Lancaster University Library Hosts Gale Digital Scholar Lab Workshops

A selection of historic Liberty magazine covers available as part of the Gale Digital Scholar Lab archive.
A selection of historic magazines available as part of the Gale Digital Scholar Lab archive.

On the 2nd of February Lancaster University Library hosted two workshops introducing staff, PGRs and undergraduate students to the Gale Digital Scholar Lab database.

Digital Humanities (DH) has long been described as the future of the humanities. Until recently, researchers with an interest in DH would have to spend significant amounts of time identifying, collecting, curating and preparing large data sets, in addition to needing programming skills to develop tools or algorithms to analyse this data.

Recently, tools such as the Gale Digital Scholar Lab have been developed to provide the benefits and opportunities of DH without the need for investing significant time or needing particular technical skills.

These two workshops introduced the Gale Digital Scholar Lab – a leading platform for text and data mining historical primary documents, among other sources. Lancaster University Library has a growing collection of Gale archives, from Archives of Sexuality and Gender and Slavery and Anti-Slavery to vast collections of historic newspapers, state documents and monographs.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab gives the ability to quickly and easily construct research projects to mine these materials at scale, and by doing so, encourages insight into a subject that would be impossible or extremely difficult through conventional means. Attendees at these workshops were taught how to build, clean and analyse texts at scale, and upload their own content, and discovered how the Lab can be used in classrooms to enable group projects and provide a new lens on topics.

University members can access the Gale Digital Scholarship Lab here.

Keep an eye on our Library events calendar and social media pages for information on future Gale Workshops.

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