History on the Internet

Crowdsourcing Old Maps Online

November 3, 2014

A little under a year ago the British Library released over a million images on Flickr Commons “for anyone to use, remix and repurpose”. This huge collection of historical images was “plucked from the pages” of digitized 17th, 18th and 19th century books automatically using the “Mechanical Curator,” created by the British Library Labs project. The library hoped that people […]

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Best Practices for Writing History on the Web

October 16, 2014

By Sean Kheraj As more of our reading moves from print to screens, learning how to write on the Web will become an increasingly important part of history writing skills. Just as we teach fundamental research and writing skills for print essays, we will likely begin to teach digital writing skills for the Web. Writing […]

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Graphic Environmentalism: An Interview with Comic Writer-Artist Steph Hill

October 9, 2014

Previous Active History posts (see here, here, and here) have examined the use of comics in telling – and interpreting – stories about the past. In this post, Ryan O’Connor (RO) interviews Steph Hill (SH), the writer-artist behind A Brief, Accurate Graphic History of the Environmental Movement (Mostly in Canada). RO: This is a really interesting […]

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Consider the Comments: Why Online Comments are Important for Public Historians

October 7, 2014

By Kaitlin Wainwright There are a few adages that go with comments on the Internet. Among them: “if you don’t have the energy to read something, you shouldn’t have the hubris to comment on it” and, simply put, “never read the comments.” It’s rare that comments and forums on the Internet are seen as something […]

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Feeling the City: Getting at the Historical Sights and Sounds of Downtown

October 6, 2014

Like most of us humans—80% in Canada, more than 50% worldwide—my home is in the city. And like so many urbanites, I take a whole range of day-to-day sensations for granted. The screech of garbage trucks, the overheard conversations on public transit; the smells of street food and exhaust; the sight of thousands of other […]

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The Future of the Library in the Digital Age? Worrying about Preserving our Knowledge

September 29, 2014

By Ian Milligan Yesterday afternoon, in the atrium of the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus, a packed room forewent what was likely the last nice weekend of summer to join Peter Mansbridge and guests for a discussion around “What’s the future of the library in the age of Google?” It was aired on CBC’s Cross […]

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Bringing the Legacy of Residential Schools into the Classroom

September 22, 2014

By Krista McCracken Teaching about an emotionally charged, important topic like residential schools can be daunting, especially if like many Canadians you weren’t exposed to residential schools in any great depth during your own education. My job includes the delivery of educational programming relating to residential schools.  This most commonly takes the form of historical […]

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Digital Approaches to 19th Century Globalization

August 11, 2014

By Jim Clifford The map below drew a lot of attention on Twitter when I posted it a few weeks ago in advance of a presentation I gave at an environmental history conference in early July. It was retweeted, not just by friends and fellow environmental historians, but also by Shawn Donnan, a World Trade Editor […]

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Where have all the censuses gone? A Problem with Digital Data

July 28, 2014

By Thomas Peace This post is a little late in coming, but hopefully it will be useful for those of us working in pre-twentieth century North American history or with online resources. About a year ago, I discovered that one of the most useful reference resources I use, Statistics Canada’s E-Stat tables of the Censuses […]

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Three Tools for the Web-Savvy Historian: Memento, Zotero, and WebCite

July 7, 2014

By Ian Milligan “Sorry, the page you were looking for is no longer available.” In everyday web browsing, a frustration. In recreating or retracing the steps of a scholarly paper, it’s a potential nightmare. Luckily, three tools exist that users should be using to properly cite, store, and retrieve web information – before it’s too […]

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