Approaching Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Public Sphere

How should we handle crowdsourced knowledge that may be inaccurate or misrepresentative? What do we do when technology can fabricate sources that don’t actually exist? In 2006, historian Roy Rosenzweig wrote cautiously, but with some optimism, that history could be crowdsourced through sites like Wikipedia.  He notes that one of Wikipedia’s most exciting features is… Continue reading Approaching Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Public Sphere

Historical Mapping with Kepler.gl

Kepler.gl lets researchers, as the website says, “render large datasets quickly and efficiently.”  Indeed, this open-source software lets the user drag and drop large datasets, apply filters, and apply layers to view the data through points (to mark specific locations) or arcs and lines to track movement.  The tool lets the user create geospatial visualizations… Continue reading Historical Mapping with Kepler.gl

What Historians Can Do with Voyant Tools

Voyant Tools is a set of digital tools that enable researchers to explore and interpret texts in new ways.  Its opensource, web-based application has five main features: 1. Cirrus – The word cloud feature enlarges and centrally positions the words that occur most frequently in a corpus.  It includes a collocation visualization that shows how… Continue reading What Historians Can Do with Voyant Tools

Metadata Matters

This blog explores the importance of metadata and Topy’s capacity to collect metadata for sources photographed by the researcher. Metadata is descriptive information about a source that allows us to locate it in databases. It provides context for the resource and makes it discoverable. For more on metadata, watch Greer Martinand Anna Neatrour, “Using Metadata to… Continue reading Metadata Matters

Database Review of America: History and Life

America: History and Life (AHL), which is available through George Mason University and many other colleges and universities in the U.S., was one of my favorite databases when I was a graduate student in the late 1990s. I read book reviews and journal articles and their abstracts, as I compiled historiographies and studied for qualifying… Continue reading Database Review of America: History and Life

Digitization: What We See

Digitization is the “conversion of an analogue signal or code into a digital signal or code.”[1] The creation of digital representations of historical and cultural documents and artifacts is now commonplace in public history institutions. In an effort to better understand how objects are rendered, I digitized items in my kitchen using photography and video:… Continue reading Digitization: What We See

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