This talk deals with a question that is becoming increasingly important for historians who work with digitised cultural heritage: what are the politics of digitisation and what are its implications for historical research?
Is the often-lauded democratising potential of digitisation also offset by challenges, inherent in selection processes that might privilege the digitisation of heritage corresponding to existing national master narratives, the availability of funding and/or the priorities set by cultural policies and certain research agendas? How does transnational heritage fit into this picture when most digitisation projects are, in one way or another, nationally framed? What biases can digital archives introduce in our work and how does that differ from issues of bias and selection in the ‘paper’ archive?
A key point to highlight is that professional historians can and should be more open to learn from the experience of digital archivists and librarians who are at the forefront of the digital turn in heritage wsk. the talk will conclude with a brief plea and suggestion for transparancy guidelines for digital resources.