Explore your dissertation topic in a completely new way: Gale Digital scholar lab

Thursday 2 February 2023, 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Library Exhibitions and Events Space, Lancaster, Lancashire, United Kingdom, LA1 4YG

Open to

Postgraduates, Staff, Undergraduates


Free to attend - registration required

Event Details

Are you currently undertaking a dissertation project or beginning to consider what your dissertation could be?

This workshop will cover how the Gale Digital Scholar Lab can be utilised in dissertation projects and is open to all students who would like to find out more about the resource. It will be relevant for anyone from any department or degree programme considering using primary sources as part of their dissertation project.

Please register your place here.

Digital Humanities (DH) has long been described as the future of the humanities. Until quite recently, researchers with an interest in DH would not only need to spend significant amounts of time identifying, collecting, curating and preparing large data sets, but also need to have programming skills to develop tools or algorithms for analysing data at scale. Recently, tools and environments have been developed to provide the benefits and opportunities of DH without the need for investing significant time, or needing particular technical skills.

This session will introduce you to Gale Digital Scholar Lab – a leading platform for text and data mining historical primary documents, among other sources. Gale is best known as the publisher of significant digital archives like Times Digital Archive or Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), and Lancaster 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.

Learn to use Gale Digital Scholar Lab to explore your dissertation topic in a completely new way, gaining insight into your subject in a way that would be impossible or extremely difficult through close reading. This session will show you how you can quickly and efficiently examine documents through a new lens, enhancing your existing research and increasing your understanding.

By the end of the workshop you will:

  • Be able to access the Gale Digital Scholar Lab and understand how the resource can be used in dissertations.
  • Be in a position to get started with the Gale Digital Scholar Lab and understand the core tools within the resource.
  • Understand the benefits of data mining from a dissertation perspective, how text data is created from scanned images (OCR) and why you need to think critically about digital archives and OCR data.

The workshop will feaure case studies and testimonials from Lancaster researchers and students and a Q and A session. We encourage attendees to bring their laptop along with them to access the archive in the workshop.

Access the Gale Primary Source archive: View database (University members only)

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are documents (manuscript or printed) from particular historical periods, as opposed to "secondary sources" (e.g. books and articles) written at a later date about particular historical periods.

Among the many types of materials that may be primary sources are: letters, diaries, speeches, newspaper articles, autobiographies, oral histories, government documents, statistical data, maps, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, advertisements, and artefacts.


Contact Details

Name Tom Morley