Week 14: The Future of History in the Digital Age

The digital age will continue to grow and thrive, however, this does not mean the traditional historian has to be forgotten. On the contrary, I find that among all this technology surrounding us, the “craft of the historian” should be even more embraced. Weller reminds us that, “the traditional historian has tended to be overlooked as digital history has become the buzz-word for avant-garde historical scholarship in the digital age.” The readings throughout the semester have made me appreciate the traditional historian because everything that digital history offers has been dealt with, for example, “dissemination and accuracy” – today there is a plethora of books that have been written and peer reviewed by historians. There is this notion that historians like to come at some sort of truth when approaching a certain topic but that’s not always the case. Like digital history, traditional historians have and will face challenges and these will become overcome milestones to only better the narrative.

What I really found useful for this class was the amount of links to valuable information that not only was useful for the course but for personal use as well. Being an active digital user on a daily basis, it was eye-opening to step back and learn what goes on “behind-the-scenes” – how it works and I honestly feel like I could never stop learning because things are changing right now. The digital field will never be static, it will always produce and contribute new things and as historians of any field I think it is really benefitting. I think the works become easier but tricky at the same time trying to keep up with the next new feature that comes out. What I mean by the works become easier is that the digital field offers so many advantageous resources such as the amount of digital information that now is readily available at any time anywhere. I think as traditional historians, we should become one with the digital world because we are constantly learning from one another – yes the digital world offers so much more and at certain times it becomes super overwhelming but I believe we still have so much more to learn from the tradition and field of history today.

Reference:

Weller, Toni. History in the Digital Age. London: Routledge, 2013.

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