Who We Are

Our Mission

The Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLab), a unit of Yale University Library, offers space, community, and resources for Yale scholars who pursue DH research questions in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences. Located inside Sterling Memorial Library, the Franke Family Digital Humanities Laboratory is a hub for consultations, training, and opportunities that support Yale students, faculty, and cultural heritage professionals in their engagement with digital tools and techniques. As part of the Yale University Library, the DHLab participates in global conversations around the analysis and use of large-scale digitized cultural heritage collections.

We embrace a model of DH that is expressive and interpretive, experimental and collaborative, and above all: user-centered. As a result, we support DH undertakings of all shapes and sizes, including but not limited to: creating digital text editions, building virtual exhibitions, performing analysis of all kinds (text, network, spatial), data visualization, metadata transformation, creating StoryMaps for humanists, developing machine learning algorithms, and more.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. The DHLab is a shared resource designed for researchers asking humanistic questions at Yale that creates prototypes, proofs-of-concept, and sustainable DH products.
  2. The DHLab provides expertise in identifying and obtaining external support for DH projects, including advising on the application process and technical implementation details.
  3. The DHLab supports digital humanities skills acquisition for research through consultations, training, and guest lectures.
  4. The DHLab supports both initial digital humanities project ideation and innovative new directions for existing projects.
  5. The DHLab develops open-source software to facilitate user-centered approaches to humanistic research and collection-scale analysis.

Our Partners and Collaborators

The DHLab collaborates with other Yale units and departments, along with external organizations to fulfill our mission. These include:

  • Other units within Yale University Library, including the StatLab, GIS services, and the Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support
  • The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning
  • The Center for Collaborative Arts and Media
  • Yale Center for Research Computing
  • Yale Pathways to the Arts & Humanities, as well as Yale Pathways to the Sciences
  • Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design
  • The Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

A Brief History

Yale's roots in digital humanities undertakings date back (at least) to Father Roberto Busa's visit to our campus in 1956 and the Computers for the Humanities conference that was sponsored by Yale on a grant from IBM in 1965.

The 2015 founding of the DHLab signifies Yale University's continued commitment to advancing research and teaching in the humanities. Generously funded by The Goizueta Foundation and by Barbara and Richard Franke '53, the DHLab supports Yale scholars in their pursuit of humanistic questions by way of user-centered digital expression and computational methods.