This event spans multiple dates:
30 Jan 2023 14:00 - 16:00 IT Training Room, University Library
6 Feb 2023 14:00 - 16:00 IT Training Room, University Library


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:

  1. Collections databases: what they are, how they are built, and how to navigate them
  2. 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
  3. Data visualisation software: what options are available and how to use the open-source, online system mapping tool, Kumu
  4. 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.

Workshop requirements: 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 as well as Google Chrome (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.

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.

About the convenors:
Leah Brainerd is a PhD student in the Department of Archaeology with the ERC Encounter Project and is supervised by Enrico Crema, University of Cambridge, and Akihiro Yoshida, University of Kagoshima. She holds an MSc in Computational Archaeology from University College London and a BA from McGill University. Leah has experience in GIS, statistics, and several programming languages (e.g., R, Python, SQL).

Alexandra Gushurst-Moore is the Research & Impact Coordinator of the Fitzwilliam Museum and Coordinator of Cambridge Visual Culture. Her doctoral thesis, entitled “The Making of Modern Fantasy in the Visual Arts of England, ca. 1850–1920”, was supervised by Elizabeth Prettejohn at the University of York. She holds an MA (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and an MSt from the University of Oxford. Beyond her research, she has professional experience of and interest in British educational policy, the strategy and operation of HEIs and the facilitation of inclusive and supportive research cultures.

Cambridge Digital Humanities

Tel: +44 1223 766886