To begin with I apologize for only posting this the night before class and as there are a number of articles the summaries are going to be brief.
The first article is How OCR Works, the article is about the history and use of Optical Character Recognition which in short is the use of technology (presently computer technology) to read human handwriting. The article goes over the advantages of the technology as well as its limitations notably how for historians specificity software reading an entire document as opposed to single pieces of information such like an address can tax the program.
The next article “Is digitizing Historical Texts a Bad idea” goes over the debate around the use of digital versions of documents. In the article the author puts forward the idea that a digital version can lose the interest of the reader as documents merge together. Additionally the article presents the idea that when presented as a digital document its place as a piece of history is harmed as opposed to a original document that shows its age and antiquated style.
Article number 3 is Digitisation’s most wanted, the article is about the most accessed articles in several digital libraries. What the author found is that the most popular searches were tied to somewhat random outside actions such as news articles and Facebook links.
Fourth on the list is It’s History Not a Viral Feed, this article is much more opinionated than the previous entries with the article attacking the idea of sites specifically @Historyinpics using historical material (in this case photographs) without proper citation and monetizing the images with a minimum of work done on their part.
The article that’s more than four but less than six on the list is the piece A protest Bot So Specific You Can’t Mistake it for Bullshit playing off a statement by singer Phil Ochs. The statement replacing bot with song was a dig at fellow musician Bob Dylan who in the opinion of Ochs was overly broad in his lyrics making his protest songs less impact. The article gives a quick intro to what a bot is which is a automated software program that can have a number of applications, the protest bot proposed in the article would highlight information related to whatever political cause the creator wanted.
Moving on is Slave Sales on Twitter, while shockingly not an online marketplace it is instead an article about an experiment run by a professor to show the frequency of slave sales in the antebellum south. To do this the author created a bot that tweeted every three minutes that a slave had been sold offering students a perspective on the extent of the slave trade. Additionally there is a defense of the bot against the accusation of trivializing history by stating that the experiment reiterates old information with current technology.
Next we have I Never the less am a Historian, the article is about the debate around the idea of black confederate soldiers and what the debate shows about public history in the digital age. The major theme is how individual prejudices are a major component of public history and how in the digital age the ease of posting information has lead to a wider debate in public history about who is a historian.
Second to last is The Historians Craft Popular Memory and Wikipedia about the impact of the worlds most successful online encyclopedia. Like the previous article it deals with the public’s ability to engage in the historical debate and how this spills over into wikipedia articles. Again the debate around formal training leads to the question of what one must do to be considered a historian.
At long last we have the final article Omeka in the Classroom. In the piece the issue shifts from the engagement of the public in history to the participation of historians in the field of digital history. Noting a lack of interest from students and as a result a lack of skill the article brings up how the historian of the future will need to work in the digital space and how the historians of the present have hesitation in joining the online community and how this will become more harmful to the study of history as time goes on.
- When critiquing digital copies of documents how realistic is it to expect access to original material
- What are acceptable practices when it comes to monetizing historical content
- What are some more positive examples of monetized history
- The value of a protest bot and how to convey information gathered by said bot
- Is there an ethical issue with slave sales on twitter
- What can twitter offer to the historian
- What are the risks of conveying historical opinions over 160 characters
- Who is or is not a historian
- What role does the institution play in qualifying oneself as a historian
- Should the historical community embrace Wikipedia and to what extent
- How to attract candidates to digital history
- Why is there hesitation toward digital history as a specialty