Category: Reading Summaries

Changes in Digital History

Digital history is still a relatively new field that has evolved greatly during its growth. One key change that comes in many forms is that historians have had to learn to accept the good with the bad when it comes to online resources. Blevins describes some of the main “uses” of digital history: archiving, digitizing, and creating collections. However, this contrasts with what he described as the main goal of history, which is to make arguments. While historians have greater goals for digital history, its reality is more of a source material than a platform for arguments. Dr. McClurken also make a good point regarding the availability of online sources. While have the ability to access more material without having to drive to larger library and archive resources in D.C. and Washington is nice, many things are not accessible. They may only be partially released, there may be a cost associated, or the source may be contained in way that makes finding the desired content difficult. There is also the fact the reality available material (Wikipedia) is not necessarily a desired or reliable source. However, this technical “bad” can also be put to good use. One professor used it as a way to teach his students how history can be created on a public forum. While relyign fully on Wikipedia to understand material may be a bad idea, it can be used as an effective way to demonstrate how history is formed. Another professor believe it is important to know how Wikipedia works. Telling students not to use it does not really teach them anything, but instead can be used to explain parts of history instead of trying to site a historical fact. Digital history is fresh, but still growing. It is giving history a way to grow, to reform, a way to make it something more than an archive. For every bit a growth, there is a backlash that historians have to deal with. Historians must learn how to make lemonade out of lemons when the digital world gives them trouble.

A Individual Review of Digital Resources

A Individual Review of Digital Resources

Looking at the two sources that utilized Omeka, one on events at the national mall and one on people,I was very interested in the use of cataloging sources.

I like how its an good way to keep information in one area, sort of like Zotero with lots of details for the things that we find. For certain projects I believe they can be very useful. Specifically, for my groups project, I am not sure that it will useful for our final product as we were planning on focusing on videos so Okema will probably be better for the group maintaining our personal archive rather than one to publish with the project.

For the Rosenzweig portion, I looked at a cite on the Civil War. It contained many documents related to the Civil War. I liked how it was split between primary documents and scholarly articles so that users can have an easier time finding their desired resources. Again, I believe it presented documents in an interesting way, similar to the Omeka cites, but I don’t know how well it fits with the goal my group had originally made regarding the project.

For the Digital History projects I reviewed a slavery timeline/map and a virtual tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I found both of these very interesting. The map showed the spread of slavery in the US and used a color code system to show the concentration of slavery in different cities as well. I found this visually simple, but very impactful. I also liked how you could hover over cities and it would give you the specific information cities and percentages of free versus slave. There is a lot of information available in such an easy format. The virtual tourĀ  fits the most with the project the most out of all the sources I viewed. I utilized photos, videos, and audio. I think it would be interesting to incorporate aspects of their project into ours. Although our main goal is to create a 360 tour, I think a video walking through the museum with music from the time period could be an interesting introduction to the museum and then the tour would go more in depth with individual artifacts.

The digital review I looked at was for an app that shows historical sites. Users can look for museums and historical sites in their area and it gives a brief description of the site. I really like this a method to find good historical sites area you. In some places, it feels like you get bombarded with pamphlets about historical sites or sometimes, there are some sites that aren’t as well known. This app would help people better sort through the sites around them and find potentially new and interesting places. If it is not already on there, I believe it would be good to add the James Monroe Museum to it to draw more people to the cite.