Toronto’s Historic Music Venues – STA04

Toronto is not always thought of as a prime city for music. Everyone knows about New York City and London giving rise to whole genres and iconic bands. Moreover, cities such as Austin which play host to large music festivals like South by Southwest have become more well known than Toronto for fostering music. However, […]

Quantitative Historical Data and Visualization

This week’s readings deal with two separate but interconnected issues. The first is an implicit discussion on the shift towards quantitative historical data and their ability to represent historical narratives in a different approach to using words. The second is the the visualization of that data and the effect of visual forms in the historical […]

Thinking About Website Design

Much of this week’s readings centred around website design and how to think about the connection between design and the audiences that they are intended for. Only one of the readings focuses on historical website design  – with its heavy focus on longer paragraphs of text, diagrams and photographs – with general website design. It […]

Free as in “Free Beer”? Idealism, Pragmatism and Copyright

The crux of this week’s readings is not just about copyrights and plagiarism – it’s about intellectual property. Copyright is the defence of intellectual property from unfair use, whether gaining profit or manipulating that piece of property for a different purpose than the creator intended. In the realm of software development however, programmers are fighting […]

Historical Consciousness in Oral History

One particular passage struck me most memorably in this week’s readings. In Alessandro Portelli’s “What Makes Oral History Different,” he discusses the narrator’s capacity to reconstruct their previous history, whether in a favourable way or in a self-analyzing way. Moreover, Portelli discusses the opposite where a narrator fails to reconstruct details of a particular historical […]

Information Overload: The Internet and Oral History

The internet has changed the way we communicate, the way we conduct politics and the way we write history. Most of the readings in the course have thus far focused on the positive benefits on the internet. The longer article by Nicholas Carr in The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” focuses on a more negative […]

The Digital Agora: The Internet as the Public Sphere

Mark Poster’s article from 1995 about the Internet acting as a public sphere for political and societal discussions raises some interesting thoughts about the digital dimension’s role for facilitating public discussion. It was, however, written in 1995 and the Internet has evolved fundamentally from Poster’s time. While many of his comments still apply to the […]

Historical Website Review – Wilson Center Digital Archive – International History Declassified

I apologize for not having uploaded this earlier. This is the Historical Website Review I presented last week (23/09/14). The Wilson Center Digital Archive – International History Declassified Twentieth century history, especially after the Second World War, is global. In the struggle between west and east, capitalism and communism, United States and the Soviet Union, […]

Mr. Everyman – Public History as Facilitator of Past and Present

“Berate him as we will for not reading our books. Mr. Everyman is stronger than we are, and sooner or later we must adapt our knowledge to his necessities.” – Carl Becker The study of history has always been an interplay between the past and present. In spite of Leopold Von Ranke’s lofty ideals of […]

Can History be Crowdsourced?

In a simple answer, yes and no. A better answer is that the current methods of digital crowdsourcing the study of history will not replace the value of traditional academic methods. I draw a distinction between current methods of digital crowdsourcing against a possible development of a better method. Current tools for potentially conducting the […]