Digital Humanities

We are in an era that a communication revolution has taken place and it is changing the way we do historical scholarship and teaching. Because the medium is still so new in comparison to traditional modes of communication, and the technology is still rapidly changing, historians have only just begun to explore what history looks like in the digital medium. DH to me is an approach to examining and representing the past that works with the new communication technologies of the computer, the internet, and software systems. DH is to digitize the past, it is a way to create a framework through the technology for people to experience, read, and follow an argument about a major historical problem. Digitizing history requires interdisciplinary collaboration, cooperative initiatives that involve historians, programmers, information architects, designers, and publishers. According to Lisa Spiro’s in, the steps to do digital humanities are as followed:

  • Determining goal and finding motivation
  • Becoming familiar with digital humanities
  • Being involved in the digital humanities community
  • Staying informed
  • Seek inspiration in examples
  • Pursue training
  • Collaborate
  • Plan a pilot project
  • Adapt/adopt existing tools where possible.

Although, she specifically refers to digital humanities (DH), but I think these step do apply to any digital project in any discipline. Any digital project requires a goal, I have talked about this step in my previous blogs, (Designing History III: Plan of Attack). The next three steps that she lists I think are the core of any project. The more familiar you are with the subject of a project more effective you can design the project to convey the intended information. By being involved you can identify the type of audience, which is one the most important web design principles. And by staying informed and pursuing ongoing training you would always convey recent and more relevant information to the audience.



Filed under Weekly Blogs

2 responses to “Digital Humanities

  1. Knowing your audience is definitely key to a successful digital history project. Rosenzweig and Cohen point out that the format in which you display the data is of great importance not only for the comfort of the audience but for finding more abundance of history. For instance, using blackberry correspondence is great for gathering info. on traders in the stock market as they often use this product.


  2. That is a good point. Digitization is not a singular process. Rather is encompasses multiple disciplines and fields. In order to be successful, historians will have to collaborate in their efforts to ensure that digitization is done properly. Otherwise, we risk losing important sources because historians fail to transfer them into digital formats.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s