Tag Archives: technology

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 »

Where’s the History? The absence of history on History Television

I love watching History Television! I’ve spent hours watching M*A*S*H with my father, and programs like Digging for the Truth are part of the reason I decided to get involved with public history and archaeology. But another part of me is sad to see History Television’s emphasis on ‘reality TV’ programming lately.

What Do You Want to Know (about history)? Wolfram Alpha and the Computational Knowledge Engine.

Wolfram Alpha lets users interact with over 10 trillion pieces of information curated by a large research team. You just type in what you want to know, the engine tries to figure out what you’re asking it, and you’re presented with a remarkable array of information (as well as ways to refine your subsequent searches). This has tremendous historical applications, both for teaching and for historical research.

“Universal Access to All Knowledge”: The Internet Archive, Google Books, and the Haithi Trust.

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.

The Rise and Fall of Ideas: Having fun with Google N-Grams

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.