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What is Digital Humanities? Benefits, Top Apps & Case Study

Krunal Shah

Sep 20, 2023

6 min readLast Updated Sep 20, 2023

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The advancement of Data Innovation and Digital Humanities has brought various changes to the Cultural Heritage domain. The Digital Humanities has become a dynamic and rich research field, with many new valuable opportunities continually prospering. Digital humanities uses digital technology and innovation to restore humanities like expressions, music, writing, history, and cultural heritage, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

The extent of the field is so gigantic, with such a lot of continuous exploration, that it is hard to display one definition. Comprehensively, it includes digitizing, examining, and presenting humanities content. These include the digital explanation of old texts, building digital libraries, digital planning of areas of social or authentic importance, data perception in legislative issues, and so on.

What is Digital Humanities?

Digital humanities is a scholarly discipline that combines digital technologies to preserve the humanities (cultural heritage), including literature, music, cultural scriptures, and more. As technology is ingressing every niche, it has transformed how scholars can conduct research and store their findings for other students and scholars to explore.

This concept has grown tremendously over the past 40 years. Initially, the digital humanities were about creating archives of old texts, artworks, language scriptures, and more.

6 Top Digital Humanities App

Following are the top 6 digital humanities apps:


NINS is a pioneering digital humanities application. It fills in as a virtual mine for cultural fans and specialists. This application boasts various cultural antiques, authentic reports, and intuitive presentations. Users can travel through time, investigating the many-sided embroidered artwork of humanity's history. NINS offers an easy-to-use interface, making it open to a vast crowd, from understudies to researchers.

2. Omeka

Omeka is an open-source content administration framework custom-fitted explicitly for cultural organizations, libraries, and files. It engages clients to arrange and share online presentations consistently. With Omeka, keepers can digitize and sort out assortments, making them open to a worldwide crowd. This application is priceless for scientists and teachers looking to draw in authentic materials.

3. Europeana

Europeana is a digital stage that makes the way for Europe's cultural heritage. It admits many things from European historical centers, exhibitions, libraries, and files. Whether you're keen on investigating traditional works of art, verifiable compositions, or rare photos, Europeana offers a different scope of cultural fortunes. It's a wonderful asset for anybody worried about submerging themselves in the rich history of Europe.


JSTOR is renowned for its massive assortment of academic diaries. However, it likewise houses an abundance of digitized essential source materials. Specialists and researchers continuously use JSTOR to access verifiable records, books, and articles. Its easy-to-understand interface and broad database make it a fundamental apparatus for anybody diving into the chronicles of human information.

5. Google Arts and Culture

Google Arts and Culture carries the world's cultural heritage to your fingertips. This application offers a vivid encounter with organizations traversing galleries and cultural foundations worldwide. Clients can leave on virtual voyages through famous galleries, look at high-goal pictures of art, and investigate instructive substance. Google Arts and Culture is an open and connecting stage, making art and culture available to a worldwide crowd.

6. Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

DPLA is a digital library that admits a broad assortment of materials from libraries, chronicles, and galleries across the US. It offers many assets, including photos, original copies, books, etc. DPLA is a significant asset for specialists, teachers, and interested people keen on American history and culture.

10 Benefits of Digital Humanities Apps

Following are the main benefits of digital humanities apps in preserving the cultural heritage, scriptures, and more:

1. Digital Preservation of Fragile Materials

One of the most significant advantages of digital humanities in cultural heritage preservation is digitizing and preserving fragile and deteriorating materials. Manuscripts, ancient texts, artworks, and photographs that would otherwise degrade over time can be meticulously digitized, ensuring their longevity. This digital archive safeguards these artifacts for future generations to study and appreciate.

2. Global Accessibility

Digital humanities break down geographical barriers, making cultural heritage accessible globally. Anyone with an internet connection can explore historical documents, artworks, and artifacts from the comfort of their own home. This accessibility democratizes knowledge and promotes a deeper understanding of diverse cultural heritages.

3. Data Preservation and Analysis

Digital humanities applications excel at preserving vast amounts of data, allowing researchers to analyze and interpret information more effectively. Advanced data analysis tools enable historians, archaeologists, and scholars to uncover hidden patterns and insights within cultural artifacts, enhancing our understanding of the past.

4. Interactivity and Engagement

Digital humanities apps often incorporate interactive elements, transforming passive observation into active engagement. Virtual museum tours, augmented reality exhibits, and multimedia presentations provide immersive experiences that captivate audiences of all ages. This engagement fosters a more profound connection with cultural heritage.

5. Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

Digital humanities encourage collaboration among scholars, institutions, and the public. Researchers worldwide can collaborate on digitization projects, pool resources, and share findings. Online forums, wikis, and collaborative platforms facilitate knowledge exchange, providing more comprehensive and accurate historical narratives.

6. Preservation of Oral Histories

Digital humanities also extend to preserving oral traditions and histories. Audio and video recordings capture the voices and stories of elders, preserving unique cultural insights that might otherwise be lost to time. These recordings enrich our understanding of diverse cultural heritages.

7. Enhanced Preservation of Endangered Languages

Many cultures are facing the extinction of their native languages. Digital humanities offer a lifeline by documenting and preserving these endangered languages through recordings and transcription. This linguistic preservation ensures that linguistic diversity remains part of our global heritage.

8. Crowdsourced Preservation

Crowdsourcing, enabled by digital platforms, allows individuals worldwide to contribute to cultural heritage preservation. Whether transcribing handwritten documents or identifying historical photographs, crowdsourcing harnesses the collective power of enthusiasts, significantly expediting preservation efforts.

9. Educational Outreach

Digital humanities apps are invaluable tools for educational institutions. They provide teachers and students with access to primary source materials, interactive lessons, and virtual field trips. This enhances the quality of education and fosters a lifelong appreciation for cultural heritage.

10. Adaptive Preservation

Digital formats allow for adaptive preservation strategies. As technology evolves, cultural heritage materials can be migrated to new platforms and formats, ensuring their continued accessibility and relevance for future generations.

Case Study of NINS

The reason behind developing NINS

The National Institute for Newman Studies has over 250,000 images of 19th and 20th-century letters, diaries, photos, music scores, and books. Still, they were kept in packed boxes and cupboards. Hence, they were not easily available to scholars and the public to read, explore, and learn more about John Henry Newman. The second challenge for the institute was how to make this digitized data available robustly for users and to have a way for scholars to keep adding digitized data.

How it is helping the users

NINS curators have their portal to upload scanned documents--images and metadata--with facilities to create well-organized and searchable collections related to St. John Henry Newman. Earlier, if they had done it manually, it would have taken them years to get all this data digitized.

The readers now have access to rare documents and data that were difficult to access previously.

Challenges associated with the development

The client presented several options based on existing solutions from other similar organizations, but pre-existing solutions did not meet all of their use-case scenarios. Hence, our team worked with Daniel and his team to combine all the required features in a single application.

1. We integrated an open-source editor for curators to upload documents and manage collections for public access.

2. We integrated OCR to convert uploaded images into searchable text to save time on manual data entry of transcriptions.

3. We integrated an open-source document viewer that utilizes the IIIF protocol for users to view and share digitized documents.

4. We integrated Elasticsearch to provide users with a seamless search experience as they browse over 40 terabytes of data.

How does Third Rock Techkno help in Digital Humanities Applications by providing custom software development services?

Third Rock Techkno plays a vital role in Digital Humanities Applications by offering custom software development services tailored to the specific needs of cultural institutions. They create user-friendly interfaces, advanced search and retrieval systems, and interactive features that engage and educate users effectively. Third Rock Techkno's expertise in digitization, data management, and preservation ensures the longevity of digital collections, safeguarding cultural heritage for future generations. Their scalable and adaptable solutions keep pace with evolving technologies and provide training and ongoing support to empower organizations in effectively utilizing their custom software.

In conclusion, digital humanities applications are essential allies in the ongoing quest to preserve and promote cultural heritage. Their ability to digitize, disseminate, and engage with cultural artifacts benefits researchers, educators, and the general public, ensuring that our rich and diverse heritage remains a vibrant and integral part of our shared human story.

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"Third Rock Techkno's work integrates complex frameworks and features to offer everything researchers need. They are open-minded and worked smoothly with the academic subject matter."

- Dr Daniel T. Michaels, NINS