The Promise of Digital History

Back in January of this year I mentioned in this space that I was participating in an online discussion on digital history for the Journal of American History. That discussion has just been published in the September 2008 issue under the title “The Promise of Digital History.” The discussion ended up being extremely wide-ranging, including research possibilities in the digital age, the future of scholarly communication, training, and teaching. I’m obviously biased since I’m one of the interlocutors, but I believe the article is the perfect introduction to digital history for those who are new to the subject, and it also includes some important debates about where the field is headed. The article is available online at the History Cooperative, which is, alas, gated. Open access is another topic discussed in the article; I hope the JAH will make the article freely available soon.

Many thanks to the seven other digital historians—Bill Turkel, Will Thomas, Amy Murrell Taylor, Patrick Gallagher, Michael Frisch, Kristen Sword, and Steven Mintz—who participated in such a lively exchange!


Kim Christen says:

Thanks for that link. You might also be interested in a take on OA issues from anthropologists–take a look at the recent article and comment press cite for Anthropology in/of Circulation

Dan Cohen says:

But I believe that transcript is gated (i.e., not available to those outside of universities with subscriptions to The History Cooperative).

Jon Olsen says:

I used this interchange just yesterday in my Digital History course and the grad students felt it gave them an excellent overview of the state of the field. They were particularly drawn to the sections regarding the implications of digital media for public historians.

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