Free

Introduction to Web Scraping with Wget

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Sussex Humanities Lab

Silverstone Building

Arts Road

Falmer

BN1 9RG

United Kingdom

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Getting started with WGet

Come join us on Wednesday 13 March for the third of our Digital Methods Open Workshops series, run by James Baker. James will teach you how to use Wget, a handy program for retrieving or ’scraping’ material from the web.

Starting with an introduction to scripting on your computer’s command line interface, you'll learn how to write short scripts that automate the bulk downloading of web pages. At the conclusion of the workshop, James will support you in trying to scrape a website of your choice.

Many of us know the feeling of returning to a cherished online resource, only to find it vanished. Web scraping gives you the option of creating your own local back-up copies. Web scraping can also open a lot of doors in Digital Humanities research: once you have your own copy of web data, you'll have more options for exploring that data, or for restructuring it in readiness for automated analysis.

In the same workshop, you'll learn about The Programming Historian, an online journal that publishes novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, and on whose lessons this workshop is based.

Who is the workshop aimed at?

The workshop is designed for anybody who is interested in working with web data, regardless of your level of experience. It's also a great foundational workshop for humanities researchers who are intrigued by digital methods, but not sure where to begin. Anyone can book a place – you don't have to be a staff member or student at Sussex.

With this primer on the command line interface and The Programming Historian, you'll also be well-placed to begin independent study in digital methods, and to acquire other skills useful for your research.

What do I need to bring?

You'll need an internet-connected laptop. To save time during the workshop, it will be handy if you can install Wget beforehand. If you run into any difficulties, SHL technicians will be in the lab from 2pm to lend a hand.

If you don't have a working laptop, get in touch with somebody at the Lab (Jo Walton, Andrew Salway, or Alex Peverett), and we'll see if we can organise one for you to borrow.

Do I need to have been to the other workshops in the series?

No, that's fine – this workshop functions as a standalone. If you are a relative newcomer to the digital humanities, this would be a good entry point.

And will I be able to go to the later workshops in the series, even if I can't make this one?

You will! Each workshop is a standalone.

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Sussex Humanities Lab

Silverstone Building

Arts Road

Falmer

BN1 9RG

United Kingdom

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