Course Description

This lab course is designed to introduce humanities students to the practice of digital history as a research environment that fosters historical thinking and explores the impact of the digital as a medium for thinking about history.

What is happening as scholarship shifts from print books to digital formats that allow for different ways of understanding the past? Through hands-on practice, students learn about the digital tools for analyzing primary sources with new methodologies. Students participate in creating a digital project that utilizes multiple techniques such as spatial history, network analysis, or text mining. Prior experience with these digital methods is not required.

This one-credit course will make extensive use of the university archives to create a digital research environment for studying the history of Washington and Lee University.


Since the class meets only once a week it’s vital that students attend each class. Students should advise the instructor prior to any planned absence.

Required Texts

There will be no books required for purchase. Readings will be articles and Web sites listed in the course schedule. Students are expected to find the full-text readings based upon the citations. Students are expected to have completed the assigned readings prior to class and participate actively in the discussions.

Each student will be required to purchase a domain name/hosting account as part of a class assignment.

Required Work

Students must complete all assignments to pass the class.

Special Needs

Washington and Lee University makes reasonable academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. All undergraduate accommodations must be approved through the Office of the Dean of the College. Students requesting accommodations for this course should present an official accommodation letter within the first two weeks of the term and schedule a meeting outside of class time to discuss accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to present this paperwork in a timely fashion and to follow up about accommodation arrangements. Accommodations for taking tests should be arranged with the professor at least a week before the date of the exam.

See the course calendar