The events of 2020 will probably be remembered as one of the biggest crises in human history since World War II. For historians, witnessing “history in the making” was a powerful experience, and the pandemic had a major impact on the activities of the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH). The 2020 C²DH Annual Report shows how the Centre adapted to this unprecedented situation, while continuing to move forward and launch new projects.
Because of the pandemic, it was no longer possible for historians to spend hours exploring archives in other countries or attending far-flung meetings for research projects. Large group discussions were out of the question. Researchers were not only forced to reflect on how to pursue their research in line with the new health regulations; the health situation also influenced the very focus of their work. Three projects launched in 2020 explore memories of the pandemic: Covidmemory, Yes We Care and #covid19fr.
Despite the complexities of the public health situation, 2020 also represented an opportunity for the C²DH, which since it was founded has embraced digital techniques as part of its research strategy. The pandemic served as a catalyst, and the Centre was more than ever able to lay firm foundations for the digital future of history research. The C²DH and the De Gruyter publishing group launched the Journal of Digital History (JDH), intended to serve as a forum for critical debate and discussion in the field of digital history, and the C²DH set up a teaching platform to show history lecturers and students how to apply source criticism to digitised and born-digital historical sources. Two digital exhibitions about the history of East Belgium and the history of the Luxembourg postal service were also opened to the public in 2020.
This Annual Report provides a wealth of information about the Centre’s overall performance in 2020, with a particular focus on its research, publications, academic events and outreach activities.
Enjoy the read!