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Data Sources

What can I do with this data?

New to data analysis? Some articles that may help:

Seven ways humanists are using computers to understand text  An introduction to text analysis.

What is GIS? An introduction to Geographic Information Systems. Also helpful, What is the Difference Between GIS and Geospatial?

MHC software

The following are software tools supported by the LITS Research and Instructional Support team.  

Text analysis

  • NVivo  NVivo is a qualitative data analysis computer software package. It allows analysis with text-based and/or multimedia information.
  • HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) Provides "an infrastructure to search, collect, analyze, and visualize the full text of nearly 3 million public domain works" in the HathiTrust Digital Library. We are members of HathiTrust, but you do need to create a login (free) to use the Research Center.  Keep in mind that the HTRC is a work in progress and we are still learning to use it, too.
  • JSTOR Data for Research (DFR) A new interface for JSTOR allows users to download statistical information describing their search results.  A useful introduction to how it works. Caveat: DFR is still in beta and we're still learning to use it, too.

Statistical analysis

  • R (installed on all public campus computers with RStudio and R Commander) The Up and Running with R video tutorial on offers a good introduction to using this software. See this page for information on using the MHC subscription to
  • SPSS (installed on all public campus computers) The SPSS Statistics Essentials Training video tutorial on offers a good introduction to using this software. See this page for information on using the MHC subscription to

  • Stata (installed on all public campus computers) A large collection of video tutorials on using Stata can be found on this page: Video Tutorials on Using Stata.
  • Also see this page for step-by-step instructions for using menu-driven commands in SPSS and Stata for many common statistical procedures.

Geospatial analysis

Free software

These tools are not officially supported by LITS, but you are welcome to try at your own risk.

Text Analysis

  • Text Analysis Portal for Research (TAPoR) A gateway to text analysis and visualization tools, offering links, reviews, and recommendations. Many of the tools reviewed are free.
  • Voyant One of the many tools listed on TAPoR, Voyant is good text analysis tool for beginners. It's web-based and offers integrated data visualizations. 
  • Google Ngram Viewer Graphs occurrences of words or phrases over range of years you select in the Google Books corpus of your choice.

Statistical Analysis

  • Digital Research Tools (DiRT) A registry of digital research tools for scholarly use. To find tools specifically for analyzing numerical data, try browsing the Analyze Data category. You can use the Cost drop-down menu to limit the results to only those tools available for free.

Geospatial Analysis

  • Digital Research Tools (DiRT) directory listing of tools tagged for Spatial Analysis.  Use the Cost drop-down menu to show only those tools available for free.
  • Google Earth Installed on college computers and freely available from Google. Allows visualization of geospatial data from the land and oceans of the earth as well as geospatial data from the Moon and Mars. The Pro version, freely available for individuals, includes data layers for demographics work and high resolution images.
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