Removing Barriers to Digital Scholarship

Together with libraries, Gale is poised to help colleges and universities launch, enhance or accelerate their digital scholarship programs. The Gale Digital Scholar Lab, was developed with participation from beta testers across a wide range of institutions and organizations, and is designed to transform the way scholars and students access and analyze Gale’s primary source content by offering solutions to some of the most common challenges facing researchers in the digital humanities today. By integrating an unmatched depth and breadth of digital primary source content with the most popular digital humanities tools, the Gale Digital Scholar Lab provides a new resource for exploring and teaching history and empowers researchers to generate world-altering conclusions and outcomes.

How the Lab Works

Creating a Content Set

Users build a corpus of documents that will provide the raw text data used to generate visualizations. Users can search across their library’s Gale Primary Sources holdings and select documents to add to their custom content set. 
A side-by-side view of optical character recognition (OCR) text and the original scanned document image helps users quickly determine if the OCR text will

Analyzing Content Sets

After creating a custom content set, users can analyze the data with the text-mining tools available in the Lab. Once the tool runs completely, users can interrogate the visualization and tabular data results to uncover patterns within their content set. Users can choose from six text-mining tools in the Lab, including Ngrams, Named Entity Recognition, Topic Modeling, Parts of Speech, Sentiment Analysis, and Clustering. Approachable descriptions of the tools are included in their results.

Managing and Sharing

Users review and manage their metadata, documents, analysis results, and search history for use in or outside of the Lab. They can also work iteratively with their content set to create versions of their analysis results. Users with advanced digital scholarship skills can export.

Look Inside

While creating a content set, users can view document scans side-by-side with OCR text allowing them to select documents more confidently.

With the Named Entity Recognition (NER) tool users can extract proper and common nouns from documents using a Parts of Speech tagging method, and output them as lists grouped by entity "type".


Users can review and manage their metadata, documents, analysis results, and search history for use in or outside of the Lab. They can also work iteratively with their content set to create versions of their analysis results.

Users can create a custom text cleaning configurations to optimize their results. Additionally, we have added non-English default starter lists to the text cleaning workflow. The language options made available to users align with known publication languages identified in Gale Primary Sources.

Which archives are available to use with Gale Digital Scholar Lab?

Reviews & Testimonials

“This innovative and fascinating platform is useful both for seasoned digital humanities researchers and others interested in experimenting in this emerging field. Librarians eager to steer patrons toward library collections will appreciate the opportunities for collaboration this tool provides. Finally, humanities professors will find it helpful for introducing students to textual analysis and digital literacy. Recommended particularly for large research institutions, especially those already invested in Gale Primary Sources.”
—Brian T. Sullivan, Library Journal

"The Digital Scholar Lab operates in a Cloud-based research environment, which provides libraries with valuable savings, but, maybe more importantly, the Digital Scholar Lab will encourage students and scholars to use library resources to complete projects. It is hard not to be excited about the possibilities opened up by digital humanities generally and by the Digital Scholar Lab in particular. The appeal to graduate students and scholars is obvious, but the Digital Scholar Lab also has the potential to make in-depth research accessible to undergraduates. Highly recommended for academic libraries."
—ARBA Staff Reviewer

"Digitization of archives and technology-based text analysis have changed the field of humanities research. Gale's Digital Scholar Lab works with a library's subscription to Gale Primary Sources, connecting students and scholars with easy-to-use tools to explore many angles of analysis. For libraries with a collection of Gale Primary Sources that support students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences."
— Susan Maguire

Answers from Gale's Expert Scholars

Wendy Kurtz, Ph.D., Hispanic Languages and Literatures, and Sarah Ketchley, Ph.D., Egyptology, serve as in-house scholars and advisors to Gale and its library partners. As Digital Humanities Specialists at Gale, they leverage their expertise and innovation in digital humanities research and teaching, and provide key insight to and from the scholarly community. Hear their thoughts on how Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab can fuel innovations in scholarship at your university.


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