Category Archives: Technology

Virtual authenticity: The potential risks of historical video games

Dale M. McCartney In 2014, Jonathan MacQuarrie told Active History readers that video games were increasingly teaching people about history in exciting and sometimes worrisome ways. In the years since, there has been an explosion of games that not only depict the past, but trade on historical accuracy as part of their appeal. They promise an extraordinary verisimilitude, allowing players… Read more »

Rescuing Historical Data for Climate Science

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Emily Manson [T]hose log books give the wind and weather every hour… spread over a great extent of ocean. What better data could a patient meteorological philosopher desire? – Francis Beaufort to Richard Lovell Edgeworth, 1809[1] Captains of nautical vessels have been keeping logbooks for centuries, for a variety of purposes. In the early modern period, captains described their travels… Read more »

Lessons Learned from Twelve Months of COVID-19 Data Activism in Canada

This post by Alex Luscombe and Alexander McClelland is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. In the fall of 2019, the world saw the emergence and global spread of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) capable of causing acute respiratory syndrome (COVID-19) in humans. First appearing in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 quickly spread… Read more »

Deconstructing Dominant Historical Narratives through Progressive Metal

Jessi Gilchrist Progressive metal is not the genre that we think of when we consider decolonization, anti-racism, or intersectionality. In fact, in 2017, The Atlantic published an article entitled “the Whitest Music Ever,” a critique of one of progressive metal’s predecessors, progressive rock.[i] Spawned in the 1970s with bands like Rush and King Crimson, progressive rock has been known as… Read more »

“Symbol of the IGA”: The International Grenfell Association hospital ship Strathcona and the 1970 mass tuberculosis survey of northern Labrador

John R.H. Matchim Since the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen was reactivated in 2004 it has conducted multiple mass health surveys of Inuit communities across the Canadian Arctic. In 2004 and 2017 surveys organized by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services and Laval University’s Population Health Unit asked some 2,000 residents questions about housing, family violence, addictions,… Read more »

A Time for Research Distancing

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Alan MacEachern & William J. Turkel Imagine being suddenly told that you cannot research online when writing history. No electronic journals, no ebooks, no Internet Archive, no Wikipedia, no search engines. You will instead be forced to rely exclusively on available print copies of books and journals, on microfilm, and, most important of all, on archives scattered across the country… Read more »

Seeing What Lies Beneath Paintings

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By Brett Liem and Michael Robertson Last year we published a short article in Active History where we described optical techniques for recovering the contrast from faded documents.  A range of light sources from ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (NIR), filters, and a camera adapted to form images with light outside or the normal visible spectrum were used to reveal residual… Read more »

Meaning Making in the Digital Age

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Sean Kheraj This week, I’ve been invited to speak on a panel about digital technologies and open access in the university. I’ll be addressing these issues as they relate to my field of Canadian history. We have been provided with a series of questions to address. Here are two of the most significant questions that we will consider on this… Read more »

Say Cheese? The Dilemma of Photography at Traumatic Heritage Sites

Kaiti Hannah There is an ongoing debate in the field of public history regarding the acceptability of taking photographs in museums. Though history museums seem to be leaning more towards allowing or even actively encouraging photography in their galleries, there are many who object to this phenomenon. Open up any think piece about Millennials and you’re sure to see complaints… Read more »

Open Pedagogy: The Time is Now

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By Thomas Peace I’ve been a rather slow convert to the open-access movement. Though ActiveHistory.ca operates under a Creative Commons Attribution, non-commercial ShareALike copyright license whereby you’re free to repost this (or any other essay you find here) so long as you provide us with attribution and do not profit, this was my sole venture into the world of open… Read more »