Historical research between Digital Humanities and archival sources
Historians do not often speak of a „digital turn“ in historiography yet. However, the implementation of the Digital Humanities into the daily routine of academia and scholarly practice challenges the scope and often also the focus of scientific research. Although the primary methods of historians remain the same, a digital extension of accessing to and processing with finding aids and sources has a significant impact on the subject of research itself. The digital accumulation of different materials allows the analysis of questions which have not been thinkable so far. A quick, virtual composition of artifacts makes trans- and international history feasible; the growing visibility of archival material enables research to be controlled, traceable and synergetic. In order to use this potential, a close cooperation between historians and computer scientists must be established to develop a common language and a common understanding of the structure of knowledge and data in a digital environment. In this way, the digitally enhanced history will not become a fundamentally new discipline, but it will mirror our computerized era, and as such it will give evidence on the way historians think and act today.
Kurz-Bio: Alexandra Pawliczek
ist Historikerin und Archivarin. Sie arbeitet als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut der Freien Universität Berlin im EU-Projekt CENDARI (Collaborative European Digital Archival Infrastructure).