Tag Archives: Digital History

Photographing History and a Desire to See the Past in the Present

By Kaitlin Wainwright At December’s public consultations on the new Museum of Canadian History, Sean Kheraj, an assistant professor of history at York University, made a comment that stuck with me: by commemorating moments in history we actually learn as much about our present as our past. In trying to see the past through a contemporary lens, we blur history… Read more »

Wikipedia and Warriors: Quickly Exploring Canada’s Wikipedia Past, 2003-Present

By Ian Milligan The 2009 Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, laid out – in the eyes of a diverse group of Canadian academics – a new vision for Canada (too many links to list, but some are here). A redefinition of Canada based upon war and conflict, with the military assuming a prominent role and the First… Read more »

DIY Public History: Cataloguing the Past With Omeka

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By Ian Milligan Do you have a unique collection in your basement that you wish you could share with others? An amazing shrine to your favourite sports team? A unique mason jar collection? Some military memorabilia? What if you could take pictures, catalogue it, and suddenly have a website that’s the equal of many professional museum websites? You can do… Read more »

What Counts as History in Toronto? Digitally Exploring Toronto’s Heritage Plaques

By Ian Milligan When professional historians think of heritage plaques, some have knee-jerk reactions (“dead white man history!”) while others may see it as an engaging way to bring people into contact with the past in places they might otherwise not. On a leisurely stroll through the city, I enjoy checking out the few plaques that I pass: learning about… Read more »

Introducing the History Slam Podcast: First Episode

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/History-Slam-Premier-Edition.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham Subscribe to the podcast (iTunes coming soon). As someone who studies the history of radio, it is a little embarrassing to admit that I spend just as much time listening to podcasts as I do the radio. For me, the ability to listen when I want, where I want, and on… Read more »

Was the Past a Happy Place?

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By Ian Milligan Was the past a happy place? Could we take a large array of information and learn whether there was an emotional content to it? I’ve been increasingly curious about how we can apply a host of tools that data miners are using on contemporary information to large repositories of historical information: could we learn something new from… Read more »

Illusionary Order: Cautionary Notes for Online Newspapers

By Ian Milligan Online digitized newspapers are great. If you have access (either through a free database or via a personal or library subscription), you can quickly find the information you need: a specific search for a last name might help you find ancestors, a search for a specific event can find historical context for it (i.e. the Christie Pits… Read more »

Revisiting Past Places: Google’s ‘Memories for the Future’ Project in Japan

Next month will mark one year since the people of Japan experienced a devastating series of natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami that hit parts of Japan on March 11, 2011, resulted in tremendous loss for the Japanese people. Many Japanese lost their lives while survivors lost homes, a sense of stability, and sense of place. Personal items and familiar… Read more »

Too Much Information: The Case for the Programming Historian

Depending on your vantage point, we have a looming opportunity – or a looming problem. Historical digital sources have reached a scale where they defy conventional analysis and now call out for computational analysis. The Internet Archive alone has 2.9 million texts, there are 2.6 million pages of historical newspapers archived at the Chronicling America site of the US Library… Read more »

Connecting Past, Present and Future: A Website Review of Stacey Zembrycki’s “Sharing Authority With Baba”

Internet sources can present challenges in the university classroom, but they also offer many new, exciting, creative learning opportunities. Rather than barring internet sources altogether, we should be teaching our students to engage critically with a range of sources, including the many great digital projects available online. One such example is Stacey Zembrycki’s website, “Sharing Authority With Baba: A Collaborative… Read more »