Digital Humanities Approaches to Popular Periodicals: Quantifying Reading Trends with Time Series Analysis

Project ID: 274

Cube proposed by: Peter McIsaac

Unit: LSA: Humanities

Cycle: MCubed 1.0

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About this project: 
This project uses distant reading and digital humanities techniques to study mainstream German periodicals between 1850 and 1918. Cheaper and more widely read than books, these periodicals shaped the thinking of broad segments of the population just when Germany was developing into one of the leading nations in Europe. Yet because of the tens of thousands of pages in just one periodical run, scholars today cannot possibly close read in the holistic fashion necessary to understand how people read the periodicals in the nineteenth century. The computer-based techniques to be employed range from the generation of index databases and the digitization of texts to programming, statistical analysis, and dynamic visualization of the data.