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Learning Opportunities

The Digital Humanities team deliver a regular schedule of training workshops for staff and students throughout the autumn and spring terms, and we occasionally host additional sessions run by guest trainers. See our calendar for upcoming events. Course content varies each year, but frequently includes:

Introductory sessions (beginner level) 

No previous experience or knowledge is required. 

Managing Humanities Data 

This workshop is designed to help you understand how you can collect and manage humanities data in standardized, logical and above all helpful ways, especially at the start of a new project. We cover a broad range of data types, highlight general principles of good data practices, and discuss any questions or problems you might be having with gathering and managing your own data.  

Digital Preservation and Data Sustainability 

One of the challenges of creating digital data of any kind is making sure it survives in the long term. This session talks about some of the risks to your data, and how to mitigate against them. It also looks briefly into depositing data with sustainable repositories, how to prepare sustainable data from the outset, and how data can persist in various forms to allow reuse and encourage reproducibility. 

Making Digital Editions I: What, Why & How 

This workshop offers a combination of presentation, discussion, and exposure to TEI XML in order to explore why and how you might want to make your own digital edition. It explains the advantages of creating texts in a digital format and gives a very basic introduction to TEI encoding, which is widely used to create editions today. It explores different ways of publishing online, and discusses the complexities of digital editing, including issues of sustainability, cost and support. Despite these challenges, the workshop argues that digital scholarly editing can be a deeply rewarding and fruitful undertaking that enables innovative research and teaching – through skills that can be learnt by anyone. 

How to Write A Data Management Plan 

The aim of this workshop is to demystify the Data Management Plan and give you the skills to approach this area of your bid with confidence. Though each bid and DMP is unique, there are common elements and a degree of formula that can be learned, so most DMPs do not need to be written entirely from scratch. Though this workshop has a particular focus on the AHRC DMP, we would encourage interested academics to attend a workshop even without an AHRC bid in progress, as we cover transferable content on best practices when working with data 

Photography Basics 

This course teaches the basics of using a Digital SLR camera, including how the camera works, the settings you can use to control the camera and how they will affect the photos you take. 

For anyone interested in learning one of the photography-based techniques we cover, including photogrammetry and reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), or wanting to get better photos when visiting archives, this course provides a grounding in the principles of photography and aids understanding of those courses. 

In-depth classes (beginner to intermediate level) 

We recommend attending these courses with a basic understanding of the general subject area, but this is not essential and beginners are very welcome. 

Making Digital Editions II: Digital Editing and TEI Basics 

This workshop is intended for staff and postgraduates who are interested in learning digital editing skills. It provides hands-on experience of the basics of TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) XML, a standard that is widely used to encode primary source texts for critical editions and digital text resources.  

We recommend you attend part 1 of this series before attending this session, or are familiar with the basics of TEI/XML. 

Working with Text: Cleaning and Curating Data using Regex 

Learn how to use pattern-matching ‘regular expressions’ - essentially advanced find and replace techniques - and unlock vast amounts of textual data for your research. This workshop shows how to clean and curate messy textual data in word processing applications, giving you the skills to structure, sort and analyse data in a familiar environment. This will offer you an incredibly efficient and powerful way to extract the information contained in large amounts of prose and transform it into handy tables or spreadsheets that can be much more easily analysed. 

Working with Text: Using OpenRefine 

Based around the Library Carpentry tools, this workshop introduces the OpenRefine tool for cleaning and manipulating humanities data. We will look at how OpenRefine is different to more standard spreadsheet approaches, and will look at some of the tools that allow you to standardise and work with narrative, unstructured or messy data. We will also look at working with library and archive catalogue records with sample data from Exeter’s Special Collections. 


Photogrammetry is a photography-based technique used to produce 3D digital models of physical objects. This workshop looks at the principles of producing models using photogrammetry and practical considerations for approaching a project. We then head out onto campus with cameras to photograph subjects, before returning to the DH Lab to work through the process of turning the photos into a 3D model.  

We recommend attending the Photography Basics class first, but this is not essential. 

Archival Photography 

Archives are not ideal places to take photographs, with low light, sensitivity to noise and flashlight, and often no means of supporting a camera or your subject effectively. This course guides you through the pitfalls and problems, and provides advice on taking sharp, clear photographs of your primary sources using techniques and equipment that are appropriate for an archival setting.  

We recommend attending the Photography Basics class before this one, but this is not essential. 

Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) 

RTI is a technique used to photograph a subject’s surface texture, which can reveal detail and phenomena not usually visible under normal examination. This interactive 2-hour course examines the basic principles of RTI, showing what can be achieved using highlight and dome-based methods, and provides practical guidance for using the method in a wide range of applications. 

We recommend attending the Photography Basics class before this one, but this is not essential. 

Advanced classes 

These sessions are designed to follow on from previous classes, so we recommend attending the relevant introductory or in-depth sessions first if you are new to the subject. 

Making Digital Editions III: Intermediate and Advanced TEI 

This workshop is intended for staff and postgraduates who have attended an earlier workshop on digital editing, or who have some existing text encoding experience. We explore more advanced areas of TEI in detail, providing the opportunity for plenty of hands-on experience and discussion. 

Guest Workshops 

In addition to training provided by the Digital Humanities team, the lab occasionally hosts workshops led by guest trainers and specialists from around the university. Recent sessions have included topics such as intersectional DH, text mining, computer vision, and airborne LiDAR processing.