Call for Comments: «Data Driven History: Writing History by the Numbers?»

In the context of the amazing project «Writing History in the Digital Age», a born-digital, open-review volume edited by Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, I submitted a proposition and would like to invite you all to comment my abstract:

“At the present time, writing history means reading sources and secondary literature, analyzing images, making excerpts and then, finally, writing a text with an introduction, arguments and a conclusion. The product is a linear text, possibly with some illustration, tables and a lot of footnotes. In the context of Digital History it seems to be possible that this setting might change. For a year or two we can keep track of an increasing amount of historically relevant digital data, downloadable online in a machine readable form. The best known example is the Ngram Viewer from Google used to analyze the immense bulk of digitized books according to statistical distribution and patterns. Similar gateways are accessible from JSTOR, Hathitrust and other data collectors. What are their implications for writing history?”

More on the project and a list of the 65 essays-in-progress.

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