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All Installation Instructions

Python (and Anaconda)

Anaconda is a distribution of Python. It provides a Python programming environment, the Jupyter notebook environment, and the conda package management system.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we are choosing to use and download Anaconda as it allow us to get all the required software for this institute (python, conda, and the Jupyter notebook environment) in a single download. Anaconda also includes many useful packages for machine learning, and data analysis that will be helpful should you choose to go further in your Python journey!.


Firefox is a free to download web browser built by the Mozilla Foundation, a non profit organization. Firefox allows users to access websites on the internet.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use Firefox because it works on Windows and Mac operating systems, it is frequently updated, and it values user privacy.

Natural Language Toolkit

NLTK stands for Natural Language Tool Kit, and it is an open source Python library for analyzing language data. It is used for Python programs that work with text in statistical natural language processing (NLP). In plain terms, NLTK allows users to work with collections of text to clean, categorize, and analyze that text. As such, it is an excellent tool for text analysis. ATTENTION: NLTK comes installed with the conda package managment system and may already be installed in your environment.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use NLTK because it is a rich library of natural language processing tools and datasets. It works very well with Python, allowing users to write powerful natural language processing programs with relatively short sections of code.

Git (and Git Bash)

Git is a version control software used to manage and track changes made to files and project folders over time. We will be installing it on our local machine and live on the hard drive on your laptop. Note that Git is a separate software than GitHub. Alternatively, GitHub is a web-based software that lives on the Internet. You can create an account at These instructions are for Git, not GitHub.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use Git because it is an open-source tool that was built to support individual version control needs as well as collaborations across time and space. In our curriculum, it is one of the foundational tools we teach because through understanding how Git works, we learn a lot more about how computers and different softwares work.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a text editor that allows us to write code in a variety of computational languages such as python, HTML, javascript, among others.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use Visual Studio Code because it supports syntax highlighting, it is free and built on open source, and it is consistent across Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.


QGIS is a program that you download onto your computer, which can be used to perform spatial operations (analyze and manipulate your data), and make composite maps.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use QGIS because it is free and open source, compared to many other tools available for macOS and Windows users.