Doing Digital History as Method and Field

If digital history is both a field and a method, then, it is critical to teach students both — and, to do so simultaneously. Having students create a “digital space” they design, build, and make public is one way to go about this double lesson of theory and practice. The Montgomery County Public Library in Dayton, Ohio houses an immense and “pristinely” preserved collection of the Women’s Suffrage movement which dates back to the 1860s. The barely used material is a product of its location — little known and, some might say, remote…

What ways might new tools make the Suffrage Collection more accessible? First, with the construction of the new library building, the Montgomery County Public Library‘s archives will, starting in winter 2014, be out of commission. So, now is the time to think about how digital tools might become an antidote for out-of-reach material. And, second, from the standpoint of doing digital history, method and practice can come together in thinking about a “digital space” as a teaching resource. Such a space, built in  collaboration with students who are –to be sure– more comfortable (though not necessarily better prepared) with “new tech” than I am, then, stand in the center of digital history (as method and field).

Source: Doing Digital History as Method and Field

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