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Digital Humanities: Tools


DH projects can manifest in many forms and there are many tools that are utilized for DH work. This page is dedicated to common tools that are often used in DH, though it is not exhaustive. Many librarians at Newman use these tools and we can help experiment, consult with, and train others in these tools. It is important to note that not all of these tools are open-source but Virginia Tech may have support or a subscription to a tool. Contact Corinne Guimont ( for more details on these tools. Open-source or free tools are marked with two asterisks (**),  tools that have free trials are marked with one asterisk (*), and subscription tools are unmarked.

3-D Modeling

Blender (2002, developed by the Blender Foundation): free and open source 3D creation suite**

Creator (2007, developed by Presagis): industry standard for 3D simulation models*

Maya (developed by Autodesk): 3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software provides an integrated, powerful toolset.

MudBox (developed by Autodesk): digital painting and sculpting software

SketchUp (developed by Trimble Inc.): 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications*


Adobe Creative Cloud (2011, developed by Adobe Systems): subscription software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography

Audacity (2000, developed by Audacity): free, open source, cross-platform audio software**

Camtasia (2002, developed by TechSmith): screen recorder and video editing software

ChucK (2003, developed by Ge Wang): an open-source programming language for real-time sound synthesis and music creation**

GIMP (1996, developed by the GIMP Development Team): an open-source cross-platform image editor**

MAX (2018, developed by Cycling '74): a visual programming language for the specialized needs of artists, educators, and researchers working with audio, visual media, and physical computing.

Processing (2001, developed by Casey Reas and Ben Fry): open-source software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts**

PureData (1996, developed by Miller Puckette): open-source visual programming language for multimedia**

Code Editors

Sublime Text (2008, developed by Sublime HQ Pty Ltd): a text editor for code, markup and prose*

Net Beans (1996, developed by Apache Software Foundation, Oracle Corporation):  integrated development environment (IDE) for Java**

NotePad++ (2003, developed by Don Ho): free source code editor**

MS Visual Studio (1997, developed by Microsoft): integrated development environment (IDE) used to develop computer programs, websites, web apps, web services and mobile apps*


Cytoscape (2002, Institute for Systems Biology): open source software platform for visualizing complex networks and integrating these with any type of attribute data**

D3 (2011, developed by Mike Bostock): a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data**

GapMinder (2007): non-profit venture registered in Stockholm, Sweden, that promotes sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels

Gephi (2008, developed by Mathieu Bastian and others): open-source network analysis and visualization software package**

OpenRefine (2010, developed by Freebase and Google): open source desktop application for data cleanup and transformation to other formats**

Tableau (2003): a software company that produces interactive data visualization products

Tabula (developed by Manuel Aristarán, Mike Tigas and Jeremy B. Merrill): open-source tool for liberating data tables locked inside PDF files**

Textexture (2012, developed by Nodus Labs): visualize any text as a network*

Walrus (2001, developed by Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis): interactively visualizing large directed graphs in three-dimensional space**

Vintage Data Visualization: 35 Examples from Before the Digital Era. (2 April 2013) Inspire(d) Magazine.


ArcGIS at VT (1999, developed by Esri):  Virginia Tech's subscription to the ArcGIS software, a geographic information system for working with maps and geographic information

Blender (2002, developed by the Blender Foundation): free and open source 3D creation suite**

Carto (2011, developed by CARTODB Inc.): a cloud computing platform that provides GIS and web mapping tools for display in a web browser

GeoCommons (developed by GeoIQ): a community contributed collection of open data from around the world**

Kartograph (2012, developed by Gregor Aisch): framework for creating beautiful, interactive vector maps**

OpenStreetMap (2004, developed by the OpenStreetMap Foundation): a map of the world, created by by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world**

Palladio (2013, developed by the Humanities + Design at Stanford University): visualize complex historical data with ease**

StoryMap JS (developed by the Northwestern University Knight Lab): free tool to help you tell stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events

TimeLine JS (developed by the Northwestern University Knight Lab): open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines

Stanford Spatial History Project  is a collaborative community of scholars to engage in creative spatial, textual and visual analysis to further research in the humanities


DH Toychest (2013, curated by Alan Liu): Guides, tools, and other resources for practical work in the digital humanities by researchers, teachers, and students.**

DiRT Directory (developed by Project Bamboo): a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use**

Programming Historian (2012, created by the Editorial Board of the Programming Historian): a collection of novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate research and teaching**


Docker (2013, developed by Docker Inc.): computer program that performs operating-system-level virtualization, also known as "containerization"**

OpenRefine (2010, developed by Freebase and Google): open source desktop application for data cleanup and transformation to other formats**

Tropy (2017, developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University): open-source desktop knowledge organization application to manage and describe photographs of research materials**

Zotero (2006, developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University): open-source reference management software to manage bibliographic data and related research materials**


Archive-It (2006, developed by the Internet Archive): a subscription web archiving service created for larger organizations

Heritrix (2004, developed by the Internet Archive): a web crawler designed for web archiving**

Wayback Machine (2001, developed by the Internet Archive): a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet**

Webrecorder (2016, developed by Rhizome Inc.): a web archiving service anyone can use for free to save web page**


GitBook (2014): online documentation platform*

Murkutu (2007, developed by the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University): free, mobile, and open source platform built with indigenous communities to manage and share digital cultural heritage**

PressBooks (developed by Hugh McGuire): book writing software that lets you create a book in all the formats you need to publish**

Omeka (2008, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media(CHNM) at George Mason University): a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits**

Reclaim Hosting (2013, developed by Tim Owens and Jim Groom): provides educators and institutions with an easy way to offer their students domains and web hosting that they own and control 

Scalar (developed by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture): open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online**

Sigil (2009, developed by Strahinja Marković): a multi-platform EPUB ebook Editor**

VT Publishing (Virginia Tech University Libraries): VT Publishing is the scholarly publishing hub of Virginia Tech.**

WordPress (VT) (Virginia Tech University Libraries): Virginia Tech’s production instance of WordPress, open to anyone at Virginia Tech to make their own blog**

WordPress (General) (2003, developed by the WordPress Foundation): open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app**


AntConc (2014, developed by Anthony Laurence): freeware corpus analysis toolkit for concordancing and text analysis

From the Page (developed by FromThePage): collaborative transcriptions

Hypothesis (developed by the Hypothesis Project): an online tool for annotating the web**

Juxta (developed by JuxtaCommons): a tool that allows you to compare and collate versions of the same textual work**

Lexos (developed by the  Lexomics Research Group at Wheaton College): a web-based tool to help you explore your favorite corpus of digitized texts**

oXygen (developed by SyncRO Soft Ltd.): suite of XML authoring, editing, and development tools*

R Studio (2011, developed by RStudio, Inc.): open-source integrated development environment for R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics

TextGrid (2006, developed by the TextGrid Consortium): services and tools to create, manage and edit your XML-based research data**

Tapas (TEI) (2013, developed by  theTAPAS Project): provide TEI publishing and repository services at low cost to those who lack institutional resources: faculty, students, librarians, archivists, teachers, and anyone else with TEI data who wants to store, share, and publish it**

Voyant (2003, developed by Stéfan Sinclair & Geoffrey Rockwel): a web-based reading and analysis environment for digital texts**