The digital revolution has, without doubt, changed the way that young people research history. Previously, students pored over books and printed encyclopedias; today, with Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, access to a broad range of historical source materials – including multimedia files – is only a mouse click away. On the one hand, this makes it easier for students to research topics that would have been difficult to investigate only twenty years ago; on the other hand, it also raises completely new questions. Continue reading Goebbels’ “Total War” Speech – Which Is the Primary Source?
Articles from historical newspapers typically play an important role in primary-source document collections in both printed and digital form. GHDI is no exception: it presently includes hundreds of texts from German newspapers dating from the early nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. During the course of the relaunch, scores of new German newspaper articles will be added to this existing base. Likewise, newspaper articles will feature prominently in the German History Intersections project.
Many German research libraries have recently completed ambitious newspaper digitization projects, often with the support of the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft or DFG). These projects offer new access to German historical newspapers and thus make it possible for students, scholars, and researchers from all over the world to work with these sources firsthand. Continue reading Read All About It (Online)! Accessing Digitized Historical German Newspapers
Published by the German Historical Institute (GHI), Washington, DC, Href is a new blog dedicated to the use of digitized primary source materials in studying, teaching, and researching German and global history. The name Href points to the blog’s dual purpose, which is to spread awareness about source-based digital projects in German and global history (in HTML code, href is the attribute used in an <a> tag to generate a hyperlink reference), while serving as a general history reference.
The launch of the blog coincides with the start of the DFG-funded relaunch of German History in Documents and Images. This being the case, Href will report on interesting developments as work on the project proceeds. Additionally, it will highlight the contributions of various project participants, both inside the GHI and within the broader profession. The blog will also introduce other GHI digital initiatives, such as the new German History Intersections project and the up-and-coming German History Portal for Online Research and Teaching. Interesting projects by other institutions will feature prominently as well.
The focus of Href is broad: some blog posts will offer practical tips on locating and accessing digitized historical sources; others will discuss issues regarding translation, reproduction, and provenance; and many will pose critical, case-specific questions relating to the use of digitized source materials in historical interpretation. Insofar as the blog will address not only research but also academic teaching, considerable attention will be given to source-based assignments and curricula.
The GHI welcomes relevant contributions to its new blog from members of the historical profession, in the widest sense, from information professionals, from teachers and students at any level, and members of the interested public. Ultimately, Href aims to function as a link between digitized primary sources in German and global history and the scholarly community that engages with them.