Digital Archives: Where is the community in History? Metadata

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  • Main Title Digital Archives: Where is the community in History?


  • Author: Nylander, Elisabeth Mueller
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: University of BorĂ¥s


  • Organizer of meeting: University of North Texas. Libraries.
    Contributor Type: Organization
  • Organizer of meeting: University of North Texas. Digital Scholarship Co-Operative.
    Contributor Type: Organization


  • Creation: 2012-09-21


  • English


  • Content Description: Presentation for the 2012 Digital Frontiers Conference. In this presentation, the author discusses digital archives and looks at the history community's presence in digital archives.
  • Physical Description: 17 p.


  • Keyword: digital archives
  • Keyword: history
  • Keyword: The Valley of the Shadow
  • Keyword: The Vietnam Center and Archive
  • Keyword: The September 11 Digital Archive


  • Conference: Digital Frontiers Conference, 2012, Denton, Texas, United States


  • Name: Digital Frontiers
    Code: DIGIF


  • Name: UNT Digital Scholarship Cooperative (DiSCo)
    Code: DISCO


  • Rights Access: public

Resource Type

  • Presentation


  • Image


  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc122180


  • Display Note: Abstract: The purpose of digitizing cultural heritage collections is often presented in terms of preservation or distribution. Concerns center around how to best ensure the sustainability of materials or how to enable user interactivity. However, especially within the field of history, there is a push to think in terms of how to create community through the narratives the authors produce. The authors orientation is shifting from author-centered to reader-centered, and how the authors construct knowledge is becoming increasingly social and democratic. This can be explained as part of a greater cultural shift where, "until recently, public memory was constructed and disseminated for the people but not by the people." This presentation explores such issues through the examination of three digital archives: 1) The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War site ( 2) The Virtual Vietnam Archive ( After a brief description of each project, a critique is provided covering the four aspects of: motives, preservation, interactivity and barriers. While all three digital archives place a focus on personal narratives and deal with the complexities of conflict intimately, none of the projects manage to create the vibrant virtual community one might hope for or expect. This discovery indicates that there is more discussion needed about what purposes digital history resources might serve.