1: The Text Deluge
The trend towards an increasing deluge of information raises the question posed by Gregory Crane in 2006: “What do you do with a million books?” “My answer to that question” wrote Tanya Clement and others in a 2008 article, “is that whatever you do, you don’t read them, because you can’t.”
Luckily, scholars need not adhere to traditional methods. Increasingly humanities scholars are adopting digital tools to analyze large quantities of data in new ways. New forms of analysis have emerged as computer processing has progressed, allowing greater maneuverability within large amounts of data. The same processing power of a mainframe computer a couple decades ago now fits inside an iPhone. In addition to processing technology, advancements have improved access to data and the speed and ease of transferring it. Text mining allows scholars to deal with this massive quantity of data–to draw out patterns that may not be visible to human readers.