6 Nov 2023 - 14 Nov 2023 1.00–4.00pm daily (GMT) Online


Applications now closed.

The online Cultural Heritage Data School (CHDS), taking place from 6–14 November is open for applications from participants from across the cultural heritage sector and academia. 

The school provides new methods, technical foundations and tools to create, visualise and analyse digital archives and collections. 

This intensive online teaching programme will be structured around the digital collections and archives pipeline, covering the general principles and applied practices involved in the generation, exploration, visualisation, analysis and preservation of digital collections and archives.

Leading academic researchers and practitioners have created a teaching and learning experience that takes advantage of virtual tools for lectures, workshops, group work and more, developing technical skills, while also raising critical questions about data in the cultural heritage sector. 

Previous attendees have benefited from the practical way digital methods are applied to real problems, the critical way in which they are employed, as well as by the rich interactions with teachers and peers. 

Applications are now closed.

Q&A session

Watch the recording of the Q&A session to hear more about this year’s Cultural Heritage Data School and the application process.

View the slides here:Cultural Heritage Data School – info session November 2023

Further information


Monday 6 November, 13:00–13:30 Introduction and welcome

Dr Anne Alexander and Dr Irving Huerta

Monday 6 November, 14:00 15:00 Session 1: Digital Research Design and the Project Lifecycle

Dr Anne Alexander (Director of Learning, CDH)

Monday 6 November, 15:30–16:30 Session 2: Text Wrangling for Cultural Heritage Projects I

Huw Jones (Head of Digital Library Unit, Digital Humanities Coordinator, Cambridge University Library)

Tuesday 7 November, 11:00–12:00 Social Space
Tuesday 7 November, 13:00–14:00 Session 3: Text Wrangling for Cultural Heritage Projects II

Huw Jones (Head of Digital Library Unit, Digital Humanities Coordinator, Cambridge University Library)

Tuesday 7 November, 15:30–16:30 Session 4: 3D Digitisation Workshop I

Adil Mian (University of Cambridge), Jendayi Omowale (University of Cambridge)

Wednesday 8 November, 13:00–15:00 Session 5: Digital archives and communities in crisis

Dr Anne Alexander (Director of Learning, CDH), Andy Corrigan (Cambridge Digital Library Co-ordinator, Cambridge University Library)

Wednesday 8 November, 16:00 – 17:30 Public Event – Utopian Cycles in Archiving Practices: Past, Present and Future Histories more information here
Thursday 9 November, 13:00–14:00 Troubleshooting Drop-In session
Thursday 10 November Self-paced study
Friday 10 November, 13:00–14:00 Social Space
Friday 10 November, Self-paced study
Monday 13 November, 13:00–14:00 Session 6: 3D Digitisation Workshop II

Adil Mian (University of Cambridge), Jendayi Omowale (University of Cambridge)

Monday 13 November, 14:30–16:30 Session 7: Visualising Cultural Heritage Data

Dr Anne Alexander (Director of Learning, CDH)

Tuesday 14 November, 13:00–14:00 Keynote address

Dr Leonardo Impett (Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, Cambridge University)

‘AI and Cultural Heritage Collections’


Tuesday 14 November, 15:30–16:30 Closing Plenary, next steps
*Please note this programme is subject to change

Module overview

Our modules cover the lifecycle of a data-intensive project working with cultural heritage data, including ethical research design, data collection, analysis, visualisation and presentation. Teaching includes lectures, participatory sessions, workshops, hands-on activities with leading researchers and practitioners in the field. 

You will be able to collect and analyse publicly-available text and image collections from cultural heritage institutions and learn how to use AI both as a tool for research and as an object of inquiry. We will also explore methods for creating digital archives of material objects and the challenges of participatory archival practice with marginalised and excluded communities. 

Digital Research Design and the Project Lifecycle
This introductory module 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. We will discuss the importance of documentation of data provenance, look at the practical and ethical challenge of common methods used for bulk data capture including use of APIs and working with data collected by others. The second session in the module will introduce the data-cleaning tool OpenRefine and a set of exercises for participants to work through in their own time.

Text wrangling for Cultural Heritage Projects
These sessions will go through workflows for dealing with textual resources in digital humanities – where to get them (including APIs and scraping from the web), how to understand the different formats you might encounter, some common tools and methodologies for text in DH (topic modelling, network analysis, named entity recognition), and how to understand the outputs in the context of the workflow. We’ll have a quick look at text encoding, both as an input and an output of DH projects, and the sessions will include some short Python scripts for those keen to have a go at coding.

3D Digitisation Workshop I
Global majority and indigenous people often face cultural erasure through material colonialism. This workshop aims to equip participants with skills that facilitate dignity and respect for one’s relation to heritage materials by using free/low-cost software and technology that is readily available for minimal standard reconstruction of 3-D objects and digitisation of documents and other 2-D archival material. This virtual, entirely interactive, workshop will have this workflow;

  • Capturing footage of material to be digitised,
  • Creating 3-D reconstructions of objects,
  • Uploading the scanned object into an archive with metadata.

This workshop will take place over two sessions, in the first half facilitated learning will allow participants to acquire practical skills in relation to digitisation methods. Participants will then quality check their digitised objects in the second session, which will act as a space for interactive teaching and knowledge sharing between the facilitators and participants.

Digital archives and communities in crisis
This session will examine methods and principles for making digital archives, looking at the challenges and potential for creating collections of digitised and born-digital material which relate to communities in crisis. We will examine case studies of digital archiving and memory projects in the aftermath of genocide and colonialism, civil war and natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding. Participants will be introduced to a toolkit of approaches to designing digital archives which will cover questions of access and control, managing consent and the role of participatory methods in project development.

Visualising Cultural Heritage Data
It is often said we live in a society saturated with data. Visualisation methods can play a crucial role in helping to cut through the information overload. Badly designed charts, graphs and diagrams, on the other hand, can confuse or deceive. This session will introduce and contextualise established general principles of graphical communication and good practice in data visualisation methods, helping you to think more critically about your own work and that of others. We will focus on graphical display as an interpretative and persuasive practice which requires as much attention to detail as writing. A hands-on collaborative exercise will give you the chance to put your visualisation skills to work.

Social Space
These are informal meet-ups where participants will be able to virtually interact with peers and some teachers. Topics can vary from Data School content, personal projects and interests, or any other theme. The aim is to promote horizontal learning and participation.


Teaching team

*Teaching team may be subject to change

How to apply & fees

Who can apply?

The school welcomes applications from all backgrounds.

You might be working or volunteering in a gallery, library, archive or museum, involved in a community-based cultural heritage project or working with cultural heritage practitioners or institutions as an academic researcher or student.  Anyone who works with cultural heritage data is welcome to apply.

No previous experience of coding is required and there are no specific academic requirements, however the course content is broadly suitable for those with an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional experience. The School is taught in English.

We are committed to facilitate participation by women, black and minority ethnic candidates as they have historically been under-represented in the technology and data science sector. We also welcome applications from outside the UK, assuming they can attend the live workshop slots during 1pm-4pm GMT. Sessions will not be recorded and therefore live attendance is required.

When and where?

This school will be held online: 6-14 November 2023. Data School live sessions are timetabled daily from 1pm–4pm (GMT). To convert this to your timezone you can use this Time Zone Converter.

Sessions will include live-taught instruction on Zoom, demonstrations and discussions online, with access to self-paced study materials and support via email-based discussion groups between sessions. Participants will need a laptop or desktop computer and internet access to participate in the sessions. Some sessions will require software installation — full instructions will be provided but please ensure you have access rights to install software on the device you will be using.

The school is highly interactive and participants need to be able to join the discussions in real time, so please ensure you have internet access which will enable viewing of online videos and live participation through a video call.

An in-person Cultural Heritage Data School is also scheduled to take place in Cambridge 8-12 April 2024. Applications will open in late 2023 – please check our website or sign up to our mailing list for more details. Please note that the fees for in-person Data Schools are higher than for the online versions.


  • Standard: £245 per person
  • Early Bird (until 3 September 2023): £195 per person
  • Concession (limited places): £75 per person

There is a limited number of concessionary places for the unemployed, unfunded projects, and Global South residents that can demonstrate financial need. In addition, a small number of bursaries (waived fee) are available to those who are not able to afford this training and can demonstrate how attending the school will be beneficial for them. You can apply for this on the application form.

The deadline for payment is four weeks before the start of the School.

How to apply

Fill in the application form by 9 October 2023. You will hear whether your application was successful or not by 16 October 2023.

The Cultural Heritage Data School is application-only with limited places. During your application you should make best use of the free text sections to explain your current experience, and what you would get out of attending the School.

Please note applications are now closed.

Cambridge Digital Humanities

Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk