chapter  1
Introduction: a critique of digital practices and research infrastructures
ByAgiatis Benardou, Erik Champion, Costis Dallas, Lorna M. Hughes
Pages 14

Digital Humanities might appear a recent phenomenon. Yet almost seventy years have gone by since Father Roberto Busa initiated his Digital Humanities project: the computer-assisted lemmatization of the complete Thomistic corpus (www.corpusthomisticum.org/). Although Busa first conceived of this project in 1946, it took him nearly four decades to realize it, leveraging the power of the digital computer as an ordering machine capable of processing and listing potentially infinite amounts of textual data. The development of the first computational analysis of archaeological materials, a numerical classification of Eurasian Bronze axes conducted by Jean-Claude Gardin and Peter Ihm in the late 1950s (Cowgill, 1967; Huggett, 2013) introduced a different aspect of computer-based research: one that brought to the fore the possibilities afforded by digital methods for dimension reduction, discovery and visualization of latent structures of complex data.