Using digital collections can be a daunting task. With hundreds of thousands of documents, unless you know what you’re looking for, an online archive can look like one giant blur. Calisphere’s collection on the California Gold Rush is a great collection that offers something to both archive experts and first timers.
by Henry Wiencek Ever wish you were actually there to experience a moment in history? What would it have been like to witness British soldiers marching into Concord? Or to hear the German bombers flying over London? The Virtual Paul’s Cross Project believes it can provide that very sensation—or at least approximate it. A group […]
by Charley Binkow For centuries Egypt has inspired awe in the West. From Napoleon to Anderson Cooper, westerners have found an intrinsic fascination with Egypt’s rich culture, history, art, and politics. Since they first arrived, Egypt’s visitors have tried to capture its incredible landscape and document its complex beauty. The Travelers in the Middle East […]
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 […]
History Professors Emilio Zamora, University of Texas, and Andrés Tijerina, Austin Community College, are co-directing the one-year project to increase the number of entries on Mexican Americans in Texas history in the Texas Handbook Online, the well-known and respected encyclopedia of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA).
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.
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.