Over the summer, I spent two weeks in Venice participating in a digital history workshop organized by Duke University and Venice International University. The objective of the workshop was to introduce participants to a variety of digital tools for historical research and presentation.
Has any single author had as massive an impact on history as William Shakespeare? For over four centuries, the works of the Bard have been read, analyzed, and performed all around the world. Keeping track of that massive history, let alone the history of Elizabethan/Jacobian England, is a monumental ambition. Luckily, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., has taken up the task. And even better: they’ve digitized their collection for the world to see.
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 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.
In a new age of digital powered skepticism, where anything “extraordinary” can be explained within seconds on a smartphone, there isn’t much room for magic. But the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin has brought us back to a time when the mystical unknown captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
How did slavery end in America? It’s a deceptively simple question—but it holds a very complicated answer. “Visualizing Emancipation” is a new digital project from the University of Richmond that maps the messy, regionally dispersed and violent process of ending slavery in America.