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Digital Text and Data Processing


Admission requirements

This course is accessible to Book and Digital Media Studies students and BDMS exchange students. Auditors can occasionally be allowed after consulting the course coordinator.


The development of the digital textual medium has enabled agencies, companies and institutions to create, gather and store unprecedented amounts of textual data and metadata (data on data). Just as microscopes and telescopes widen the bandwidth of human perception, computer-aided forms of reading allow us to see things in these massive amounts of textual data that we could not see before because they were not ‘in the human bandwidth’. Thus computers affect what we may know and regard as knowledge. The availability of metadata fundamentally reshapes methodologies for classifying, searching and accessing texts and therefore leads to new systems for information retrieval. Moreover, metadata aggregation allows for completely new evaluative perspectives on the text-related industries and institutions. New types of text and related data available also significantly change (humanities) research methodologies and dissemination practices. Building on the first-semester introduction to the basics of digital text technologies, this course will provide a firm grounding in data processing technologies.The course will present advanced data processing techniques using various digital tools.

Course objectives


  • receive hands-on experience in textual data processing techniques

  • develop practical knowledge of data structures in the Python programming language

  • become acquainted with recent scholarly debates in the digital humanties

  • carry out out an individual research project, potentially as a preparation for an MA thesis within this field


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

One-hour lecture followed by two-hour seminars.

Assessment method


The final grade will be determined by:

  • An essay, which consists of (1) a description of the results of an individual research project and (2) a critical reflection on the techniques which are discussed during the course.

  • Next to this, four coding challenges need to be submitted during the course, and all of these need to be marked as sufficient.


The final mark is established by determining the weighted average of these three assessments

Inspection and feedback

How and when a paper review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the paper results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the paper results, an paper review will have to be organised.

Reading list

All reading materials will be announced via the course syllabus.


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office,e mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. P.A.F. Verhaar

Coordinator of Studies Media Studies


Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the lecturer can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice may be excluded from further participation.