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Resources & Support for Digital Humanities: Tools

This site provides broad coverage of technologies, methodologies, resources, and scholarship in the digital humanities.

Curated List of Recommended Tools

is web-based, free open source software that enables text annotation on the web privately and publicly to facilitate collaboration.



is web-based, free open source software that enables image annotation on the web.



is a web-based video annotation tool for mobile and desktop devices. Use VideoAnt to add annotations, or comments, to web-hosted videos. VideoAnt-annotated videos are called "Ants." You can export your annotations in a variety of data formats and even embed your Ants on a personal website, learning management system, or anywhere HTML is allowed.


is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers — hundreds of thousands of people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. The goal is to enable research that would not be possible, or practical, otherwise. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries and datasets useful to the wider research community. You can use Zooniverse to build your own crowd-sourced project by using the Project Builder.



is an open-source tool that enables a community of users to view digital files and transcribe them with an easy-to-use toolbar, rendering that text searchable. The tool includes a versioning history and editorial controls to make public contributions more manageable, and supports the transcription of a wide range of file types (both images and documents).


If you have Microsoft Office products installed on your computer, then you already have a data visualization and analysis tool at your fingertips. Excel can be used to express your data in charts, tables, dashboards, and more. Excel functionality can also be extended through the use of free Add-Ins. These can be found in the Microsoft AppSource. Here are a few Add-Ins to consider: Radial Bar Chart, Bubbles, GIGRAPH, Power Map, and People Graph. You can also directly add these and any other Add-Ins when you are in Excel. Go to the Insert tab and within the Add-Ins section of the navigation ribbon click on Store.



Tableau Desktop Public is the free version of the Tableau product suite that allows you to create interactive charts, graphs, maps, and live dashboards. You get 10GB of space, and your visualizations can be shared via social media or embedded in a website or blog. Data sources include: Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel 2007 or later, Text files - comma separated value (.csv) files, JSON files, Statistical Files; SAS (*.sas7bdat), SPSS (*.sav), and R (*.rdata, *.rda), Spatial Files (ESRI shape files, KML, and MapInfo), Web Data Connectors, and ODat.


If you are a student, faculty member, or staff of the University of Kentucky, you have access to a free 14-day trial of Tableau Desktop premium version. This is available through Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics. Discover more information about Tableau Server and Super Users at the University of Kentucky. Furthermore, if you are a faculty member teaching a course or conducting noncommercial academic research you can request a free year-long license to the Academic suite which includes Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep, and Tableau Online. For more information and to request a license visit Tableau for Teaching. Students are eligible for a free one-year license to activate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep. To request a student license visit Tableau for Students.




Tell the story of your data. Flourish can be used to animate visualizations and provide explanation.


Note! Free Package includes: Core templates (maps, charts, etc); Unlimited public views; Embed projects on your site; Create stories and presentations; Save images for offline use; Mobile and tablet friendly.



Palladio was developed by Humanities + Design, a research lab at Stanford University, through a NEH Implementation Grant (July 2013-June 2016). Their goal was to understand design for graphical interfaces based on humanistic inquiry. Your tabular data can be visualized in a map view, graph view, list view, and gallery view. Upload your tabular data to the Palladio interface and refine it, visualize it, and save it on your computer as a Palladio Project. The saved Palladio Project will be a .json file and includes the schema and structure required to visualize your data in Palladio the next time you visit. For more information about Humanities + Design's tool developments check out Open Source Tools for Research.



is a programming language and open source software environment for statistical computing and graphics. Supported by the R Foundation, R provides a variety of statistical and graphical techniques. R can be extended easily through packages and through the CRAN family of internet sites. R excels in providing publication-quality plots including mathematical symbols and formulae.



D3.js (Data-Driven Documents) is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. D3 helps you bring data to life using HTML, SVG, and CSS. D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework, combining powerful visualization components and a data-driven approach to Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation. See the wide range of visualizations in the D3 Gallery. D3 requires some familiarity with JavaScript and may present a steep learning curve for some.
The University of Kentucky is a participating institution in the Kentucky Statewide Esri Postsecondary Site License Agreement. Through this license agreement, Esri Geographic Information System (GIS) software products are available to UK faculty, registered students, and staff for teaching, research, or restricted administrative purposes.


ArcGIS Online

Part of the Esri Geospatial Cloud, ArcGIS Online enables you to create maps by dropping in your spreadsheet and mashing it up with other location data included in ArcGIS Online. You can also share your maps with anyone, anywhere and work collaboratively to build maps and apps. With ArcGIS Online you are able to add context to your data by combining it with Esri’s demographic and lifestyle data.



ArcGIS Pro

Part of the Esri Geospatial Cloud, ArcGIS Pro is Esri’s single desktop GIS application. ArcGIS Pro supports data visualization, advanced analysis and authoritative data maintenance in both 2D and 3D. ArcGIS Pro is tightly coupled with the ArcGIS platform supporting data sharing across ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise through Web GIS.



Story Maps

Esri Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content.



is a free and open source Geographic Information System. You can visualize, manage, edit, analyze data, and compose printable maps.



is a geotemporal exhibit-builder that allows you to create complex maps, image annotations, and narrative sequences from Omeka collections of archives and artifacts, and to connect your maps and narratives with timelines. Neatline lets you create interactive stories as interpretive expressions of a single document or a whole archival or cultural heritage collection. You can import these documents (georeferenced historical maps, manuscripts, high-res photographs, etc.) from an existing collection, or create a new digital archive, yourself.



is a free tool to help you tell stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events.


Google My Maps

is a free tool to create and share custom maps.

Google Sites

is a free website builder. This tool can be used to design and organize your site as well as share administrative and/or editing privileges for collaborative sites. Google Analytics can be used to track usage. If you don't have one already, you'll need to create a Google account first.



is a free website builder. Initially, most widely known as a blogging tool, WordPress has become a very popular tool for creating websites of all kinds including those of a scholarly nature. To utilize a broader menu of features, pricing plans are available.



is a free, open-source, web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits.



is a free, open source publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required. Scalar also gives authors tools to structure essay- and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing, including nested, recursive, and non-linear formats. The platform also supports collaborative authoring and reader commentary.


is a free, stable tool to help you tell stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events. Northwestern University's Knight Lab created and hosts StoryMapJS in their development environment. StoryMap JS can pull in media from a variety of sources. Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Google Maps, Wikipedia, SoundCloud, Document Cloud and more.




is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet. Experts can use their JSON skills to create custom installations, while keeping TimelineJS's core functionality. Created by Northwestern University's Knight Lab.




is a free tool that helps storytellers compare two pieces of similar media, including photos, and GIFs. It’s ideal for highlighting then/now stories that explain slow changes over time (growth of a city skyline, regrowth of a forest, etc.) or before/after stories that show the impact of single dramatic events (natural disasters, protests, wars, etc.). Created by Northwestern University's Knight Lab.




is a free tool that can add emotion or context to a story by embedding inline audio to your story. The audio is not isolated; it plays right under the text you choose. Created by Northwestern University's Knight Lab.
  • Examples
  • Help
  • Screencast: Soundcite (This video will walk you through the basics of creating a Soundcite clip. Note that the visual style of the Soundcite page has changed since this video was made, but the basic steps have not.)


Adobe Audition

is a toolset that includes multitrack, waveform, and spectral display for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff of the University of Kentucky, you can download Adobe Audition for free. Go to UK Software Downloads and login with your linkblue credentials.



is a free tool you can use to create podcasts. Anchor boasts unlimited storage, 100% free, and connection to several sharing and distributing tools.



is a free, open source, cross-platform audio software. It is a multi-track audio editor and recorder.




is a video discussion platform and reflection tool. You can post topics and questions and invite replies. You can also record, upload, view, react, and respond to each other's short videos. Flip can be embedded in a Learning Management System (LMS) or website.


Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

is a set of applications and services that gives subscribers access to a collection of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, along with a set of mobile applications and also some optional cloud services.


If you are a student, faculty member, or staff of the University of Kentucky, you can download Adobe Creative Cloud for free. Go to UK Software Downloads and login with your linkblue credentials.

  • YouTube (search Adobe Creative Cloud)



is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. You don't need to write any code to create a simple story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript when you're ready. Twine publishes directly to HTML, so you can post your work nearly anywhere. Anything you create with it is completely free to use any way you like, including for commercial purposes.

Oxygen XML Editor

provides a comprehensive suite of XML authoring and development tools. It is designed to accommodate a large number of users, ranging from beginners to XML experts. It is available on multiple platforms, all major operating systems, and as a standalone application or an Eclipse plug-in. You can use Oxygen XML Editor in conjunction with all XML-based technologies and it includes a large variety of powerful tools for creating, editing, and publishing XML documents.


is a web-based text reading and analysis environment. It is a scholarly project that is designed to facilitate reading and interpretive practices for digital humanities students and scholars as well as for the general public. Voyant Tools is an open-source project and the code is available through GitHub.


HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) Analytics

supports large-scale computational analysis of the works in the HathiTrust Digital Library to facilitate non-profit and educational research. HTRC Analytics includes:
  • Extracted Features: An unrestricted dataset of metadata and word counts for each page in the HathiTrust Digital Library.
  • Text Analysis Algorithms: Web-based, click-and-run tools that perform computational text analysis on worksets, which are user-created collections of volumes. No programming required.
  • Data Capsules: Secure virtual environments for non-consumptive text analysis, where researchers can implement their own data analysis and visualization tools.
  • More about HTRC Analytics


The Distant Reader

is a system which locally harvests/caches content you specify. It then transforms the content into plain text, performs sets of natural language processing & text mining against the text, saves the results in a number of formats, reduces the whole to a cross-platform database file, queries the database thus summarizing the collection, zips the results of the entire process into a single file, and makes the file available to you for further investigation.



is an open source, Java-based package for statistical natural language processing, document classification, clustering, topic modeling, information extraction, and other machine learning applications to text. Some knowledge of Java code needed.



is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R. It includes a console, syntax-highlighting editor that supports direct code execution, as well as tools for plotting, history, debugging and workspace management. RStudio Desktop, open source edition, is free and can be downloaded to your computer. R has a strong online support community, but the learning curve is steep for beginning programmers.


is a game development platform for creating 2D and 3D games and simulations. Familiarity with 3D concepts and basic programming skills are helpful. Other similar game development software include Unreal Engine and Source game engine. The following are free versions of Unity.
  • Unity Personal: A free version of Unity for beginners. Does not include additional support, training and services. Available to use if your revenue or funding (raised or self-funded) does not exceed $100K per year.
  • Unity for Students: Students who are using Unity outside the classroom to build or refine their skills are welcome to download the free and fully-featured Unity Personal.
  • Unity for Educators: The Unity License Grant Program offers free Unity Education Edition Licenses to qualifying not-for-profit academic institutions and educational programs in support of their in-class instruction. Educators are welcome to apply on behalf of their institution. Applications are reviewed by Unity representatives and approved based on institutional eligibility.
  • Explore Unity features



is web-based, modeling software for drawing in 3D. SketchUp Free runs in your web browser (nothing to download), provides 10GB of cloud storage, and includes an app to view 3D models on your mobile device. SketchUp Free can import SKP, JPG, PNG file types and export SKP, PNG, STL file types. Through SketchUp Free you also have access to user-generated and manufacturer-produced models to give your projects context and life.



is a free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports 3D modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, and video editing and game creation.



is a web framework for building virtual reality (VR) experiences. A-Frame is based on top of HTML, making it simple to get started. As an independent open source project, A-Frame has grown to be one of the largest VR communities.


Innovation Center

Supported by the College of Engineering, the Innovation Center is located on the second floor of the Ralph G. Anderson Building. The Innovation Center offers 13 3D printers, a laser cutter, a drill press, a band saw and various power tools. Students currently use the space for class assignments, team competitions and even develop products for their businesses. Open to all students from any major.

Students who wish to gain access to the training page should email


Engineering Prototype and Invention Center (EPIC)

Supported by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the EPIC Lab is located on the fifth floor of F. Paul Anderson Tower. The lab includes the LPKF rapid PCB prototyping system which, combined with a pick and place system, allows for rapid PCB prototyping and assembly. EPIC also offers a circuit rework station with soldering equipment, design and testing equipment with quality oscilloscopes, multimeters, power supplies, function generators and high-end 3D printers, including a dual independent head Makergear M3. Open to all students from any major.

Students who wish to gain access to the training page should email