Sabbatical in the rear-view mirror

Now that my sabbatical has officially ended, the summer begins. I’ll gradually share with the world all the wonderful digital discoveries from my Year of the Digital. Discoveries that have so engulfed my world that I’ve slighted the blog for several months. But a short teaser list will suffice for now.

What did I do over the past year+ of “me-time”? Why, I…

  1. Learned enough Python to become a danger to myself, and the historical community more generally.
  2. Learned enough QGIS (Geographical Information Systems) to visualize the fruition of my 25-year dream to map early modern military operations.
  3. Reacquainted myself with some of the gritty details of MS Access and relational databases. Because somebody’s gotta make a giant dataset of all those early modern wars.

Don’t worry, there are still plenty of digital skills/tools to work on, including learning graph databases and learning enough web tools to host custom databases and maps. And let’s not forget collecting the data to put in those digital tools. Digital history is the wave of the future, after all. Today.

But first on the list is to share my first (major) Python project with the world – code that will clean EEBO TCP text documents, making them easier to analyze with natural language processing (NLP) techniques. Coming soon…

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