I remember learning the term “meta” as an undergraduate when a history professor first explained to me what a historiography was. However, “history about history” was an easier concept for me to grasp than “data about data.” As I gained practical experience working to catalog museum objects and process archival material, I came to understand metadata as the important information which helps users to identify objects or documents that are relevant to their research or interests.
For this week’s blog post, I interviewed my good friend Amara Pugens who is an Archives Technician as the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. Amara and I both attended Beloit College (turtles all the way down) and I was interested to talk with her about her experiences at NARA and compare and contrast the practical realities of her work with the theoretical issues we have been discussing in class.
In Digital History, Cohen and Rosenzweig identify the aggregate of historical websites as the “History Web.” When selecting a site to critique for this blog post, I attempted to find one using a resource they highlighted, the World Wide Web Virtual Library’s History Index, which was started by Lynn Nelson in 1993. Unfortunately, the site depended upon volunteers to maintain the lists, and many are not still updating.
However, a quick google search for “history digital resources” revealed a list compiled by the AHA of a group of presenters who had participated in the 2015 annual meeting’s “Digital Projects Lightning Round.” I chose to focus on a resource titled “Memories/Motifs: Approaching Early Holocaust Memory Online.” by Rachel Deblinger.