Networking Workshop

A workshop on visualising historical networks

James Tripp, Godwin Yeboah


February 21, 2022

Code on GitHub


I worked with Godwin to develop an introductory network analysis skills workshop. It was a great chance to work with rmarkdown’s render to github markdown option along with the rather superb references support via Zotero.

The workshop was delivered to faculty members from the History department at the University of Warwick. We used an existing dataset of quakers and carried out our analysis using Grapho - a tool I often used during my time at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies.

I spent a good period of time diving into the relevent literature and the papers which made the cut (rather good papers) are linked to below as well.


Do you want to learn a new skill as a historian? The Information and Digital Group Technology for Research (IDGT4R) team has been asked to lead an introductory practitioners’ approach on the applications of social networks as a complimentary 90-minute component to a composite session (Networks: A Skills Workshop). This practical part to be preceded by a talk from Kate Davidson (Sheffield) on Social Network Analysis from her article on Early Modern Social Networks: Antecedents, Opportunities, and Challenges in American Historical Review.


Ahnert, R., Ahnert, S. E., Coleman, C. N., & Weingart, S. B. (2020). The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities. Elements in Publishing and Book Culture.

Conroy, M. (2021). Networks, Maps, and Time: Visualizing Historical Networks Using Palladio. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 015(1).

Donnellan, L. (2019). Modeling the Rise of the City: Early Urban Networks in Southern Italy. Frontiers in Digital Humanities, 6.

Finegold, M., Otis, J., Shalizi, C., Shore, D., Wang, L., & Warren, C. (2016). Six Degrees of Francis Bacon: A Statistical Method for Reconstructing Large Historical Social Networks. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 10(3).

Grandjean, M. (2016). A social network analysis of Twitter: Mapping the digital humanities community. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 3(1), 1171458.

Jacomy, M., Venturini, T., Heymann, S., & Bastian, M. (2014). ForceAtlas2, a Continuous Graph Layout Algorithm for Handy Network Visualization Designed for the Gephi Software. PLOS ONE, 9(6), e98679.

Marres, N. (2015). Why Map Issues? On Controversy Analysis as a Digital Method. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 40(5), 655–686.

Ryan, Y. C., & Ahnert, S. E. (2021). The measure of the archive: The robustness of network analysis in early modern correspondence. Journal of Cultural Analytics, 6(3), 25943.

Tommaso, V., Jacomy, M., & Jensen, P. (2021). What do we see when we look at networks: Visual network analysis, relational ambiguity, and force-directed layouts. Big Data & Society, 8(1).

Venturini, T., Bounegru, L., Jacomy, M., & Gray, J. (2017). How to tell stories with networks: Exploring the narrative affordances of graphs with the Iliad. In The Datafied Society: Studying Culture through Data (pp. 155–170). Amsterdam University Press.