Fred Gibbs – Pioneering Data Hound

December 2010

Recent department graduate Fred Gibbs (Ph.D. 2009) and his George Mason University colleague Dan Cohen enjoyed having their recent research work as “pioneering data hounds” discussed in the New York Times.

Their project involves the charting of title words, such as ‘Science’ and ‘Christianity’, in all books printed in the English language in Victorian Era Britain, a task made possible through the resources of Google which has digitized nearly 1.7 million books.

In a December 3, 2010, online New York Times article titled “Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers,” the researchers indicated they “hoped that their work could serve as a model for how scholars might use the shopping cart of new digital tools to challenge longstanding assumptions and interpretations across the humanities.” For more information, visit

Fred Gibbs is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and Director of Digital Scholarship at the Center for History and New Media. Dan Cohen is the Director of the Center for History and New Media and an Associate Professor in the History and Art History Department at George Mason University.