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Digital Primary Sources

Seth Denbo, in a recent blog post (blog.historians.org/2016/05/googling-history-the-ahr-explores-implications-of-using-digital-sources-for-historians) for the American Historical Association (AHA), is asking for scholarly discussions around the impact of digitization of primary sources on the work of historians and history educators. The AHA has opened free access to an article in the April issue of the American Historical Review (AHR) to allow for more perspectives. Join in the conversation!

First, read Lara Putnam’s article in the AHR: “The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast.” She raises important points about how digital search engines and access to digitized content have transformed history research strategies and publications.

Then check out the AHA’s resources page for those interested in digital history: https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/digital-history-resources/resources-for-getting-started-in-digital-history. You can see some examples of digital history projects submitted by AHA members from 2015 and 2016 here.

You can participate also by submitting your favorite primary source archival collection in the AHA’s online webform: https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/digital-history-resources/digital-primary-sources.

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Posted May 19, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth

One Response to “Digital Primary Sources”

  1. Putnam’s article is really interesting – and I think deserves some conversation. As I read her article, both online and on paper, I was surprised that she did not raise the now very well documented gender bias that continues (and is enhanced by technologies allowing for easier access to quantitative data used in promotion/tenure or visibility in general about scholarly work). For example, she left out gender bias in citations: https://www.hastac.org/blogs/superadmin/2015/01/26/gender-bias-academe-annotated-bibliography-important-recent-studies. She also left out gender bias in student evaluation of teaching (which, of course, describes how historians are raising up their new scholars to replace them in the ranks) – http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2016/02/04/student-evaluations-of-teaching-gender-bias/.

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