep it going alongside your research and teaching commitments? Will it make any difference to anything? And will you ever be able to transform any of this work into a scholarly publication that ‘counts’?

This session will be an interactive conversation between Julie Blake, Cambridge Digital Humanities Methods Fellow and Connie Ruzich, University Professor of English at Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, USA. Connie’s Behind Their Lines blog started in 2014 during a Fulbright Scholarship at Exeter University to research First World War poetry in the context of the Centenary Commemorations. She became interested in the lost and neglected poetry of the First World War and began blogging about her ‘finds’. Five years later, she has had almost 400,000 visits to her blog, she maintains a lively dialogue with public and academic audiences including via Twitter and she is in the final stages of completing a monograph about this material with Bloomsbury Academic.

We’ll discuss the highs and lows of Connie’s research blogging experience, the surprises, the pitfalls and the lessons learned by hard won experience. We’ll try to answer all the questions listed above, and participants will be invited to join in with their own questions.

Emma Reay is a third-year PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge and an associate lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. Her current project explores depictions of children in videogames, and her research interests include representation studies, children's digital media, gaming and education, and playful activism.

Adam Dixon is a game designer and writer who makes both physical and digital games. He has worked on everything from big public games that involve running around cities to narrative video games about learning scientific skills. Much of his work has involved working with museums and research organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, Science Museum, Nottingham Trent University and the V&A. This has included designing games, using play for public research engagement and most recently, teaching teenagers to create digital games for Wellcome Collection’s Play Well exhibition. Outside of that he works and releases his own games including roleplaying games, LARPs and interactive fiction.

Applications should be returned to CDH Learning ( by Wednesday 10 June 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 June 2020.

This online course will introduce participants to the practice of game design. It will explore the different ways that digital and analogue games are designed, particularly how you can design with intent to communicate a mood, theme or message. Participants will learn game design skills - such as boxing-in, design documents and prototyping – alongside opportunities to test them out by creating their own short games. Examples will focus on game design in research-related contexts, including using games as part of your research process and to communicate research outcomes to diverse audiences.

The sessions focus on game design, how to shape mechanics and play experiences, so no technical skills are needed. Participants will create their short games using both non-digital tools and simple, free software that will be taught in the sessions.

Topics covered:

  • Game design basics
  • A chance to play and consider thoughtful games
  • Boxing in
  • Planning games
  • Making games
  • Bitsy and Twine
  • Playtesting and iteration


The course will be delivered online, with live teaching sessions taking place on Zoom.

  • Weds 17 June, 4pm BST: Introduction (45 minutes)
  • Weds 24 June, 4pm BST: Game play feedback (45 minutes)
  • Weds 1 July, 4pm BST: Game design seminar (45 minutes)
  • Weds 15 July, 4pm BST: Final session (60 minutes with break)

A CRASSH blog post was created for the originally scheduled session which may be of interest to read and can be found here:

Game Design Workshop [cancelled - industrial action] new Mon 2 Dec 2019   09:30 CANCELLED

This two-day intensive workshop will introduce participants to the practice of game design. It will explore the different ways that digital and analogue games are designed, particularly how you can design with intent to communicate a mood, theme or message. Participants will learn game design skills - such as boxing-in, design documents and prototyping – alongside opportunities to test them out by creating their own short games.

The sessions focus on game design, how to shape mechanics and play experiences, so no technical skills are needed. Participants will create their short games using both non-digital tools and simple, free software that will be taught in the session.

The course participants will be selected via an application process, once a provisional place is booked a call for application form will be issued for completion and return by 1 November 2019. Once the applications are reviewed, places will be confirmed directly in the week beginning 18 November 2019.

Generative Adversarial Networks Experimentation Lab new Tue 11 Dec 2018   11:30 Finished

This workshop will discuss prospective methods and approaches for critically engaging with the images of people created through Generative Adversarial Networks, using design experiments as provocations to expand debate about notions of ‘realism’ and ‘authenticity’ in an era where human and machine vision are ever more systematically intertwined.

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