Our readings this week asked us to consider how the internet effects historical scholarship. In thinking about this topic, I became concerned with how historical research that is presented online is perceived to be lesser than research published and presented through more traditional channels such as books and journals. In Dan Cohen’s article, “Web of Lies? Historical Knowledge on the Internet,” a certain academic scholar is quoted on this topic of web history vs. print history: “There’s no substitute for a thick book and an overstuffed chair.” I’m sorry, but there is a substitute, and a good one at that. The internet provides a broader venue and more powerful tools than those available to traditional print media outlets. The view communicated by this academic historian highlights the obstacles faced by digital historians: ignorance and disdain of current digital scholarship paired with a myopic sentimentality.
(Week 4 entry)