The Yale Digital Humanities Laboratory

Our Mission

The Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLab), a unit of Yale University Library, offers space, community, and resources for Yale scholars who are using computational methods to pursue 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.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. The DHLab is a shared resource designed for Yale humanists that creates prototypes, proofs-of-concept, and experiments, rather than production-ready systems.
  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 both research and teaching purposes 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 concentrates its support in four main domains: text and data mining, image computation, spatial analysis, and network analysis.
  6. The DHLab develops open-source software to facilitate new and accessible 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 computational methods.

The DHLab is one of the digital scholarship services offered by Yale University Library.