Europäische Zeitgeschichte Digitale Geschichte und Historiographie

History and the Paradoxes of Digitisation: A Global Perspective

History in the digital present currently faces a paradoxical situation. When seen from a global perspective, the current state of cultural heritage digitisation is highly uneven and inequities in access abound. Global North/South divisions play a key role, yet are neither immutable nor the sole explanation as the existence of digital Norths in the South and digital Souths in the North shows. Moreover, while postcolonial legacies can reinforce global power and knowledge assymetries and impact local heritage digitization efforts in adverse ways, digitization can also function as a means to address some of those legacies. This paper will discuss the global dimensions of the politics of digitisation with concrete examples from Europe and Africa. While doing so it will simultaneously ask how they feed into selection for digitisation processes and thereby shape “history in the digital present”.

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