Tag Archives: Digital History

Exploring the Clash of Official and Vernacular Memory: The Great War in Brantford, Brant Country, and Six Nations

By Dr. Peter Farrugia and Evan J. Habkirk The American historian, John Bodnar has argued that “Public memory emerges from the intersection of official and vernacular cultural expressions.” Official memory in his conception is propagated by elites who attempt to advance their vision “…by promoting interpretations of past and present reality that reduce the power of competing interests that threaten… Read more »

The TPP and Public Domain Content in Canada

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By Jim Clifford Today in Canada you can legally distribute, download and create new editions of George Orwell’s 1984,  Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Vita Sackville-West’s Passenger to Teheran, Georges Lefebvre’s work on the French revolution, Ian Fleming’s Bond novels, Ernest Hemingway’s many short stories and novels, and for all the fans of the staples thesis, the works of Canadian political… Read more »

Research is Getting a Bit More Open: Good News for Historical Research in Canada

By Ian Milligan When we started up ActiveHistory.ca way back in 2009 (!), we did it with a pretty simple vision in mind: historians were producing good scholarship, but it was inaccessible. It was inaccessible for a few reasons: sometimes we don’t exactly write for a general audience (we’ve been guilty of dropping jargon around this site too, I know,… Read more »

Accessing Treasure Troves of Data: Empowering your own Research

By Ian Milligan This post is a bit technical. My goal is to explain technical concepts related to digital history so people can save time and not have to rely on experts. The worst thing that could happen to digital history is for knowledge to consolidate among a handful of experts. From the holdings of Library and Archives Canada, to… Read more »

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

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 Country Checkup on CBC Radio… Read more »

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

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 of Canada, 1665-1871 had been… Read more »

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

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 late and the material is… Read more »

Preserving History as it Happens: The Internet Archive and the Crimean Crisis

By Ian Milligan “Thirty goons break into your office and confiscate your computers, your hard drives, your files.. and with them, a big chunk of your institutional memory. Who you gonna call?” These were the words Bob Garfield used in a recent episode of On the Media, to address the storming of the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism. On Saturday, March… Read more »

Showing the human face of the humanities – the Humanities Matter Web Series and Bus Tour

Things aren’t looking very bright for the arts and humanities at the moment. In our current age of austerity, arts and humanities budgets are easy targets for spending reductions. In both the United States and Canada, politicians seem focused on cuts. During his 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney identified the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for… Read more »

Why Canada’s Open Data Initiative Matters to Historians

By Ian Milligan This post originally appeared on ianmilligan.ca. OK, you’re all forgiven: when you hear ‘open data,’ the first thing that springs to mind probably isn’t a historian (to some historians, it’s the first episode of the BBC show ‘Yes, Minister’). In general, you’d be right: most open data releases tend to do with scientific, technical, statistical, or other… Read more »