"..the rapid and remark- able rise of digital humanities as a term can be traced to a set of surprisingly specific circumstances. Unsworth, who was the founding director of the Institute for ad- vanced technology in the humanities at the University of Virginia for a decade.. has this to relate":
The real origin of that term [digital humanities] was in conversation with andrew McNeillie, the original acquiring editor for the Blackwell Companion to Digital Humanities. We started talking with him about that book project in 2001, in april, andby the end of November we’d lined up contributors and were discussing the title, for the contract. Ray [Siemens] wanted “a Companion to humanities Computing” as that was the term commonly used at that point; the editorial and marketing folks at Blackwell wanted “Companion to Digitized humanities.” I suggested “Companion to Digital humanities” to shift the emphasis away from simple digitization.
"Digital Humanities is a mode of inquiry and scholarship. It seeks to engage traditional questions using computational tools. It seeks to disseminate information in digital formats. And it engages questions of how reliance on computational tools shapes the questions asked and interpretations offered in the humanities".
With the rise of digital media and information systems, new technical forms of processing content have emerged. From the perspective of the humanities, this has given way to divergent interests and methodologies: On the one hand, developing digital tools for humanistic research allows one to look at content differently (e.g. distant reading). On the other hand, looking critically at technology in use allows one to deliver a cultural explanation of our by now ubiquitous digital techniques as demonstrated by software studies.