08 January 2008

Intro to Public History

I just had a crash course in public history tonight as we convened for our first class period of the semester. I am quite pumped up for learning about all the fields of work within the public history umbrella: historical consulting, multimedia history, site preservation, document preservation, historical societies, archivists, historical parks, museums, family history & genealogy. All very exciting and mostly new, but it got me in the mood for searching online archives and the like.

I happened upon this Yiddish copy of "All Quiet on the Western Front" and had to post the cover. It is amazing to read about within the archivist world how the Internet, though massive and increasing in the amount of documents in digital form, there still is a huge lack of connection between all of the information. For instance: you have an archive in London that has uploaded all these emigration documents from the 1880s, but then the autobiography by some well-known poet, found on the University of Minnesota online special collections,
which describes his immigration to the U.S. in the 1880s is not connected via a simple web link. Anyhow, that all probably seems contrived, but it does mean something: that even though there is a ton of information on the Internet now, (primary source documents and such) there is still a huge gap in connecting all of this information to itself. Yeah...

If that didn't make sense to you, it probably won't make sense to me when I re-read this is like a day or so. Ha.

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