Approaches that utilize computational analysis and/or digital (digitized) data are now gaining traction in the study of book history and print culture (and in the humanities field in general). Projects that employ those computer-assisted methods are often called digital humanities (DH), although the term is loosely defined, and the boundary of DH is always debated. (But then, what humanities terms are not open to multiple interpretations and debates?)
While there are many methods and technologies involved, the following two are often used to digitally explore print culture and book history: text analysis and spacial humanities.
Digital Humanities Asia @ Stanford University: Residency program and DH initiative at Stanford University.
Digital Humanities jp (DHjp), a Japanese series on DH issues (in Japanese) is available electronically through Maruzen eBook Library. (WUSTL ID required for remote access).
While large corpora of digitized and OCRed (and sometimes already marked up) texts are readily available for Western languages (and to some extent for simplified, "modern" Chinese), converting original text to machine-readable full-text data has been a challenge for the study of East Asian books, particularly classical ones. The following are select examples of projects and software designed to aid the process.
Text mark up
Teach yourself to read