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Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship: Collections and Corpuses

Digital humanities services, tools, and selected bibliography from WSU librarians


Digital Humanities work, while not always, often relies on collections of text, images, or other media for analysis.  A collection of materials, related in format or subject, is often referred to as a "corpus" in DH work.  Identifying a corpus, or creating your own, is an important part of DH work.  This page offers some links and advcie for getting started identifying corpuses.

Wayne State University - Digital Collections

The Wayne State University Digital Collections, which contains digitized materials held by the Library, and increasingly archival materials from the Reuther Library, contain unique and valuable resources that can be used in DH work.

The Library is happy to help users interested in these materials with bulk access or API access where available.  Contact Digital Publishing at

Eloise Ramsey Collection of Literature for Young People

With 493 books and growing, this collection consists of children's book digitized here in house, and free of copyright restrictions.  All books are available in multiple formats, including PDF, HTML, and raw text.

Transcribed Correspondence Collections

We have a handful of collections with full-transcribed correspondence: Lincoln Letters, letters to and from former president Abraham Lincoln; Florence Nightingale Collection, letters written by Florence Nightingale; and the Van Riper Family Correspondence Collection, containing 78 letters written between 1836-1889 to members of the Van Riper family of Wayne County, Michigan. 

Newspaper and Serials

Detroit Sunday Journal

"The Detroit Sunday Journal was a weekly tabloid newspaper, published by striking union workers from the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The strike began in July, 1995; spanning four years and just over 200 editions, the Sunday Journal was published from November 19, 1995, through November 21, 1999."

Detroit Focus Quarterly

"The Detroit Focus Quarterly was published by Detroit Focus, a non-profit arts organization that supports art and artists in the Detroit area. The publication, published from 1982 to 1998, included interviews with artists, articles about the art scene and current issues, and listings of art exhibits."


Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a collection of freely available texts, in a variety of formats.  What makes Project Gutenberg particularly relevant for DH work, is that most texts are free of copyright concerns, and come in plain text formats, which are well suited for DH work.  A note from the Gutenberg website on copyright, "Our ebooks may be freely used in the United States because most are not protected by U.S. copyright law, usually because their copyrights have expired."

Trove - Digitized Newspapers

Part of the National Library of Australia, Trove contains digitized newspapers from Australia.

Chronicling America

A Library of Congress (LOC) project, Chronicling America contains thousands of digitized newspapers from around the US.