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Week 13 Notes


April 14, 2015 by Adina Langer

Tonight marked our last discussion class.  We talked about the future of digital history: challenges and opportunities.  We also workshop-ed student exhibits for the Atlanta Rail Corridor Archive.  More detailed notes follow.

Digital History Class Notes Week Thirteen

April 14, 2015


4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • The Future of Digital History
    • Has technology transformed historical writing (and presentation) and if so, how?
      • Creators
        • Collaboration
        • Streamlining the writing process.
        • Nonlinear writing
          • Jumping from section to section
      • Products
        • Interactive online exhibits
          • User has some control over their experience
          • Changing temporal experience
        • Not just hard-copy
          • endless copies
        • Changing availability and presentation of sources
          • Changes our use of sources and expectations for readers/visitors
      • Processes (tools)
        • Email
        • Dropbox (file sharing)
      • Content
        • How do you make arguments non-linearly?
        • Constraints on entry have changed, even if your desire to tell a story hasn’t.
        • Making arguments— with multiple access points.
    • Is the digital turn in historical scholarship truly novel?
      • Is digital history inherently public history?
        • No— you can put a scholarly work online with open access, but if you don’t write it for a public audience, popular audiences probably won’t engage with it.
      • What are the possible futures for collaboration?
        • Academia still focused on the production of monographs
    • Publication futures
      • How did Writing History in the Digital Age encourage public comment on the book in progress?
      • What next for historical publishing?
        • Authors
        • Reviewers
        • Publishers
        • Libraries/repositories
    • Historical research
      • Big data
        • How will historians access the kind of “big data” collected by companies like Google and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?
          • Engage directly with private companies
          • Advocate for legislation to keep certain data in the public interest
          • LoC and Folklife Center trying to preserve digital culture.
        • What new research questions can/should emerge?
    • Audience
      • What roles should social media play in audience engagement?
      • How will historians find and engage audiences in the future?
    • Authenticity
      • What is an authentic resource in the digital age?
    • Material culture and metadataAudience
      • What roles should social media play in audience engagement?
      • How will historians find and engage audiences in the future?
    • Authenticity
    • Sustainability
    • Sustainability
      • How do we preserve the past?
        • Public vs. Private
      • Should historians serve as advocates for open access scholarship, university and government archiving of large cultural phenomena, such as social media?
        • Who do we talk to to advocate?
          • Start with the public– impress upon them the importance of saving cultural heritage.
    • Concluding thoughts
      • Technology changes so fast
      • Windows for writing history are smaller than they use to be.  Retrospection is challenging!


5:00 – 5:10

  • Break


5:10 – 5:20

  • Group check-in
    • Final assignment
      • Send bug reports!
      • Secure permissions and finalize images
        • New field in permission log letting me know that items are ready to go public.
      • Update items
      • Sign up for conference times
      • Annotated bibliography
        • Email or D2L/Brightspace
      • Grant narrative
        • Email or D2L/Brightspace
      • Final exhibit
        • Omeka Exhibit Builder
        • Neatline
      • Course Evaluations
        • Survey Monkey
      • Final presentation
        • Omeka, Prezi, Powerpoint
        • At the CURVE
        • 10 minutes each with 10-minute break and 10 minutes at the end for questions.
        • Will go in same order as conference sign-ups.


5:20 – 7:00

  • Exhibit workshops
  • Everyone will have 8 minutes
  • I will give everyone admin access for 1 week in order to enable peer review


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