Editor’s Choice: Digital Public History — Bringing the Public Back In

“Digital historical culture” is part of the wider “digital culture” permeating our society through the Internet. The sociological concept of digital culture was developed by Manuel Castells[2] and Willard McCarty[3]. In Italy, Tito Orlandi theorized the emergence of a new Koine based on his further development of scientific and methodological concepts of humanities computing as web-based communication processes.[4] By contrast, the digital humanities provide methodologies and practices that, analogous to the sciences, are suitable for the humanities.[5] These practices and concepts are elaborated within the various disciplines.[6] Thus, after the digital turn, digital historians are confronted with new epistemological issues when analysing the past.[7] They plan exhibitions with memory institutions (libraries, archives, museums, and galleries) dedicated to presenting artefacts and documents ; they collect, preserve, and curate digitised and born digital documents for these institutions;[8] they create new tools and software to support their activities; they also use social media; following  the digital turn, moreover, they are not confined to analysing written materials, but also strive to devise new forms of text-mining for processing large amounts of data between “close and distant reading” activities .[9] Digitally connected historians do not perform their profession beyond the discipline: rather, they apply their methods, traditions, and skills to deal with primary sources in different contexts and to reconstruct the past using new types of narratives.[10] Technology facilitates what is still a recognizable history profession, although digital humanities technology is part of a new historian’s craft. Historians, that is, are involved deeply in technological transformations that affect the humanities as a whole.

Source: Digital Public History: bringing the public back in – Public History Weekly – BlogJournal for History and Civics Education

This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Amanda Regan based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Anu Paul, Silvia Stoyanova, Scott Paul McGinnis, Chris Loughnane, Myriam Mertens, Amanda Asmus, Andrew Piper, Federica Bressan, and Beth Knazook