Eliza Baylies Wheaton in her youth

Students majoring in non-science disciplines often have little exposure to computational thinking and working with computer code.  At the same time, digital methods of analysis exert growing influence on the practice of many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.  The Wheaton College Digital History Project seeks to bridge this gap using tools from the field of digital humanities.

Project goals:
  • Teaching historical methods through transcription and markup of primary sources with TEI*-conformable XML**
  • Making hidden collections accessible
  • Encouraging collaborative research and pedagogy
  • Exploring the intersections of history and digital media

For a summary of the project and its contexts over the past ten years, see our article Discipline-Specific Learning and Collaboration in the Wheaton College Digital History Project. We report on our long-term collaborations, the development of the TEI Archiving, Publication, and Access Project as a site for publishing our students’ work, and ideas for laboratory sessions for teaching students TEI as a new phase of the project.

*Text Encoding Initiative
**eXtensible Markup Language

WCDHP Timeline


Students in History 302, Junior Colloquium (Methods for History Majors), worked in pairs to transcribe and mark up page spreads from the day book of Laban Morey Wheaton.

Students in History 233, U.S. Women, 1790-1890, transcribed and marked up the first issue of Rushlight, the Wheaton literary magazine, which students of Wheaton Female Seminary published with the help of their instructor Lucy Larcom in 1855.


Students in First Year Seminar, History and Culture in the Digital Age, proofread and mark up page spreads from Eliza Baylies Wheaton’s pocket diaries


Students in First Year Seminar, History and Culture in the Digital Age, transcribes and marked up page spreads from the daybook

Students in History 233–U.S. Women, 1790-1890–transcribed page spreads from the daybook


Proof of concept for Encoding Historical Financial Records through meeting at Wheaton College, sponsored by Start-Up Grant from NEH Office of Digital Humanities

Poster on Encoding Historical Financial Records presented at DH 2011


Poster/demo on 1862 travel journal presented at DH2010

Students in History 302, the methods course for History majors, transcribed and marked up page spreads from the daybook and wrote about them for the History Engine


Poster on Encoding Financial Records presented at TEI Members Meeting

Students in History 302 began to transcribe and markup page spreads from Laban Morey Wheaton’s 1828-1865 daybook


Students proofread and copyedited Eliza B. Wheaton diaries and travel journal


Students began to digitize ephemera from 1862 European journey undertaken by Eliza B. Wheaton, her husband Laban Morey Wheaton, and his cousin and business partner David E. Holman


Students transcribing and marking up pocket diaries and travel journal embarked independently on research in Norton, Massachusetts, cemeteries to learn more about the people mentioned in the texts


Students began to transcribe and markup pocket diaries of Eliza B. Wheaton, founder of Wheaton Female Seminary


Students in History 232, U.S. Women since 1869, transcribed and marked up Wood’s journal

Zeph Stickney identified journal of Maria E. Wood, music teacher and daughter of a Baptist minister, for transcription and markup by students

Workshops on TEI/EAD held at Wheaton College