As we write in the book, for most historical and humanistic research, you won’t need methods of analysis more complicated than contingency tables (which you can create easily with a spreadsheet editor), and perhaps a test such as the chi-squared test, which will help you interpret the tables (you can easily perform this test online). We strongly believe that the most important, interesting, and difficult task is to create good data: our book therefore focuses on the imputting and categorizing stages of this process. A straightforward descriptive analysis is then sufficient in many cases.
This book is intended for many different audiences. We hope that you will read it bit by bit, but return to it often. Here are some ideas on how to do it.
We also hope that you will read papers, books, tutorials, or blog entries afterwards: the book is not a self-contained object (even with its accompanying blog). It is an invitation to discover quantitative research that respects the core values of humanistic research – and is engaging! In this blog, we point you to our favorite papers/books cited in each chapter, so that you can plan further readings. Continue reading “How should I read this book?”
Of course we will value reviews in journals and your own feedback even more. But for now, we are lucky enough to be able to exhibit blurbs by colleagues whose work – and efforts to make quantification compatible with historical practice – we admire. Continue reading “Praise for the book by colleagues we admire”
This site is under construction! (and classically, it’s not coming out as fast as we had hoped – sorry for this!) We will regularly add new posts to the “How to” and “Good Reads” categories, so as to (hopefully) cover all methods addressed in the book. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to use comments if you want to send us feedback or you wishlist for the site.
This is the companion blog to the book Quantitative Methods in the Humanities. An Introduction, published by Claire Lemercier and Claire Zalc (University of Virginia Press, 2019). In the book, we explain why quantitative methods could become a useful addition to the historians’ and humanists’ toolkits and books of recipes. In this blog, we give you a more direct access to the actual tools and recipes thanks to tutorials, focuses on particularly interesting papers, pointers to software, and much more. Like the book, this blog is written for all historians and humanists, not specifically for those who consider themselves as “digital humanists” or quantifiers. Our aim is to make quantification accessible without mathematical formalism and to show that it can be useful beyond specific themes such as economic or demographic history. For now, this perhaps looks like a static website rather than a blog, because we have to put together the main pointers (further readings, tutorials, etc.). In the future, we’ll have actual blog posts commenting on new research, new tools, etc.