Why Do Digital History?

Digital tools and platforms work well in the classroom. For example, you can...

  • Use digital platforms for to develop collaborative projects that can engage all the students in the class. Such projects include COLLABORATIVE MAP EXERCISES, COLLABORATIVE ANNOTATION, and SOCIAL BOOKMARKING.
  • Encourage students to visualize spatial data over time using DYNAMIC MAPS, whether built as individual research projects or in groups.
  • Introduce students to the world of TEXT ANALYSIS by asking them to dump the full text of a novel or a speech into a text analysis tool, looking for word use, frequency, and relationships between words. Here again, well-designed projects can allow students to see how patterns change over time.  
  • Manage the images you use in your lecture presentations with tools designed for IMAGE CURATION. And for that matter, there are now many tools that help you develop effective and meaningful PRESENTATIONS.
  • Teach students to manage bibliographies and citations with DIGITAL BIBLIOGRAPHY TOOLS. The HOLLIS SELF-TEST, developed within the department, also introduces students to the powerful research tools available in the Hollis system.

Digital tools, including those deployed in the classroom, can be easily imported into your own research projects.

You don’t even have to learn much about WorldMap or Google Earth to represent some of your own data spatially. There are human resources on campus, including RAs, to help faculty navigate these tools. Undergraduates, for example, are eager to work with faculty on their research projects, e.g. by gathering data in DATABASES. For more sophisticated users will want to consult staff members at the IQSS. Once you’ve got the data, various tools allow you to engaged in DATA VISUALIZATION, which allows you to represent your findings in flexible and dynamic ways.

Finally, there are many new ways to PRESENT YOUR RESEARCH

including not just PRESENTATION SOFTWARE but also BLOGS, PODCASTS, and of course different kinds of media, such as FILM.   


There are many CAMPUS RESOURCES available to help faculty and graduate students navigate this landscape, ranging from centers such as metaLAB and CGA to individual faculty members. The LIBRARY is encouraging digital humanities initiatives, as are many regional studies centers…