Digital history and digital humanities more broadly are enjoying an efflorescence, both in Europe and North America. Scholars are adapting digital approaches nearly as fast as new tools become available. One of the critical challenges for developers and users alike, as a result, is the wide variety of options available for scholars. Developers need to differentiate their tools in an increasingly crowded field of (sometimes) similar options, and users must navigate an ever shifting landscape of digital approaches. The time necessary to invest in this process is significant, from both perspectives.
Regardless of one’s familiarity with digital history, experimentation or “playing” with new tools is a necessary activity. The best way to determine whether a tool fits one’s skillset, requires additional training, or whether it fits the needs of one’s project is to try to us it. This learning-by-doing-approach is one of the most exciting elements of digital scholarship and has already become a central feature in DH research and pedagogy.
On this blog, I will post some of the results of my DH explorations. These will be largely intermediate steps, not suitable for publication or simply a space to test the products interactivity. Sometimes, this will be in preparation for teaching or research, other times, it will be an exercise in curiosity. Oftentimes, it will be a combination of both. For instance, I will be continuing to experiment with text analysis tools to look at changes in the field of environmental history. (I have already begun one line of questioning related to ASEH conference programs here). This blog not only charts my interests, but also some results.