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Historical Scholarship in the Digital Age

JAH Starts Podcasting

The Journal of American History launched their podcast, “JAHcast,” this week.  Their initial podcast features John Nieto-Phillips speaking with James Meriwether about his article, “‘Worth a Lot of Negro Votes’: Black Voters, Africa, and the 1960 Presidential Campaign.”  This is a good first step for the journal to provide open access to research — I’d love to see JAH add panels from their annual meetings and other discussions to their podcasting service rather than center the show on a single article.  But it’s good to see  the journal engaging new digital technologies.

(Thanks: Dan Cohen)

Filed under: History, Podcasts, , ,

The Mouse Turns 40

Seeing as how this blog deals with technology and history, I thought it appropriate to point out that the humble mouse turned forty today.

firstmouseunderside

Filed under: News, ,

Liveblogging: The Programming Historian

William J. Turkel, professor of history at the University of Western Ontario, is on the UNL campus today giving a talk titled, “Interactive, Ambient and Tangible Devices for Knowledge Mobilization.”

11:03 Following a brief introduction, Turkel described his talk as the exciting work he is currently undertaking, rather than presenting a published paper. Some of his current work stems from Geocoding photographs of the Chilcotin region , which was the focus of his dissertation. Turkel states that he sought to tell a story with no written archival record and tell an environmental history of an area over 300 million years.

11:05 As soon as he started searching for sources, he found thousands and thousands of sources including an interesting story of the people performing research extraction in the region. Turkel came to find every place as an Archive. Things come from a past that is progressively deeper. In his work, Turkel wants to consult the archival record while performing field work to better reconstruct the past with the present. Mostly historians have to take the field back to the archives, or vice versa, but it would be excellent to have the archival record with you in the field. Historians are able to do this via digital means. Turkel discusses instances where students digitized maps and documents and geocoded them so that they are usable with ArcGIS, so that this information could be used in the field. This is partially how Turkel involves people in digital history. Additionally, he notes that he put together a pilot project with area youth to get them involved with digital work in the field.

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Filed under: Academia, Conferences, Technology, , , , , , ,

What is Digital History?

Digital History is the use of digital tools including audio files, interactive maps, video, timelines, and textual analysis in the quest for historical understanding. Since the Web emerged in the mid-1990s, sites devoted to history have pervaded the proliferating public space. In 1997, Michael O’Malley and Roy Rosenzweig suggested of the Web that it would less likely present a radically new paradigm or way of thinking regarding history, but rather serve as a space with speedy access to existing resources.[1] At that time, O’Malley and Rosenzweig’s prediction seemed fair. However, an interesting and noticeable progression surfaced in history’s uses on the Web, beginning with rapid access to teaching materials, then to research, and finally to scholarship.

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Filed under: Research, Scholarship, , ,

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