UCDH | Digital Humanities Boilerplate
Creative Commons CC-BY

This site contains content that can be used as boilerplate to help with the development of digital humanities courses and programs. By sharing the material, and encouraging reuse of it, the intention is to help the writing process for others engaged in similar processes, and to foster further pedagogical development of the Digital Humanities. All site material, including the website itself, is available for download on the Remix page. A range of deployment models are presented on the Redeploy page for administrators interested in developing digital humanities programs at their universities or colleges.

Many other course designs and deployment options are of course possible. People interested in the Digital Humanities should also visit CenterNet and the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations (AHDO) to see the wide range of centers, pedagogies, tools, and methods currently under development. An excellent list of DH syllabi is maintained by the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, available at the CUNY Academic Commons. Get up to date on current Digital Humanities work and scholarship at Digital Humanities Now, Literary and Linguistic Computing, Digital Humanities Quarterly, the Journal of Digital Humanities, and Twitter.


During 2012, the University of Canterbury Digital Humanities Program was developed, reviewed by national and international experts, and transitioned through internal Faculty and University boards before being tabled at the New Zealand Vice-Chancellor's Committee on University Academic Programs (CUAP) and ratified by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). The program will be offered for the first time in 2014, in combination with further development of the UC CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquake Digital Archive.

It may be that the University of Canterbury digital humanities program is the most closely scrutinised example the digital humanities community have seen. The process required the development of document sets that were submitted for review by the University of Canterbury Faculty, Academic Advisory Committee, Academic Board, the New Zealand Vice-Chancellor’s Committee on University Academic Programs (CUAP), the New Zealand Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, and the Tertiary Education Commission. More than sixteen national and international reviewers, drawn from technology education, information science, computer science, high performance computing and the digital humanities also provided their opinions. The program represents a useful baseline for future digital humanities programs, and the lessons learned during its development are of importance to the broader digital humanities community. Although New Zealand universities operate with basically the same degree of independence in course and program development as universities elsewhere in the world, at the time of writing the requirement to submit all new programs to a national standards body is unusual, if not unique. This has resulted in a program that is embedded within both the culture of the University of Canterbury, and the national educational policies of New Zealand. It therefore comes with a higher degree of legitimacy, but also a complex set of stakeholders. Moreover, because of the close policy ties between New Zealand and Australia (in education as well as other areas) the program has implications for the Australasian region as a whole.


It can't be easy to review someone else's academic program, especially when you're only sent a few documents. I'm very grateful to the people who agreed to review the UCDH program, and responded with such positive and constructive feedback. The willingness of senior colleagues from around New Zealand and the world to support the development of DH in our country is both reflective of the DH community's remarkable spirit, and flattering to our small but growing team. Needless to say, it wasn't possible to incorporate all suggestions. The final shape and content of the program is in fundamental ways idiosyncratic, and remains the responsibility of the author. No doubt it will continue to evolve over time.

Particular thanks are due to Associate Professor Paul Millar, for establishing New Zealand's first Digital Humanities program and guiding the academic process.


  • Katherine Bode, Head and Senior Lecturer, Literary and Textual Studies, Digital Humanities Hub, Australian National University.
  • Julia Flanders, Director, Women's Writing Project and Associate Director for Textbase Development, Brown University.
  • Alan Liu, Chair and Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Harold Short, Professor of Humanities Computing, King's College London.
  • Melissa Terras, Director of UCL Center for Digital Humanities, University College London.
  • John Unsworth, Vice Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer, Brandeis University.

New Zealand

  • Stuart Charters, Senior Lecturer, Applied Computing, Lincoln University.
  • Vicki Compton, Research Director, Auckland UniServices Ltd, The University of Auckland.
  • Nick Jones, Co-Director of the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI).
  • Sydney Shep, Senior Lecturer, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington.

University of Canterbury

  • All UC College of Arts Heads of School.
  • Professor Lucy Johnston, Dean of Postgraduate Studies.
  • UC College of Arts Teaching and Learning Committee.
  • UC Department of English, Cinema and Digital Humanities.
  • Prof. Tim Bell, Deputy Head of Department, Computer Science and Software Engineering Department.
  • Prof. Phil Bones, Head of Department, Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Prof. Mark Billinghurst, Director, Hit Lab NZ.
  • Jill Durney, Manager, Macmillan Brown Library.
  • Assoc. Prof. Linda Jean Kenix, School of Social and Political Sciences.