Labs and Division Projects

The University of Chicago is home to several digital humanities projects and a thriving community of scholars devoted to digital studies. 

game changer

The Game Changer Chicago Design Lab

The Game Changer Chicago Design Lab (GCC) is an initiative in which youth collaborate with faculty and university students to create digital stories and games in order to explore health and social issues. GCC uses gameplay and game design to create youth-directed, problem-based, and collaborative learning opportunities and outcomes. GCC programs and workshops help youth hone skills in media literacy, critical inquiry, storytelling techniques, and game design. We use rapid prototyping, play testing, evaluation, and redesign to create games and projects informed by theories of change. 

Lab website   •   Ci3 Sexual and Reproductive Health   •  Director: Melissa Gilliam



The Chicago Text Lab

The Chicago Text Lab explores computational and quantitative approaches to the history of literary and cultural production, combining network analysis, natural language processing, and other social-scientific tools with traditional humanistic methods. Our projects span the past and present, and range across a number of regions and countries. Current projects include: global literary networkscomputational history of modernism, and the science of modern US Culture.

Lab website   •   Publications  •   Coordinators:  Hoyt Long  &  Richard Jean So



Cinemetrics Software Project

Cinemetrics tools not only let one record data to analyze movies as Yuri Tsivian did in his Intolerance study, but also publishes the gathered data on this website for everyone to access. This is a collaborative project. The more data users submit, the more will be available to them. This has grown into a movie dynamics database useful to everyone, so learn how to use the tools and go gather the data!

Cinemetrics website   •   Cinema and Media Studies  •   Coordinator: Yuri Tsivian  



Digitization of East Asian Scroll Paintings Project

Because of the rare and fragile nature of East Asian scroll paintings, they are rarely shown. They cannot be handled by the public or exposed to light for extended periods in exhibitions. With this limitation in mind, our center created this interactive site to simulate the experience of viewing handscrolls in ways that published photographs in books and projected slides cannot, and to make them more widely accessible for teaching and research.

Project website    •   Database   •   Coordinator: Katherine Tsiang



Florentia Illustrata

From the 12th to the 16th century, Florence was the site of some of the most important experiments in knowledge production and creativity that ultimately influenced the development of many aspects of modern Western culture. Between a proto- capitalist economy, political self-governance, and artistic and architectural revolution, Florence has produced a vast documentary record that is still largely extant and is unequaled by virtually any other European city.

Project website   •    Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz 



The ARTFL Project

The Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language (ARTFL) is a collaborative effort between the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and UChicago to provide researchers with digitized French texts and analytics tools. Its largest corpus, ARTFL-FRANTEXT, contains more than 3,000 works, and the project maintains several other databases and resources for French texts. Along with ARTFL's flagship database ARTFL-FRANTEXT, ARTFL members are also given access to a large variety of other Subscriber Databases

Project website    •    ARTFL Chicago Collection    •    Director: Robert Morrissey


The OCHRE Database

OCHRE is an Internet-based database management system that can be run from a link on a web browser on any device that supports Java. The front-end application provides tools for entering and managing data of all forms, and is backed by a high-performance XML database system hosted at the Digital Library Development Center at UChicago. All of the data associated with a research project can be integrated within this comprehensive and secure, yet highly accessible, environment.

Database website   •   Affiliated Projects    •    Senior staff: Miller Prosser


Hack Arts Lab (HAL)

The Hack Arts Lab (HAL) provides an open-access laboratory for creative digital fabrication and visualization. This makerspace-styled workshop is designed to support a breadth of activity ranging from undergraduate projects to faculty-led exploration. HAL resources include 3D printers, laser cutter, advanced graphics, and microcontroller workbenches, all offered at minimal cost. Our equipment and facilities are available to UChicago students, staff, and faculty for creative projects and teaching uses. We support the curricular needs of courses interested in digital fabrication and visualization, as well as self-directed projects.  

Lab website   •    UChicago Arts   •   Logan Media Center


Digital Humanities Forum

With support from the Division of the Humanities, this forum brings together faculty and graduate students from across the campus to discuss the latest in digital methods. Speakers come from both UChicago and outside the university to discuss state-of-the-art research in the field and to help begin a broader conversation about what the digital can bring to humanistic inquiry. The talks are open to the public and lunch is provided. More information can be found on the DHForum website.