The Yale Digital Humanities Laboratory
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
- The DHLab is a shared resource designed for Yale humanists that creates prototypes, proofs-of-concept, and experiments, rather than production-ready systems.
- The DHLab provides expertise in identifying and obtaining external support for DH projects, including advising on the application process and technical implementation details.
- The DHLab supports digital humanities skills acquisition for both research and teaching purposes through consultations, training, and guest lectures.
- The DHLab supports both initial digital humanities project ideation and innovative new directions for existing projects.
- The DHLab concentrates its support in four main domains: text and data mining, image computation, spatial analysis, and network analysis.
- 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.
Peter received his BA in art history from the University of Chicago and his PhD in Scandinavian literature from the University of Washington. He came to Yale in 2013 as the first Librarian for Digital Humanities Research. Some of his Digital Humanities work is online at pleonard.net.
Prior to coming to Yale, Peter was responsible for humanities research computing at the University of Chicago and served as a postdoctoral researcher in text-mining at UCLA, supported by a Google Digital Humanities Research Award.
During 2007-2008, he served as a Fulbright Scholar at Uppsala University in Sweden.
As Program Manager for the DHLab, Catherine consults on digital humanities projects, teaches workshops on data analysis and visualization, manages communications, and directs the Digital Humanities Teaching Fellows and Internship programs. She also holds a spring 2021 appointment as a Lecturer in Yale’s Department of Statistics and Data Science, for which she will co-teach YData’s first credit-bearing course on Humanities Data Mining. Catherine comes to Yale from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a PhD in English literature alongside a distributed minor that consisted of classes in Computer Science and Art History.
In addition to her work at Yale and UW-Madison, Catherine has been actively involved in digital humanities initiatives at Yale-NUS, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Carnegie Hall, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Douglas Duhaime is a Digital Humanities Developer for the DHLab. He comes to the lab from ProQuest, where he developed Digital Humanities software products as the Text and Data Mining Product Manager, and the University of Notre Dame, where he completed a dissertation on algorithmic approaches to early modern authorship. He will hold a spring 2021 appointment as a Lecturer in Yale’s Department of Statistics and Data Science, for which he will co-teach YData’s first credit-bearing course on Humanities Data Mining.
Before joining the lab, Douglas partnered with the HathiTrust Research Center on an HTRC Advanced Collaborative Research Grant, and participated in the NEH-sponsored “Early Modern Digital Agendas”, a research summit on computational approaches to early modern English history held at the Folger Library.
Jake Kara is a Web Developer in the Digital Humanities Lab and the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. Before coming to Yale, Jake was a journalist, most recently working as data editor for the non-profit Connecticut Mirror, an online publication that focuses on in-depth policy coverage. At the Mirror, he worked on data scraping, cleanup, and reproducible data analysis to support the newsgathering process. He also developed interactive data visualizations and database-driven web apps to help tell stories in new and innovative ways. Jake has a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Western Connecticut State University and is working toward a master’s degree in software engineering from Harvard Extension School.
Monica Ong Reed
An MFA graduate in Digital Media from the Rhode Island School of Design, Monica first came to Yale as designer for the School of Music (2007-2015) to lead initiatives in web and mobile publishing. Her design work has been nominated for a Webby Award in 2014 and recognized by the W3 Awards and the Connecticut Art Director’s Club.
At the DHLab she specializes in user research, prototyping, and design, with an experimental eye for telling stories through data visualization and information design.
Project Assistants collaborate on digital humanities research undertaken by Yale faculty and students.
Consultants meet with Yale scholars who are working with quantitative or computational methods.
Work With Us
Are you a programmer or designer interested in working in digital humanities? Contact us for information on becoming a DHLab Assistant and explore our Student Job Openings.Student Jobs