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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
In this post, Ian Milligan introduces people to the Internet Archive, the Haithi Trust, and Google Books. Why should we have to travel to archival repositories, especially if they’re in an already convenient form like microfilm? Shouldn’t everybody have access to information, not just the select few who happen to have institutional affiliations? When it comes to access to information, we should be on an even playing field. Lay people interested in history, undergraduates, cash-strapped professional researchers, and all can benefit from several internet resources that put an incredible amount of information at your finger tips.
Listening to Our Past explores the rich cultural heritage of the people of Nunavut. The website was created by Nunavut Arctic College and l’Association des francophones du Nunavut. The site aims to present history recorded though oral traditions and oral histories told by Nunavut elders. The site is tri-lingual and material is available in English, French, and Inuktitut. When first… Read more »
We need to make sense of large quantities of information in order to do ‘big history’ and provide a context into which we can write our smaller studies. In this post, I’ll tell you what an ngram is, show some cool pictures, and hopefully drive you to have some fun with this.
This post discusses the potential uses of Twitter in the classroom, from the position of somebody who was once a skeptic.
In this post, I’ll explain to students how to install Zotero on their home computers. As a teaching assistant, I’ve found this to be the most useful technological skill that I’ve taught undergraduates – many have confirmed this by noting how they now use it.