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An Introduction to working with data for Humanities researchers

This two-day event is aimed at researchers in the Humanities and other disciplines who want to learn how to use popular tools for data cleaning, management and visualisation in a hands-on, interactive workshop.
When Nov 17, 2016 09:00 AM to
Nov 18, 2016 05:00 PM
Where TBC
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Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance online here
Please note, Cambridge University graduate students and staff have priority in booking for this workshop - if you are from another institution and would like to participate, please contact Dr Anne Alexander (raa43 @ to check if space is available before booking.

Facilitators – Brenda Moon, Queensland University of Technology and Laurent Gatto, University of Cambridge

The workshop assumes no prior experience, but participants will need to bring their own computers with working copies of the relevant software. Everything we are using can be freely downloaded and installed, and instructions will be provided to participants beforehand. Our facilitators will be available before the session to help sort out any problems with software installation.

The workshop will introduce researchers to:

  • Data cleaning with OpenRefine – A powerful interactive data transformation tool which has a user-friendly interface allowing you to automatically remove duplicate records, separate multiple values contained in the same field, analyse the distribution of values through a dataset and group together different representations of the same reality (read more about OpenRefine on The Programming Historian, here: 
  • Creating a relational database with SQLite – This database engine runs on your laptop and is simple to set up. We can thus keep our data separate from analysis, and remove the risk of changing it in the process. If we do change the data, then we can simply re-run our queries. 
  • Visualising data with Python – A popular programming language in scientific computing which is also widely used by humanities scholars and social scientists working with data. 

The workshop is organised by Cambridge Digital Humanities Network and Cambridge University Library and will take place in Cambridge University Library. Detailed instructions and exact venue will be sent to participants closer to the workshop. The workshop is open to Cambridge University PhD students and staff. If you are from another institution and would like to participate please contact us first to check if there is a space available before booking.