Tag Archives: Digital History

Is Google Home a History Calculator? Artificial Intelligence and the Fate of History

Sean Kheraj In their 2005 article in First Monday, Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig recount the story of a remarkably prescient colleague, Peter Stearns, who “proposed the idea of a history analog to the math calculator, a handheld device that would provide students with names and dates to use on exams—a Cliolator, he called it, a play on the… Read more »

History Slam Episode 102: Andrea Eidinger of Unwritten Histories

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/History-Slam-Episode-102-Andrea-Eidinger-of-Unwritten-Histories.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham It’s not exactly a hot take to say that the digital landscape has significantly altered the way in which we consume content. From text to video to audio, we can get (pretty much) everything on-demand. The benefit of this is that it’s possible to find whatever strikes your fancy, but the… Read more »

History Slam Episode One Hundred: History Five Years Later

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/History-Slam-Episode-100-History-Five-Years-Later.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham Five years ago, we had an idea to do a conversational podcast that looked at a wide variety of historical issues. 100 episodes later, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some outstanding people and having some terrific conversations. I’ve learned a lot along the way while also having a lot of… Read more »

History Slam Episode Ninety-Nine: Digital History Open House

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/History-Slam-Episode-99-Digital-History-Open-House.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham A new semester started for me yesterday as I’m teaching an introductory survey course this summer. Something was different when I walked into the room, though – there were no laptops or tablets. All the students had paper and pens and while some did use their phones to take photos of… Read more »

HExD: Changing Centennial Commemorations of the Halifax Explosion

By Claire Halstead It seems as though at every turn we are being reminded of Canada’s sesquicentennial: “Canada 150”. Not just reserved for commemorative events, the marketing of Canada’s anniversary has even been gobbled up by grocery stores. Atlantic Superstore, for instance, is cashing in by offering “Canada 150 deals” that advertise a variety of grocery goods for just $1.50…. Read more »

The Presence of the Past: The Possibilities of Virtual Reality for History

Sean Kheraj For the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about virtual reality and its potential applications for historians. Can we use virtual reality to better understand the past? Can the experience of virtual reality alter historical thinking? Can we now build time machines, teleporters, and holodecks using virtual reality? These questions may be overly optimistic or idealistic. I… Read more »

Video in the Classroom: Exploring the CBC Digital Archives

Andrea Eidinger Anyone who has searched the internet for videos to use while teaching Canadian history has run into one big problem: the overwhelming dominance of American media online. Adding “Canadian” or “Canada” to your Google search doesn’t necessarily solve this problem. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great Canadian videos, soundbites, and films available. You just have to know where… Read more »

Visualizing the Past: Mapping, GIS, and Teaching Historical Consciousness

By Sasha Mullally and Siobhan Hanratty In defining the new field of spatial history, Richard White makes the case that mapping can be more than a corollary to a historical narrative, it “is a means of doing research; it generates questions that might otherwise go unasked, it reveals historical relations that might otherwise go unnoticed, and it undermines, or substantiates,… Read more »

Reports from New Directions in Active History: Digitising Childhood Evacuation: A Serendipitous Pursuit of Active History

By Claire L. Halstead As historians, we are increasingly under pressure to make our research “active” and relate to a public audience. This spurs us to discover new methods of engagement and innovative ways to present our findings. The digital revolution or “turn” has encouraged historians not only to use sources available online, but also to adopt digital tools and… Read more »

Engaging the Past through a Community of Transcribers: The Rural Diary Archive

Erin Schuurs In September 2015, Professor Catharine Anne Wilson and the library at the University of Guelph, launched the Rural Diary Archive*, an online archive showcasing over 130 Ontario diarists writing from 1800 to 1960.  This digital archive collectively holds thousands of pages of handwritten diaries and the goal in placing these pages online is to engage volunteer transcribers. By… Read more »