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Digital Art History: Tools - text

Inspired by the report, Transitioning to a Digital World: Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship, by Diane M. Zorich for the Kress Foundation and CHMN

What Are "Text" Tools?

Text-based tools can involve a number of functions. some of the most common include word frequency and/or density analysis, correlations, and word clouds.


Some projects involving text-related tools may include:

  • Brainstorming research topics
  •  Frequency analysis of certain words in an artist's written work (e.g. the words "pain" and "madness" in van Gogh's correspondence, trend analyses of art history publications)
  • Correlation analyses (the relationship between the words "life" and "art" in a given text)

Examples of Text Analysis Tool Usage

Some Tools

Text is Beautiful - This tool allows users to create word clouds, concept webs, and correlation wheels using text. This is a great tool for brainstorming, especially for research that involves more theoretical engagement.


Juxta - Juxta compares and collates multiple witnesses to a single textual work. This is especially useful for examining the history of a text over time. The desktop version also allows users to annotate Juxta-revealed comparisons and save the results.


Data for Research - After creating a free account, users can submit requests for mining and analyzing JSTOR content. By submitting a query, a user will receive a random sample of 1,000 of JSTOR's 4.6 million documents; more documents can be received by contacting JSTOR directly

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