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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


Timetable on the website

Mode of instruction

One-hour lecture followed by two-hour seminars.

Course Load

The course load of this course is 5 EC, which equals 140 hours.

  • time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 24 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature and homework exercises: 36

  • Final essay (including reading / research): 80

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, five “coding challenges” need to be submitted during the course, and all of these need to be marked as sufficient.


Blackboard is not used in this course. Alll information about the course will be made available via the course syllabus.

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, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not available.

Contact details

Media Studies student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;

Coordinator of studies: Mr. J. Donkers, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 1.02b.


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.