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Basics sessions provide introductory training in key principles, methods and techniques for research in the digital age for graduate students and staff at the University of Cambridge. The programme is designed to allow participants to progress over the course of the year and can be followed from beginning to end as a structured course. However, sessions can also be booked individually and are all suitable for beginners.

We teach using free-to-use software and prioritise open-source tools where possible. You will need access to a laptop on which you have admin rights to install software for some sessions, however many of the sessions require nothing more than the use of a web browser and internet connection. Participants in the Basics programme are automatically enrolled on the Basics Moodle which gives access to slides, tutorials and resources from sessions across the entire year. You can join the Basics Moodle at any time of year and access the resources there independently of the sessions. Click here to find out more.


We are working in collaboration with The Programming Historian, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that publishes novice-friendly lessons in digital humanities methods. You will find PH lessons integrated into some of the live sessions, and links to suggested PH lessons you may want to work through in your own time to develop your skills further on the Moodle.  

The Basics programme is structured broadly around the lifecycle of a digital research project, beginning with a phase of preparation and research design in Michaelmas Term, moving on to data acquisition and transformation in Lent Term, investigating analysis and presentation textual and image data in Easter Term and ending with a final session on data and software sustainability.  

Knowledge of programming languages is not required for most sessions. We have integrated an introduction to Python into the Basics series, and those who are interested in developing their coding skills will find optional material to follow in their own time. Our Methods Workshop series also regularly includes more in-depth sessions developing skills in Python and R. Some of these are second-level courses for those with prior experience. 


Future sessions

Title Start Date location
Basics: First steps in coding with Python Tuesday, 25 January, 2022 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Bulk data capture Tuesday, 8 February, 2022 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Data transformation with OpenRefine Tuesday, 22 February, 2022 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Foundations of data visualisation Tuesday, 8 March, 2022 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Working with images at scale: an introduction to IIIF Tuesday, 10 May, 2022 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Computer vision: a critical introduction Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Digital afterlives: data preservation, sustainability and destruction Tuesday, 7 June, 2022 - 10:00 Online event

Past sessions

Title Start Date location
Basics: Understanding data and metadata Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Re:search Tuesday, 26 October, 2021 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Digital research design and data ethics Tuesday, 9 November, 2021 - 10:00 Online event
Basics: Data protection and information security: a guide for researchers Tuesday, 23 November, 2021 - 10:00 Online event

Future sessions

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