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Text and Data-Mining Test Kitchen

The TDM Test Kitchen is an experimental service supported by Cambridge Digital Humanities, Cambridge University Library and Cambridge University Press.

The TDM Test Kitchen aims to:

  • Explore the application of TDM (Text and Data-Mining) methods to CUP and UL collections.
  • Provide a ‘live’ learning environment where researchers, CUP and library staff involved either using TDM methods or developing TDM support services can learn more about TDM methods, share good practice and exchange knowledge about how to overcome challenges.
  • Facilitate discussion between researchers, the UL and CUP about how to develop TDM methods and services in future.

For the pilot phase of the Test Kitchen, we are looking to work with researchers who are interested in developing TDM projects using collections held by Cambridge University Library and CUP. Projects supported by the Test Kitchen will be offered a tailored package of advice covering issues such as IP rights, data access, corpus creation, access to High-Performance Computing (HPC) facilities, data visualisation methods and software sustainability. Our goal is to create a set of case-studies based on the projects we support, focused on demonstrating the potentials and limitations of TDM methods in order to guide future research in this area.

Supported projects will therefore be asked to contribute to this work through preparing a short report for publication on the Cambridge Digital Humanities website and encouraged to give a presentation at an event to be organised by CDH in June or July 2018.

The work of the Test Kitchen will also feed into the content of Cambridge Digital Humanities’ methods programme, through the introductory training sessions and advanced workshops organised through the Machine Reading the Archive theme.

Need more background on TDM? Read the guide here:


When is the project running?

The pilot phase will run from January – July 2018.

Which sources can I use?

We are happy to explore requests for support in using any collections held by Cambridge University Library and Cambridge University Press. We can’t guarantee that all of these collections can be used for TDM projects, as there may be obstacles in obtaining the necessary permission from the rights-holder (or establishing whether the TDM exception to copyright applies ( However, the purpose of the TDM Test Kitchen is to provide researchers with expert support and advice in order to identify barriers to TDM research and if possible overcome them, so we welcome enquiries across our collections.

Explore the collections

Cambridge Core (CUP)

Cambridge Digital Library

Digital copies of collections held by the UL (click on ‘Digital archives that can be supplied in a disc copy for a list’)

Explore the full list of collections held by the UL here:

Who can apply for support?

The Test Kitchen is open to Cambridge University graduate students and staff. Researchers from outside the University are also welcome to use our enquiry service, but will not be eligible for the full package of support during the pilot phase.

How many projects are you looking to help?

We aim to offer advice on data access and IP rights to all enquiries during the pilot phase, and will approach 4-5 projects to apply for a full package of support corpus creation, access to High-Performance Computing (HPC) facilities, data visualisation methods and software sustainability. 

How can I get involved?

Please use the contact form on the UL's guide to TDM, to send us a brief outline of your proposed project and the data sources you are interested in using. We also welcome approaches from colleagues who would be interested in playing a supporting role for Test Kitchen projects by offering expert advice or contributing to workshops and training sessions.

We are a network of researchers at the University of Cambridge who are interested in how the use of digital tools is transforming scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. This transformation spans both the content and practice of humanities research, as the diffusion of digital technologies opens up new fields of study and generates research questions which breach traditional disciplinary boundaries.

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