Historian cultures – the epistemology and methodology of history in the digital age - CulturHist

CulturHist has its sights particularly on the community of researchers, who have done little to make the results and suggestions offered by the digital humanities their own. We want to focus the discussion on a cross cutting issue: the link to archives, as the raw material for writing an account of the past. The habit of working digitally of those historians who do not nowadays verbalise their computer practices is now widespread and is bolstered by policies aimed at making many digitised document collections available online. For example, a search using the Internet Archive wayback machine developed by a not-for-profit company which archives the Web, shows that, in January 2002, Gallica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France), reported having 80 000 documents online, as compared to a little over 5.8 million on 4 September 2019. These days, it is possible to carry out international historical investigations without being in physical contact with a document, as was demonstrated as far back as 2011 by the Data mining with criminal intent project (Cohen et al.). This means that researchers often become data managers (Cartier et al.). Most researchers now practise these habits, and there is an urgent need to analyse them and adapt initial and further training in history in order to help students and historians grasp how ways of writing history are being changed.

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