Digital History and Collaborative Research 

May 23 2023, 5:00 - May 23 2023, 6:30

Digital History and Collaborative Research: a Practitioners’ Roundtable

An online panel discussion co-hosted by Royal Historical Society and The Living with Machines Project.

Speakers: Daniel Edelstein (Stanford University), Maryanne Kowaleski (Fordham), Jon Lawrence (Exeter), Katrina Navickas (Hertfordshire) and Ruth Ahnert (Queen Mary London, chair).

History’s ‘digital turn’ has reshaped how nearly all us access and search sources, analyse historical content at scale, and present our research. For some, research also involves the creation of new digitised resources and / or tools for the gathering and study of historical data in ways impossible a generation ago.

The scale and speed of these developments means we are all digital practitioners, even if we are not digital historians. Notwithstanding the ubiquity of digital content, ‘digital history’ as a sub-discipline remains much more specialist and obscure to many historians. In this panel, we bring together five historians — who are also experienced digital researchers and leaders of digital research projects — to discuss their own experience of, and approaches to, digital history.

With speakers from the US and UK, we’ll consider differing research environments and attitudes to digital history, as well as how other humanities disciplines, such as literature, are engaging with digital technologies. While appreciating the opportunities created by digital working, we’ll also reflect on the impediments that mean digital history projects remain daunting for many. As experienced practitioners, our panellists speak about their own routes in to digital history, as well as its potential for new ways of working — fostering a collaborative approach to research that extends well beyond the humanities. Hosted by Professor Ruth Ahnert, PI for Living with Machines, the panel will offer practical advice on digital working, at scale and in partnership, for historians.

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