Scientific Aspects of Digital Humanities

Today in a situation of a crisis in humanities when the major accent in education and science shifts to technical specialties and research fields there is a critical question about new ways of digital humanities development that is vitally important for classic Russian universities. This question should be addressed not only at a level of structural transformation, but setting up-to-date research objectives as well. And then the role of humanities is significantly getting more important. Actively benefiting from the potential of IT being used processing, storing and ciphered analyzing traditional material humanities at the same time make them an individual object of the research, defining scale, limits and consequences of the information integration. In fact, today one can speak about broadening humanities by means of new tools, research methods and technologies, emphasizing humanities methodology as a basis for studies in digital humanities.

It is a side that we see in a modern definition of Digital humanities, that is one of the key innovative fields of humanities development in modern world where technological tools depend on acute problems decision, building modern research subject-matter that broadens understanding of humanities.

Digital humanities (DH) studies peculiarities of a new era, socio-cultural consequences of digital technologies, critical analysis of their means and limits, as well as work with cultural heritage, a format of artwork and enlightenment such as new media, digital libraries, archives, databases of cultural heritage and museum collections, digital reconstructions that require joint efforts of humanities and specialists in digital technologies. The most widespread studies in DH are quantitative text analysis, data visualization, geospatial modeling and others.

Such studies are relevant in modern global science; there are DH centers and departments in almost all leading universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, the UK, etc.


Humanities in the digital age: from sectoral informatics to digital humanities (The Russian Foundation for Basic Research grant 12-06-33047).

Aims and objectives:

  • To study organization and infrastructure of research in digital humanities in the leading world centers;
  • To perform scientific analysis of new DH research directions and projects in Russia;
  • To elaborate methodology of using applied methods in computer sciences for demonstrating the analysis results and model application of the set of informatics methods in humanities;
  • Searching for new tools, research methods and technologies as a basis for broadening humanities;
  • To study peculiarities and sociocultural consequences of digital technologies, a critical analysis of their means and limits;
  • To apply digital technologies in humanity studies for analyzing big data and documents dated in diverse historical epochs («distant reading» or «digital reading»);
  • To study and work with cultural heritage: «digital art», new media, creating digital libraries, archives, cultural heritage databases and museum collections, digital reconstructions.