Making ‘Big Data’ Human: Doing History in a Digital Age – Conference Programme

We are pleased to announce the final programme for the “Making ‘Big Data’ Human: Doing History in a Digital Age” conference, as set out below (updated 29/08/15). Registration for the conference is free but please sign up here if you would like to attend.

Graduate Student Travel Bursaries – A number of travel bursaries are available for graduate students who wish to attend this conference from outside Cambridge. If you would like to apply for a bursary towards the cost of your travel please email All applications should include your name, stage of research (e.g. MA, PhD), amount requested and a short summary of why you would like to attend the conference (max. 200 words). Receipts for travel expenses will need to be brought with you on the day of the conference and bursaries will be refunded after this date. 


Making ‘Big Data’ Human: Doing History in a Digital Age

Conference Programme

Alison Richard Building, University of Cambridge

9 September 2015


9.00               Registration and refreshments

9.30               Keynote – Big Data for Historical Research: from Hansard to the UK Web Archive

Jane Winters, Institute of Historical Research

10.30             Tea & Coffee

10.45             Panel Session 1 – Methodological Approaches to Big Data

                      Chair: Rachel Leow, University of Cambridge

“We have never been modem: towards a historisation of digital history”, Alexander von Lünen, University of Huddersfield

“The limits of Big Data for historical research – and how to overcome them”, Pim Huijnen, Utrecht University

“Researching the history of the WWW through web archives: thoughts on a methodology”, Richard Deswarte, University of East Anglia

“This is the future: a history of UK companies on the web”, Marta Musso, University of Cambridge


12.45             Lunch

13.30              The Casebooks Project – Digitising Elisabeth Hartwell’s Clumpers of Blood:                                                   CASE12702 and the Challenges of Digital Humanities 

Lauren Kassell and Michael Hawkins, Director and Technical Director, Casebooks Project, University of                        Cambridge

                      Chair: Leigh Denault, University of Cambridge

14.00             Panel Session 2 – Mapping, GIS and Data Visualisation

              Chair: Adam Crymble, University of Hertfordshire

“‘Stories as maps so far’: digitally visualising”, Karen Smyth, University of East Anglia

“Using text analysis and GIS to investigate the representation of public health in nineteenth century newspapers”, Catherine Porter, Lancaster University

“Long run regional economic development and population density in Imperial China (1776-1953)”, Cheng Yang, University of Cambridge

15.30             Tea & Coffee

15.45              Panel Session 3 – Big Data Case Studies: Social History and Public Policy

Chair: Lauren Kassell, University of Cambridge

“Detecting interdisciplinary practices in a corpus of PhD dissertations”, Federico Nanni, University of Bologna

“Digital History and family prosopography: a study of Irish immigrant families”, John Herson, Honorary Research Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University

16.45             Tea & Coffee

17.00             Roundtable and Plenary Session

17.45              Drinks Reception

19.00              Conference Dinner – Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0AA


Supported by the Digital Humanities Network and the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Organised by Doing History in Public

Faculty of History

Digital HumanitiesDHP

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