In these pathbreaking essays, Roy Rosenzweig charts the impact
of new media on teaching, researching, preserving, presenting, and
understanding history. Negotiating between the "cyberenthusiasts"
who champion technological breakthroughs and the "digital skeptics"
who fear the end of traditional humanistic scholarship, Rosenzweig
re-envisions the practices and professional rites of academic
historians while analyzing and advocating for the achievements of
While he addresses the perils of "doing history" online,
Rosenzweig eloquently identifies the promises of digital work,
detailing innovative strategies for powerful searches in primary
and secondary sources, the increased opportunities for dialogue and
debate, and, most of all, the unprecedented access afforded by the
Internet. Rosenzweig draws attention to the opening up of the
historical record to new voices, the availability of documents and
narratives to new audiences, and the attractions of digital
technologies for new and diverse practitioners. Though he
celebrates digital history's democratizing influences, Rosenzweig
also argues that the future of the past in this digital age can
only be ensured through the active resistance to efforts by
corporations to control access and profit from the Web.
Subjects: Sociology, History, Technology
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