The Value of Digital Humanities

Past Examples of Digital Humanities Tools (Google N-Gram and Voyant)

Image result for google n-gramImage result for voyant

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2012/10/18/google-books-ngram-viewer-20/ 

 

 

Click on the side bar to see my past project using Google N-Gram and Voyant to help draw conclusions and anaylsis on the novel Dracula

 

Google N-Gram is a tool that allows users to see how often a term was used within a certain time period. This was helpful in seeing the progression of certain words during the time period when author Bram Stoker wrote the novel, Dracula. For example, throughout Dracula the main characters, especially Mina Harker, are motivated to keep diaries of their own personal experiences. In addition to sharing journals, written letters and works play a huge role in the plot of the novel. In my analysis, I specifically explore how during that time period typewritten documents are on the rise compare to the plateau of shorthand. This is important background information that I would not have known or understood without the use of Google N-Gram. In the end, typewritten documents prove to be more efficient in preserving the final draft of everyone's stories. Regardless, through the use of Google N-Gram one can clearly follow the progression of Dracula through accurate historical representation of how culture was changing in their time period with the introduction of the typewriter.

 

Voyant is another tool I utilized often in my exploration of Digital Humanities. Voyant is effective in searching any text (usually a longer piece works best such as a novel- in this case Dracula) for selected words of your choice. I used Voyant in my analysis of Dracula to further support my idea provided by Google N-Gram that the typewriter was becoming increasingly more popular than hand written works. For example, one sees the popularity of typewriters over written letters based on their appearances in the book; "typewrit" appears 19 times compare to 10 appearances of "short-hand". Thus, emphasizing once again that the time-saving invention of the typewriter was better suited for the changing time period.

 

Both of these sources helped me prove that the typewriter became increasingly popular because of the changing times. However, I can further analyze these facts to come up with a literary conclusion. Thus, I can prove communication plays a dominant role in the overall theme of the novel being that technology is crucial to how humans communicate. This is the major important content related point that these sources helped me reach.