Due to the Corona Virus the information regarding study and examination for semester 2 (block 3 and 4) is not up-to-date. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.

Prospectus

nl en

'Googling the archive'. Does digitisation of the archive transform the epistemological space for researchers?

Course
2014-2015

Admission requirements

-

Description

The archival infrastructure is changing at a rapid pace as a consequence of digitisation. The efforts to digitize analogue collections seem to have many benefits for researchers. But what are these assumed benefits of digitization? Is digitization just a matter of user-friendliness and convenience to do archival research at home, or does digitization transform the epistemological spaces for historians as Janine Solberg recently suggested? In this research seminar the central theme is to explore the effects of digitization on historical research methods and to sketch a picture of the major changes. The research takes place from an archival and a historical research perspective. Both perspectives are compared.
Archival perspective: students examine dilemmas archivists are confronted with in their digitization efforts. Archivists are confronted with questions like which archives are selected for digitization, what search tools are needed for effective research in the digitized archives, how to contextualize digitized archives, what is the fate of the analogue archives that are not digitized?
Research perspective: studentsts examine possibilities and limitations of historical research in digitized archives, identify examples of research based on digitized materials and analyze the research methods and research results.

Course objectives

  • a. The ability to independently identify and select sources and interpret and analyse them

  • b. The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question

  • c. The ability to give a clear oral and written report on the research results in English

  • d. The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback

  • e. Knowledge and comprehension of the specialization Archival Studies and its historiography specifically the ability to analyze and compare the methods of analogue and digital disclosure of archival sources

Extra course objectives for Res Master Students

  • f. The ability to interpret a potentially complex corpus of sources

  • g. The ability to identify new approaches within existing academic debates

  • h. Knowledge of the interdisciplinary aspects of the specialisation

    Course specific objectives - i. The ability to analyze the historical practices based on use of digital sources.

  • j. The ability to use information- and archival theories to interpret and contextualize the information- and archiving processes

Timetable

Timetable History

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • Total course load for the course is 280 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars = 26 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 60

  • Time to write a paper (including reading / research): 194

Assessment method

  • A paper demonstrating the following skills:

a. The ability to independently identify and select sources and to interpret and analyse them
b. The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question
c. The ability to give a clear written report on the research results in English or Dutch
d. The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback
e. The ability to analyze and compare the methods of analogue and digital disclosure of archival sources

  • A presentation and participiation in class discussions, demonstrating the following skills:

c. The ability to give a clear oral report on the research results in English or Dutch
d. The ability to provide constructive academic feedback

  • A review of an example of a digitization program and a review of an example of a research based on digitized sources, demonstrating the following skills:
    i. The ability to analyze the information- and archiving systems and processes
    j. The ability to use information- and archival theories to interpret and contextualize the information- and archiving processes

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.

  • paper (70%)

  • presentation (15%)

  • review of examples of digitization/use (15%)

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average combined . The grade for the final paper should be satisfactory.
In case of unsatisfactory final grade, the paper can be rewritten and will be reexamined.

‘Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the teacher.’

Blackboard

Literature will be made available via blackboard
Assignments are posted on blackboard, students receive feedback in the class and via blackboard

Reading list

  • Wendy Duff, Barbara Craig, and Joan Cherry, ‘Historians’ Use of Archival Sources: Promises and Pitfalls of the Digital Age’, The Public Historian 26:2 (Spring 2004) 7-22.

  • Janine Solberg, ‘Googling the Archive: Digital Tools and the Practice of History’, in: Advances in the History of Rhetoric (2012) nr. 15, 53-76.

  • Marlene Manoff. See, ‘Archive and Database as Metaphor. Theorizing the Historical Record’, Portal: Libraries and the Academy 10:4 (2010) 385-398

  • Special Issue Digital History of BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review Volume 128-4 (2013) |

  • Daniel J. Cohen, ‘Digital History: The Raw and the Cooked’, Rethinking History 8 (2004) 337-340

  • Toni Weller (ed.), History in the Digital Age (New York 2013)

Registration
via uSis

Contact

dhr. Prof.dr. K.J.P.F.M. Jeurgens
Homepage