Digital History and Technology

When looking up articles that had to do with digital history and technology, the first article I looked at was “Enhancing Internet Use for History by Categorizing Online Resources” which talked about how easy it is to categorize and find various points in history.  Everything can be found with a quick search (provided there is proper use of keywords) and by using indexes, catalogs, and databases; users can easily look up whatever they need to.  If the user is looking for something printed, they can look up where a printed copy is; be it at a library or a museum, something will come up on the internet.  That said, the article also explains that libraries holding certain items are irrelevant if there are full-text databases that hold everything given that there is no need to visit a library since the information is already right in front of the user.  Ultimately, this article makes a point that technology makes looking up any information easier and that historians should try to learn this technology to make information gathering easier in the future.

The second article I looked at was Visualizations and Historical Arguments which talked about how images and videos can be used to help show relations or dramatizations of certain events.  Simple visual aids like graphs or maps can show comparisons between two or more different categories or how far some group has moved over a certain period of time.  Dramatizations of various events can show how certain events (like a bomb dropping for example) may have looked from different angles.  They can also be used in the future to show how events will look depending on whether or not certain actions are taken (to try to explain it better, Y depends on X which has not happened yet; visualizations of Y can be made to prove which X should take place).  Small parts of visualizations such as color, lines, bars, etc. can make a large difference in the visualizations that are made.  In the end, historians should learn to make these visualizations (or know someone who can make them) and learn how to read them.

Both of these articles drive the point that while technology is moving forward, historians need to grow accustomed to the changes that are being made.  While technology is making processes easier as a whole, it is up to the people using technology to know how to use them in order to easily find what they are looking for.  Technology is somewhat a middle-man for how historians find what they may want but it is faster than any alternative.  As technology gets better, that middle-man will get faster and faster.