Photographs, primary documents and personal recollections offer important glimpses, but one digital history site specifically wants to understand how it sounded.
by Charley Binkow Images of war surround us today. We see high-definition photographs and videos of violence on our televisions, smartphones, and laptops almost constantly. But what was living through war like when people didn’t have instant videos or photographs? George Mason University’s Virginia Civil War Archive gives us a glimpse into the American media’s […]
by Henry Wiencek Roughly 12 million Africans were forcibly transported to Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Americas. It’s hard to conceptualize so many men and women being uprooted from their homes. But Emory University’s Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database helps users understand the vast proportions of this perverse exodus. The site pieces together historical data […]
by Charley Binkow How does a nation fight a war of ideas? When the battlefield is popular opinion, how does a state arm itself? In 1949, the United States found its answer. Their weapon: the airwaves. The CIA launched Radio Free Europe in 1949 with the hopes of encouraging Eastern Europeans to defect from the […]
But let’s be honest, it’s impossible to study the past without feeling something. Confusion, fascination, excitement—this is what motivates historians to spend their days poring over obscure manuscripts.
by Charley Binkow With Russian troops on the ground in Crimea, Ukraine, it’s tempting to see parallels with Soviet invasions of the past. As the unique and pressing situation in the Ukraine develops, can historians look to history for guidance? Central European University’s Open Society Archives gives us a window into a similar invasion in Hungary […]
In the study of history, it’s easy to fall back on national identities: “Irish music,” an “English accent,” “American Exceptionalism” are just a few examples. But a closer examination of the local cultures—music, dialects, history—that exist within nations demonstrates how misleading those generalizations can be. Just look through one of the British Library’s “Sound Maps” and you’ll be convinced.
February is Black History month. It is a time for remembrance and reflection for all Americans, but for Historians it is also a rich period for study and research. iTunes U, the academic branch of Apple’s iTunes store, is featuring a vast collection of first-hand oral histories, interviews, and lectures on the extensive history of African Americans.
Traditional maps can portray people and places at certain moments, but they do not capture the dynamism of movement and change over time. And historical texts can describe change over time but lack the visual element that makes it possible to see the multiple dimensions of change at once.
Millions of tweets and millions of state documents. Intimate oral histories and international radio addresses. Ancient pottery and yesterday’s memes. Historians have access to this immense store of online material for doing research, but what else can we do with it? In Spring 2018, graduate students in the Public and Digital History Seminar at UT […]