Digital Humanities : Zotero and the research databases

Wednesday, 11 May, 2016 - 15:00

Keith Breckenridge

Zotero is an Open Source digital research platform developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University. The software and documentation, including video tutorials, is available at Zotero is a very powerful tool for gathering, analysing and sharing materials of all kinds, and it has been specifically developed to help scholars keep control of digital materials that can be found online. In my view it is vastly superior to the other tools on the market, most of which are not freely available.
The key features of Zotero include:

  • The ability to automatically harvest references from libraries, newspapers and online catalogues (including the South African National Archives repository)
  • Full text downloading and indexing of pdf files
  • Document types (like video, letter, manuscript) that match the research materials of humanities researchers
  • Tagging and infinite rich text annotation
  • Automated synchronisation and backup of data in the Internet Cloud
  • Very powerful collaboration amongst researchers

This is the first of a series of workshops on Zotero.  It will be held in the WISER seminar rooom.  If you would like to attend please ensure that:

1) you can access the Wits wifi network and that you have already downloaded and installed Zotero on the same laptop.  (Explained here:

2) you have signed up for an account on and set up that account on your laptop.   These are explained in these short videos.  (Signing up for an account :; Setting up sync-ing :

[[Lecture 1  -- Zotero Basics]]