Software

Zotero – Citational software (open-source)

  • Zotero is a Firefox add-on.  This means that Zotero works within the Firefox browser.  You have to be online to first install it, but later on if you’re working on something you can still use Zotero within Firefox and be offline.  Download Firefox if you don’t have it already.  Then download Zotero AND the word processor plug-in.  The plug-in means that you can use Zotero within your word processing program, dragging and cropping citations and creating reference lists.  Zotero is a project from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Omeka – Digital archive (open-source and server)

  • Omeka is made for academics, museums, libraries, and archivists.  If you want to create a digital display of your project, Omeka provides you with a means to create a online display as easily as creating a blog.  Omeka also provides a server, that is, you can get a free website to host your digital project.

Scripto – Crowdsourcing documentary transcription (open-source)

  • Scripto is a tool that allows multiple contributors to transcribe documents, and it provides editorial tools to manage these public transcriptions.  What this means: Let’s say you have a bunch of scanned historical documents (things that are handwritten and you can’t search).  Others who are interested in reading those documents have access to them and type them up.   Everyone shares and contributes (ideally!)
DiRT – Digital Research Tools Wiki
  • This is a collaborative site to find digital research tools.  The collaborators describe it as: “This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively.  Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you’re looking for. We provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool’s features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers.”   This site is well-organized to help researchers find and explore the tools that they need.  If you’re someone who isn’t techno-friendly, you’ll still find this site VERY useful.

Scrivener – Word processing (and more!), extremely low-cost software (US$45) for Mac.

  • Scrivener is made to write articles, books and theses.  It allows the user to create a “binder” for the project, collating the chapter and sections, organizing primary documents, allowing you to write notecards on documents, integrating multimedia, providing split screens so you can write and view documents, and much more.  There’s a free trial period so you can try it out before paying a very low rate to buy it.
The UBC History Department also has a helpful list of software and websites for dissertation writing.

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