UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 201dh > Digital History Seminar Homepage
The Persistance of Memory, by Dali 1931 Word Cloud Visualization of "The Heart of the Matter," report from the "WhatEvery1Says" about the Humanities Project, 2013

Theories and Practices of "Digital History:"

New Tools for Exploring and Presenting the Past

(UCSB Hist 201DH)

by Professor Harold Marcuse (homepage)
contact: marcuse@history.ucsb.edu

page begun Sept. 27, 2015;
very much under construction; updated: 7/29/18

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Old Announcements
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Course description
& requirements
Weekly Topics

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Definition Page
My other courses
Hist 2C, 33D, Hitler;
Hist 133
A, B, C, P, Q;
200E-Germany: 2002;
233AB Seminar
: 2003
* core readings are designated by asterics *
^ chosen supplementary readings are marked by carets ^

Announcements (old announcements move to bottom)(visitor stats)

  • April 2018: The German Historical Institute launched a blog, HRef, about digital collections of primary sources, that is digitized primary sources, like its German History in Document and Images website (GHDI). germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/about.cfm
  • Oct 19, 2017: The AHA conference in Jan. 2018 is offering a series of workshops on digital history mthods and topics. The short descriptions offer an overview of current tools and directions in the field, including:
    • ArcGIS Story Maps; StoryMap JS, WorldMap, MapStory, and the History Engine
    • Storymap.js, Voyant and Timeline.js
    • Community engagement with History Harvest and Dublin Core
    • Technology & Collaborative Learning: Googledocs, Phones, YouTube, and Podcasts
    • Game-based learning based on Stephen Neufeld’s 2017 monograph The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876–1911
    • Network analysis and visualization with Gephi
    • Funding sources: NEH, ACLS, US National Archives
  • Sept. 27, 2015: Fall 2015 Hist 201DH course syllabus now available. Many more readings are available on the gated course website. They may be transferred here as time permits.
  • Apr. 1, 2007: good links on History and the Internet:

Course Description & Requirements (back to top)

The advent of the world wide web and the development of tools to digitize massive amounts of historical source material are augmenting and changing the ways historians find and analyze sources, as well as how they present their work. This seminar explores recent literature on these developments. It includes practice in using digital tools and the internet to gather sources, collaborate with amateur and professional historians, present one's findings in new ways to new audiences, and interact with consumers of historical representations.

Participants are expected to report weekly on the readings and their explorations and interactions with various digital and social media tools. Each of us will create a blog on a publicly available platform (e.g. Blogger, Wordpress) to record our activities and comment on (and link to) each other's work. Everyone will create and present a final project, which might be anything from converting a research paper or body of sources into a rich online format, to creating and/or analyzing a corpus of texts, to creating an online resource about a particular topic. Projects will be evaluated based on their design, navigability and outreach, as well as their content.

There are four broad ways digital tools and media affect historical work: research, analysis, presentation/dissemination, and interactivity. While learning and practicing with some of these tools, we will attempt to answer questions such as:
> Do these tools change the practice of historical interpretation in any fundamental ways?
> Do they allow us to ask and answer new types of questions?
> How do these tools allow us to produce more comprehensive and accessible forms of history?
> Do they require new ways of reading and skills of assessment?
> Are they changing the way we as societies conceive of our past?

Core Books (back to top)

  1. Daniel Cohen & Roy Rosenzweig, Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (UPenn, 2006). ebook website
  2. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (eds.), A Companion to Digital Humanities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004). ebook website
  3. Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki (eds.), Writing History in the Digital Age (Creative Commons, 2013). ebook website
  4. Matthew Gold (ed.), Debates in the Digital Humanities (Univ. of Minnesota, 2012). ebook
  5. Sarah Horton, Web Teaching Guide: A Practical Approach to Creating Course Web Sites (Yale, 2000). amazon; companion website [Also: Access by Design, 2005, amazon]
  6. T. Mills Kelly, Teaching History in the Digital Age (Michigan, 2013). ebook
  7. Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton, Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites (Yale, 3rd ed. 2009). ebook
  8. Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger, Prioritizing Web Usability (Pearson/New Riders, 2006).
  9. Roy Rosenzweig, Clio Wired: The Future of the Past in the Digital Age (Columbia UP, 2013).
  10. David Staley, Computers, Visualization, and History: How New Technology Will Transform Our Understanding of the Past (M.E.Sharp, 2013).
  11. Toni Weller (ed.), History in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2013). google books, amazon, preview

Week 2 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading

J (back to top)

Week 3 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading

Digital Texts, Text Encoding, and Analysis and Visualization Tools (back to top)

Week 4 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading


Week 5 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading

. 5: "Sites" of Memory: Examples

Week 6 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading


Week 7 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading


Week 8 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading

Feb. 26:

Week 9 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading

Mar. 5 : History Teaching (back to top)

  • *Sam Wineburg, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Philadelphia: Temple, 2001), 255 pages ($16 at amazon)

Week 10 (back to top) *=core reading; ^=assigned supplementary reading

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New & Recent Books (back to top)


Links on (back to top)



  • Hypertext Exploration of Memory and Mind by John William Schmidt. More scientific than historical, but interesting essays nonetheless. [2009 version at the web archive]
  • Literature of the Holocaust website, by Prof. Al Filreis, UPenn Dept. of English. Contains an alphabetical listing of many dozens of newspaper articles, websites and pieces by Filreis himself. [Sept. 2015: index last modified Nov. 2009]
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  • Special Journal features/issues dedicated to digital history

Bibliography of Important Works (back to top)


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Old Announcements (back to top)

author: H. Marcuse

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