Doing Digital History: First Glance

On a base level, I am taking this class because it is required for my Heritage and Museum Studies major. However, I am also taking this class because I think it is important for anyone involved in history.

We are living in a digital age. Modern history is dependent on technology with much of our news being shared online and through social media. Our culture is heavily influenced by online trends such as viral video challenges, celebrity tweets, or memes. Learning how to connect technology and history will be key for recording and analyzing current events.

Another major part of digital history is the databases and collections now being stored online. Many museums and libraries are using technology to store scans and transcriptions of their materials. A historian has much to gain from knowing how to work with these databases and produce quality records.

This is where our PEAK (Pivotal Experience in Applied Knowledge) project comes into play. For our project we are working with marriage licenses, genealogy websites, census records, and other digital research tools. This will give us practical experience in doing digital history that can be applied to future projects. Knowing how to use online genealogy tools for example, is a skill that would apply to many different history projects.

This is why I am taking this class: I want to develop the skills necessary in digital history so that I am prepared for future projects and can take full advantage of the technology available to us.

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