Multilingual Research and Resources for DH

Multilingual DH challenges the traditional Anglocentrism of the Digital Humanities and is a fundamental part of DH endeavours everywhere.
Image by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash.

An important and continuous debate in DH revolves around the overwhelmingly Anglocentric nature of the field. Think about it: even before learning a programming language, you need to know English. However, this doesn't mean that all DH research is done in English or that there aren't any non-Anglophone researchers working on DH. Quite the contrary, Multilingual DH is a fundamental part of DH endeavours everywhere.

Multilingual DH projects and initiatives at McGill

We don't have to go too far to find amazing Multilingual DH projects. There are wonderful researchers engaging in DH from a multilingual perspective here at McGill. Want to learn more? Take a look at the wonderful work of our DH Affiliates. The examples below might inspire you.

Appraising Risk (The Indian Ocean World Centre at McGill)

Prof. Gwyn Campbell and the IOWC group explain: "As part of the IOWC's Partnership Project 'Appraising Risk,' members of the partnership are collecting data on past and present climatic and environmental changes in the Indian Ocean World, which will be added to a bespoke, geo-linked database (currently under construction). Ruishen Zhang, an Undergraduate Research Assistant working at the IOWC, collects data from official Chinese gazetteers on natural calamities during the 19th century, including epidemics, typhoons, and droughts. Following input of this data into our database, it will be displayed in digital historical maps, enabling comparisons and connections to be drawn across the vast Indian Ocean World, including across multiple linguistic and cultural zones." Learn more about Appraising Risk at

Travaux sur les arts du roman (Département de langue et littérature françaises)

Prof. Isabelle Daunais and a team of researchers from McGill and Université du Québec à Rimouski work on the project Travaux sur les arts du roman (TSAR), which includes the creation of an online bibliography on "novelists on the novel." Check out the online bibliography on the TSAR website

Laboratoire d’analyse des discours et des récits collectifs (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal)

Prof. Pascal Brissette and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal (CIRM) at McGill are organizing seven workshops (all in French) at the CIRM's Laboratoire d’analyse des discours et des récits collectifs (LADIREC). Check out the full program of their Winter/Spring 2022 workshops.

Canadian Consortium on Child & Youth Trauma (McGill & SSHRC)

Prof. Delphine Collin-Vézina is director of the newly established bilingual (English and French) Canadian Consortium on Child & Youth Trauma, which aims "to unify and enhance social responses to child and youth trauma through advancements in research, practice, policy, and law." Learn more about the Consortium at

Did you know...?

Our very own Dr. Cecily Raynor is a fervent advocate of Multilingual DH. She is Chair of the Multi-lingualism & Multi-culturalism Committee at ADHO and has worked on projects involving Spanish, Portuguese, French, and other languages. As part of these efforts, Dr. Raynor and her advisee, Lidia Ponce de la Vega, are working on the Spanish translation of the ADHO website.

You can learn more about Dr. Raynor's endeavours in Multilingual DH here:

  1. ADHO'S Multi-lingualism & Multi-Culturalism Committee
  2. "Embedding Multilingualism," Journal of Cultural Analytics
  3. "Traduire les humanités numériques: un projet pilote multilingue," GREN

Multilingual DH toolkit

If you too want to engage with DH research in languages other than English, the resources listed below might be of interest. There is a myriad of multilingual efforts and tools in DH that can aid your projects. The resources below are geared toward our context in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and focus mainly on Russian, Spanish, Italian, German, and East Asian languages, as well as initiatives in Canada. 

Resources and tools

If you are interested in working with DH in different languages, these resources and tools are for you:

  1. Multilingual Digital Humanities on GitHub and its NLP Resources
  2. Stanford University's Russian NLP for literature & history
  3. DH Japan's Tools for Japanese-language materials
  4. Tesseract (OCR software for multiple languages)
  5. The Archivo de Respuestas Emergencias de Puerto Rico (AREPR) and Michigan State University's Multilingual Omeka theme and Omeka modules (developed by Ivy Rose).

Associations and publications

Have you ever wanted to work on DH in multilingual environments? Would you like to publish in multilingual or non-Anglophone DH journals? We invite you to peruse the landscape of DH research outside of the realm of English by looking at these well-known DH associations and journals that engage with multilingual research and/or research in languages other than English:

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