Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘digital archives’

Towards a Google of Archives – Archives Portal Europe

By Dr Marta Musso (@martamusso)

For Historical Archives, investing in digitisation is an extremely expensive, time consuming, and complex endeavour. It is well worth the effort, but it is fundamental to implement all the opportunities that digital technologies offer to archives. Since the beginning of the millennium, archives and cultural heritage institutions have started to reflect on the new challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital age. The guidelines created in 2002 by the International Council of Archives indicated full digitisation and online availability of archival material as the main objective for archives in the digital age. Now, even in a utopic world where archives had infinite budget and resources, this is a very long-term and ambitious goal – we are talking about millions, trillions of paper and analogue documents that need to be digitised and indexed online. At the same time, opening its heritage to everyone in the world is the goal of any archive; and for national and public archives it is part of their mandate.

Read more

World Digital Preservation Day Twitter Chat – 29 November, 12-2pm

We’re running a Twitter chat for this year’s World Digital Preservation Day on Thursday 29th November between 12 and 2pm (GMT). The chat will use the hashtag #WDPDhistory. Find us on Twitter @dhiptweets.

We’ll be talking about the importance of Digital Preservation for the study of the past. What does digital preservation look like to historians, archivists and other historical researchers? How does it fit with the digitisation agenda? What are your favourite digital sources, archives or resources? How are we preserving digital content today for the historians of the future?

Read more

Karl Marx 2.0

By Niccolò Serri

Niccolò Serri is a PhD student in Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge

A team based at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam has completed the digitisation of the Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels papers collection. Despite the almost indecipherable hand-writing of the father of modern socialism, this is great news for researchers and the general public alike.

The collection includes the sole remaining handwritten page of the original Communist Manifesto (1848) and Marx’s own copy of the first edition of Das Kapital (1967), as well as a wealth of letters displaying the lively exchange between socialist leaders and intellectuals of the late XIX century.

Read more

When is Research Worth it?

By Matthew Tibble

Matthew is an MPhil student in Early Modern History at the University of Cambridge. He is currently researching religious counsel during the mid-Tudor period.

I have been studying history for the better part of four years, yet it was only recently that I managed to fulfil the archetypal ambition of making an original ‘discovery’. Like so much of modern historical research, it began by persistently trawling through online resources, flicking through digital facsimile images of countless early printed works, and noticing a small peculiarity. Laurence Saunders, a clergyman who died on 8th February 1555, had purportedly written a book that described in great detail the trial of two Protestant martyrs, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, who had later been burned at the stake by Mary I. The trial is known to have taken place in October, eight months after Laurence Saunders’ death, inherently undermining his contention that, ‘I was there presente at the doing of thys…and heard al for the most part with mine eares’.[1] Read more

The DPL of A: The New Knowledge Commonwealth

By Louise Moschetta, @LouiseMoschetta

Since the 1990s, in the early days of internet and the final demise of the floppy disk, new notions of knowledge have been hashed out on a global stage. With the dial-up sound (for those nostalgic for a slower, more complicated age, click here) came the possibility of an exchange of knowledge and interconnectivity which had never quite been achieved before. And with this possibility arose ideas of openness, of transnational sharing in virtual form which simply could not be attainable in a material shape. Read more

Cambridge University Digital History Seminar: lesson 1, “The digital dark age?”

The Cambridge University Digital History Seminar has decided to make available online all the material discussed in class. We start from the first lesson, an introduction to digital sources by Marta Musso. The seminar was held at the History Faculty on the 28th of October, 2014.  The PDF with notes can be downloaded and used under CC restrictions. The author is available for any questions you might have: mm2015@cam.ac.uk

“The digital dark age? – Guidelines and perspectives of digital archives”

Musso_The digital Dark Age

Five Do’s and Don’ts for Using Digital Newspapers

By Nathaniel Zelinsky

Nathaniel Zelinsky is an MPhil student in Historical Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Digitized newspaper databases are an increasingly popular resource for young students of history. It is easy to understand their appeal to the “Google” generation: from the comfort of your own bedroom, you can access countless primary sources without going to a library. I personally use a lot of digitized newspapers in my MPhil thesis on Second World War propaganda. Unfortunately, I think too many professors, especially older ones, often point their students to newspaper databases without much practical advice.

This post contains my top five “do’s” and “don’ts” for first time users of digitized newspapers. This advice might be especially helpful for undergraduates or even high school students. Read more