Photographs, Time, and Memory


Gjon Mili, Juggler, 1958

Gjon Mili plays with light and time in this portrait of a juggler. Much of Mili’s work includes this light painting technique. He was born in Albania in 1904 and moved to Massachusetts to study at MIT. There, he pioneered the use of stroboscopic instruments, which gave results like the one on the left: these show movements occurring faster than the naked eye can see. The juggler is centered in the frame, but the lines of the juggling balls, combined with his hands and eyes, align essentially with the rule of thirds. The image is greyscale with dark shadows and bright highlights. The juggler is in focus against the solid black background, though his more quick movements are blurred. Though color film had been invented at this point, it was not used widely, and color would likely take away from the effect of this image. The time of day and location are not clear from the image, but the dark background suggests nighttime. The image suggests motion: the subject was moving before, during, and after the photo was taken, and the viewer is able to see his movement.

William Eggleston, 1980

This is an image by William Eggleston from his 1980 collection entitled Troubled Waters, and the image is troubling indeed: a neon Confederate flag touches a palm tree, the red light from the flag tinging the bottom half of the tree in red. Eggleston lives in and photographs the South (he is still alive, though at 77 years of age I question whether he is still active). This photo aligns essentially with the rule of thirds, as the subjects are on focus points, but their position at the top of the photograph rather than either side make the image more unsettling. This photo is a dye transfer print, which is a method of color photo processing that allows a great deal of manipulation, especially in terms of brightness, darkness, and color. It appears to be taken at nighttime in the South. I would venture to guess South Carolina because of the flag and the palm tree. My gut reaction to the image is mixed. The Confederate flag is largely considered a symbol of hate (and I agree). Its legacy in the South is mixed as well. Recent debates have enlightened us to its historical context beyond the Civil War, but I cannot say that I know what has changed or stayed the same since 1980. That said, the image is part of a series called Troubled Waters, a collection which includes vibrant pictures of garbage, mud, and overstuffed freezers. As I mentioned before, the unsettling composition contributes to my visceral reaction.

I found this image searching through his website, and I initially wanted to find another. I looked for others that play with neon (I am a huge fan – it’s tacky and kitsch and fun to play with behind the lens) but none struck me as strongly as this.

A) What is the relationship between storytelling and photography in history? 

In the modern world, cameras are everywhere. Just about every moment has the potential for documentation. Before this widespread use of photography, however, people had to pick and choose what moments to document – there are only so many prints on a roll of film, and if you’re working in a darkroom, the process is even more selective. In this article about iconic images (warning: some of the images are highly disturbing, and the CNN site will warn you again should you choose to proceed), the only ones I immediately recognized were the older ones, ones that have been reproduced over and over. A number of the images included were not images I would consider iconic. Unremarkable use of frame and composition are two main reasons for this, aside from being inundated by images from recent events (I recognized the Sandy Hook image based on context clues, not the image itself). The article made me wonder if we will ever have another truly iconic photograph for our history books.

While the images may not be iconic, they do tell stories. Part of the story is up to the photographer: framing, depth of field, composition, shutter speed. What we see in photographs is never exactly what we would see with our own eyes.

B) How can we apply Szarkowski’s lessons in composition and design to digital history? 

Images need to tell stories, but they also need to be memorable. His five categories are relevant when choosing imagery for digital historical projects. On the flip side, the choices we make about composition say a great deal about ourselves: what we choose to include or leave out, whether or not to portray movement, what and how much is in focus. I see this not only as a lesson in design but guidelines for examining and interpreting evidence as well. Reading between the lines raises questions to explore further. Why didn’t Eggleston include the tree trunk? Why is the juggler against a black backdrop? These compositional choices matter when we ask others to view our work. The entire tree wouldn’t have allowed Eggleston to show how the light reacts with the leaves. A cluttered background would take away from the truly incredible utilization of movement and light in Mili’s work.

P.S. I had no idea that Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American cover art was an Eggleston print. It’s one of my favorite albums so I had to share.

(Click through to view – I can’t change the size of the images for some reason so I didn’t want to clutter the feed)

Continue reading “Photographs, Time, and Memory”

Szarkowski Discussion Questions

Hi Digital Historians!

This week, we’ll be discussing The Photographer’s Eye by John Szarkowski. Your discussion leaders (Jenny and Delia) have a couple questions to get us started:

A) What is the relationship between storytelling and photography in history? Feel free to include historic photographs in your answer for reference.
B) How can we apply Szarkowski’s lessons in composition and design to digital history? 

See you Thursday!

Delia and Jenny

For this week’s blog post, what is your own favorite book, and why?  What is your favorite literary and/or scholarly passage?  Give us the passage and then break it down for us –the vocabulary, the literary devices, the form and the meaning.  

I have a number of favorite books, both novels and nonfiction. I originally intended to blog about Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, but I loaned most of my Vonnegut collection to a friend a couple of years ago and haven’t gotten it back. The book was very much a coming-of-age novel for me – it was my first experience with dark comedy, and at fifteen years old, it’s certainly an awakening.

Without access to Slaugherhouse-Five, I chose another book that was important to me in my formative years: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I am a firm believer that the series has something to offer for all, regardless of age: I read the book first at eleven and have read it over and over since. Here is a passage from the end of the book, when Dumbledore explains the prophecy that marked Harry as the one who could defeat Voldemort.

“The odd thing is, Harry,” he said softly, “that it may not have meant you at all. Sibyll’s prophecy could have applied to two wizard boys, both born at the end of July that year, both of whom had parents in the Order of the Phoenix, both sets of parents having narrowly escaped Voldemort three times. One, of course, was you. The other was Neville Longbottom.”

“But then . . . but then, why was it my name on the prophecy and not Neville’s?”

“The official record was relabeled after Voldemort’s attack on you as a child,” said Dumbledore. “It seemed plain to the keeper of the Hall of Prophecy that Voldemort could only have tried to kill you because he knew you to be the one to whom Sibyll was referring.”

“Then — it might not be me?” said Harry.

“I am afraid,” said Dumbledore slowly, looking as though every word cost him a great effort, “that there is no doubt that it is you.”

“But you said — Neville was born at the end of July too — and his mum and dad — ”

“You are forgetting the next part of the prophecy, the final identifying feature of the boy who could vanquish Voldemort. . . . Voldemort himself would ‘mark him as his equal.’ And so he did, Harry. He chose you, not Neville. He gave you the scar that has proved both blessing and curse.”

“But he might have chosen wrong!” said Harry. “He might have marked the wrong person!”

“He chose the boy he thought most likely to be a danger to him,” said Dumbledore. “And notice this, Harry. He chose, not the pureblood (which, according to his creed, is the only kind of wizard worth being or knowing), but the half-blood, like himself. He saw himself in you before he had ever seen you, and in marking you with that scar, he did not kill you, as he intended, but gave you powers, and a future, which have fitted you to escape him not once, but four times so far — something that neither your parents, nor Neville’s parents, ever achieved.”

Harry and Dumbledore entered the office together after the battle at the Ministry, where Fawkes the Phoenix had taken an Avada Kedavra curse intended for Dumbledore. Fawkes is going through the process of rebirth as this conversation takes place, just as Harry begins an emotional rebirth. His godfather has died and he blames himself. Many of his friends were hurt because he led them to the Ministry of Magic after experiencing a false vision. Now, he realizes his destiny has been predetermined in a way that is out of his control. J.K. Rowling also consistently drops hints about the ways Harry and Voldemort are alike, a common theme in literature and mythology. This instance is also an important buildup for Neville, the socially awkward but very brave Gryffindor.

Rowling uses a number of literary, mythological, and religious allusions throughout the series. Numbers are quite significant. Seven is considered to be the perfect number, signifying completeness in Christianity, numerology, and other philosophies. Hogwarts students study for seven years and Voldemort creates seven horcruxes. Harry also rises Christ-like from the dead in the seventh book. Allusions are my favorite literary devices because they link literature from around the world and over huge swaths time.

Barthes speaks of a “writerly” approach to writing, ie, one that champions a sort of creative work on the part of the reader. What is a “writerly” (á la his understanding of the term “writerly”) approach to doing history and how can the methods we’ve learned about assist with this “writerly history”?

Barthes essentially wants readers to be producers rather than simply consumers. I found his ideas to be really interesting and relevant to myself, especially because I enjoy allusion so much. My favorite works to read are those that encourage me to make connections and jot down ideas of my own. I have found this a number of times in history texts. I am not sure that we can pinpoint exactly what makes a piece of writing “writerly,” but I think keeping ideas open-ended is essential. I also think, especially after reading Barthes, that having a solid theoretical structure fosters this as well.

Radio Manifestos

Al Letson’s State of the Re:Union was created as an entry to PRX’s Public Radio Talent Quest. The podcast focuses on community-building around the country, and the ways these communities have overcome challenges around them. In his manifesto, he argues that public media is the way to “fix time,” or to reclaim collective memory as a country plagued with “collective amnesia:” we have to find a way to grapple with the unsavory bits of history. As historians in the twenty-first century, we do this every day. Most of us align with social justice ideals, both in our studies and our personal lives. For us, drawing the connections between slavery and the flawed prison system isn’t difficult, but many outside the humanities have more difficulty doing so. Storytelling through narrative, poetry, art, or any number of other formats is the answer to the question, “how do we fix time?”

Letson describes some challenges associated with this raw variety of storytelling. For one, the narrator cannot always include every contributing factor in a narrative, whether because of time constraints or sheer oversight. He also makes this poignant statement about the nature of perspective and audience:

“Our understanding of everything comes from the perspective of this mythical “default human,” a straight white male. This default is who we naturally tell stories to, for, and about.”

People in public media must fight this natural urge when it makes sense in order to expand listenership to audiences outside the “straight white men.” Fighting this urge also means building meaningfully diverse staffs.

Technology, particularly social media, is changing the public media landscape. Letson points out that “young, driven, diverse” people are creating valuable content through social media. Those in public media proper should take note of the changing ways in which information and ideas are spread and take these content creators under their wing. Letson’s manifesto is truly inspiring – I would recommend reading it even if you don’t use it for this assignment.

Alix Spiegel, host of Invisibilia, urges producers and reporters to explore the wide variety of narrative techniques. The reasons for doing so are two-fold: of course the producer wants to keep listeners interested, but as the technological boundaries for creating public media become less prominent, the show needs to stand out. First, she offers examples of the ways in which different shows position the narrator. Hard news keeps reporters at arm’s length from the stories they report, This American Life adopts a more intimate position in which the narrator is heard interacting with the subject(s), and Radiolab puts each of the players in conversation with each other. I personally had not given much thought to the narrator’s position, but after reading her manifesto, I’ve realized I prefer listening to shows in which the narrator’s role is visible. Her piece also inspired me to think about my role in the podcast assignment. I anticipate the approach will be mostly uniform across all episodes, but I feel that my topic lends itself to an approach somewhere between “hard news” and “intimate.”

Innovation is not limited to the position of the narrator. The use of tape is another opportunity. Hard news uses the script/tape/script/tape format, while TAL varies the two irregularly and includes music, and Radiolab ditches the script altogether. Beyond the scope of production, new intellectual approaches, new voices, and new topics are incredibly valuable to create innovative radio. Each of these ideas should and will factor into script-writing for the class project and for other media production we might undertake in the future.

The Fighting Ninth

The Transformation of the Fighting Ninth

Southwest Virginia miners during the Pittston Strike

The transformation of Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District has been both ideological and (in terms of election maps) physical.

In 1988, several VA-9 counties voted for Democratic candidate Dukakis, while the state as a whole went to Bush. In 1980, incumbent Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan state-wide and nationally, but again, the VA-9 went with the democratic candidate. The ninth district had been a blue stronghold for the Democratic Party in state and national elections, with the notable exception of Rick Boucher: V.O. Key in 1949 noted that SWVA voted against the Byrd Organization in 1945. By 2000, this pattern had ended. The Republican Party by and large can count on the Fighting Ninth’s votes.

The role of coal is undeniable in this transformation. The industry has been in decline for decades – in part because of increased EPA regulations, but also because of increased mechanization and the fact that coal is inherently a limited resource. Additionally, after the 1985 battle against Massey Energy and the 1989-1990 Pittston Coal Strike, the UMWA presence in southwest Virginia and Appalachia as a whole has dwindled. Though the Pittston strike was mostly successful, the UMWA suffered huge financial losses and has taken a much smaller role since. Many believe the UMWA had abandoned miners by not continuing to fight for their interests, bargaining with coal companies without input of miners themselves. Linked to both the UMWA and the EPA, the Democratic Party also abandoned SWVA in the eyes of many.

The Ninth District has also noticeably shifted in its physical boundaries. While I am still searching for resources on redistricting in this part of the state, the idea of gerrymandering continues to arise. Whether or not it is a piece of the story is to be seen.

how the transformation of VA-9 feels right now

Forming these interrelated but not necessarily chronological into a narrative is proving to be difficult. For one, it’s difficult to avoid putting my own personal beliefs and experiences into the story, and finding sources to confirm them (or deny, for that matter) has been a roadblock. Sources that do confirm what I’ve heard and believed are very obviously left leaning, but I have found little elsewhere that even cover the transformation of the district. We’ll see how this goes.

Textual Analysis

I have little to no experience with textual analysis, to be quite honest. In doing research, I tend to notice patterns of co-location and edit my searches around those findings. Last semester, one of my GA assignments was to work with Tom Ewing’s research on the Russian Flu epidemic of 1889 to 1890. Part of my work included noticing how different types of articles could be distinguished from each other: for example, advertisements tended include both “Russian flu” and “cough” or “fever.” My role did not include qualitative analysis, though, so I am not sure of what conclusions the researchers on the project will draw from these findings.

As for what I would like to see in terms of topic modeling, I am drawing a blank. My personal research interests have much less to do with the goals of topic modeling. My primary sources are films, interviews, and perhaps reviews and critical reception of films. Nevertheless, I think the approach and results are fascinating. Finding patterns in massive amounts of textual data is a great way to put written history into a visual format, which is immensely valuable in digital history.

Podcast Update

I’ve been listening to My Favorite Murder, a comedy-slash-true crime podcast by two comedians, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The hosts provide comic relief without taking away from the seriousness of the topic: a much needed approach for someone like me, who started watching Unsolved Mysteries and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit at far too young. This podcast has very little to do with the podcast for this class, and I doubt my podcast will have any comic relief (though David “Mudcat” Saunders has come up multiple times and his language describing rural SWVA is…colorful…), but I’m definitely hooked.

Technology, History, and True Crime

Computers, Technology, and Humanistic Historical Inquiry

Donati advocates for an increase in the use of satellite remote sensing technology at archaeological sites. His findings certainly support his argument – his results would have been either more difficult to uncover using traditional methodologies, or would have been outright impossible. He does, however, point out limitations of such technology: “ the results of satellite remote sensing are highly dependent on local and seasonal climatic conditions” (Best Practice, 128). I think these articles show the relationship between computers and historical inquiry fairly well: there are limitations to technological methods such as satellite remote sensing, but the benefits outweigh the costs. 

Shifting gears toward my own experience, I have been a part of several discussions about what we “lose” when we (as an academic community) digitize sources. Instead of holding a letter in our hands, we can now simply view a scan or read a transcription. While holding or viewing “real” historical artifacts in person is a desirable experience for many historians, I think we ought to consider Donati’s work again here: using satellite remote sensing technology, he was able to find buried roads without invasive excavation. Are his findings less real? This is not an exact parallel, of course, but I feel that authenticity is a) less important than what the findings mean and b) a construction in itself. Technology has sped up the research process and has made the research process less expensive, particularly for individuals without access to travel funds. 

To Wikipedia, or Not to Wikipedia

My personal experience with Wikipedia is mostly positive, yet mostly unscholarly. I am a member of a gigantic group on Facebook called Cool Freaks’ Wikipedia Club, in which 43,333 members (at the time of this entry) post weird or interesting Wikipedia articles. As a fan of trivia and trivial information, the group is a great time-waster. I have gone down many a rabbit hole thanks to articles from this group.

As we all know, Wikipedia is often the first result in a Google search. We scholars also know that Wikipedia is not considered a reliable source and have heard it since middle school: “don’t cite Wikipedia!” However, Wikipedia is the first place many of us go for information on a new topic. I find that the citations are often fruitful and editors do a fairly good job of alerting readers where citations have not been included. I found Rosensweig’s article about Wikipedia to be interesting, but some of his focal points were a bit useless. For example, he spends several paragraphs on the quality of writing on Wikipedia. I would venture to say few turn to Wikipedia, or any encyclopedia, really, looking for outstanding prose. The point is to be rather basic and “factual.” To be fair, the article is over a decade old and was written only five years after Wikipedia was founded, so we know more today for what Wikipedia is useful and for what it isn’t. I did, however, think his point about accuracy was spot-on: “You can [also] find bad history in the library” (136). Wikipedia is a great starting point in many cases, but that’s exactly what it is: a starting point. Wikipedia should be celebrated for providing an accessible starting point for basic information, and students in the digital age should be taught its purpose (and potential limitations/hazards) as early as elementary school.

Recent Listening

Generation Why is a true crime podcast. Each episode is about a different case, unlike Serial or In the Dark. I have been following the Generation Why podcast for a while now, but their most recent episode was one of their most intriguing. One of the hosts interviewed Kerry Max Cook, who was convicted of murder in 1977 and served twenty years on death row. He took a plea deal during his final appeal because it would allow him to leave prison. DNA found at the crime scene belonged to another man, as later testing confirmed, but the state maintains that this evidence is not enough to clear Cook’s name. The most fascinating part of the case was the fabrication and mishandling of evidence. (American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson also arrived on Netflix this week and addresses similar topics, for those interested, and is in general a fantastic show.) Admittedly, it is a bit problematic that the story comes from Cook and not a third party, but the Innocence Project has worked with him to clear his name. The episode is worth a listen for anyone interested in the criminal justice system.

GPS, 911, and Local Knowledge

Like many others my age, I have limited first-hand experience with actually using maps. Most of the map usage in my life has taken place abroad: with no cellular data to use GPS without sky-high fees, and rare access to wi-fi, I have relied on free maps in hostel lobbies for most of my travels outside of the United States. I’ve included here a map that is probably immediately recognizable: the London Tube map. It is one of the most iconic images in the world – certainly among maps – and for good reason. The map makes London an incredibly navigable city, as opposed to NYC’s mess of a subway map. 

However, the map has little correlation to the reality of the Underground routes: the Thames River absolutely does not have right angles like this. Here’s a more “accurate” map of the Tube’s routing:

The Tube map we all know is effectively a representation of a representation, to use Rankin’s terminology. But it works, even better than the more accurate representation. While GPS makes driving within the U.S. a lot easier, especially without a co-pilot, maps are still useful in many situations, and some maps remain iconic.

My understanding of territory has changed little since reading After the Map. The act of defining territory is not objective: territorial disputes are not uncommon. GPS may allow certain countries and regions to affirm their territorial claims, but other countries or groups without access to control such technologies are unable to strengthen their defined territories in this way. Rankin addresses this and other concerns in the conclusion of the book by asking questions. At first I was disappointed that he only gave partial answers, especially as many of the questions he asked were questions I had asked along the way, but I am now more content with the fact that these questions are up in the air.

As far as ramifications from the point of view of my field of study go, I think transnational history is one of the most affected by Rankin’s argument. I am marginally interested in transnational history (I say “marginally” because much of my work is domestic in nature, but I’m sure there are arguments to be had about that). This approach, to give it a simplified definition, seeks to transcend national boundaries and trace the flow of ideas across them. In this approach, boundaries can be somewhat arbitrary. Rankin’s work on the notion of territory could have great implications for this field. Transnational historians have already pointed out that “globalization” is not a recent phenomenon and that national boundaries were less important as many assume at points in the past. Rankin argues that globalization has not knocked down boundaries, but that technology like GPS has built them up in a different way. I suppose that transnational history could have ramifications for Rankin’s work as well: what are the assumptions made about national boundaries, and who makes these assumptions?

The line that struck me the most in Rankin’s book is on page 283: “In reports of its adoption for new uses, GPS is usually not presented as simply a more precise version of earlier techniques… Instead, the emphasis is on reliability, permanence, and the ability to use it as a replacement for other forms of local knowledge.” This line makes me uncomfortable as a historian interested in local knowledge and as someone with personal experience with the shortcomings of GPS (though not to the extent of Michael Scott…). My home county did not acquire the 911 service until about 2009. Until then, my home address was a rural route address (RR3 Box 101), as were many others. Rural route addresses are not strongly linked to any location on a “grid” or in the real world – a GPS could not have taken any driver to my house without coordinates – so reliance on local knowledge was crucial for getting around. With that type of local, navigational knowledge comes knowledge about the social world and the natural environment. Rankin’s examples following this quote hint at a loss of local knowledge combined with the ability for outsiders to navigate freely. GPS is surely a great tool in many instances, even in rural or relatively unexplored areas, but I hate to see the erasure of local knowledge.

Harry Potter and Habermas

I’ll come right out and say it: I am a huge Potterhead. Few things make me as emotional as the Harry Potter franchise, even as a twenty-something with a background in much more “advanced” literature. I have listened to podcasts about Harry Potter (including one produced by someone in this class…) and a variety of other subjects since I found out they existed. My favorite podcast is one I’ve found recently: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.

The premise of this podcast is to treat a text – in this case, Harry Potter – as a sacred text, rather than one for entertainment. The hosts are Vanessa Zoltan, a humanist chaplain, and Casper ter Kuile, a “minister for non-religious people.” I had no idea either of these roles existed.  The pair read the series chapter-by-chapter through the lens of a theme: responsibility, friendship, white privilege, and courage, to name a few examples. They also employ a variety of spiritual practices to read the text, such as Lectio Devina from Christianity and Havruta from Judaism.

This is my favorite podcast for a few reasons. First, obviously, is Harry Potter. I grew up with the series, and have re-read and listened to the series on audiobook several times. I have turned to the series for comfort throughout my life, and have felt a very real (dare I say spiritual?) connection to the series.

Second, the podcast’s methodology is interesting and personally relevant to me. I grew up in a Southern Baptist household and became very involved in my youth group in early high school. My religious beliefs have shifted away from any specific theology since then, but I know first-hand how religious practice can illuminate areas of one’s life. Understanding the text of Harry Potter on a deeper level has revitalized my love for the series and has taught me to be a more careful reader in general.

Vanessa and Casper recognize that the text is not perfect. None of the characters are perfect. Their actions are not always black or white, good or bad. Rather, the hosts argue that trusting this text, reading carefully and rigorously, and sharing it with a community can give the reader gifts, much like the Bible or Qu’ran. One of the gifts I’ve received: the hosts echo a lot of the ideas I’ve learned in therapy, which are always nice to hear and challenge me to be a better person and advocate.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text demonstrates that a podcast is one great, useful, accessible way to expand a community. Other podcasts do the same, in a sense. Podcasts dedicated to history, true crime, even the WWE allow listeners to follow along and feel included in these conversations, even if listeners never contact the hosts. While I love podcasts of all types, HPatST has been one of the most rewarding listens.

The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere is an interesting, if honestly a bit confusing. It is not confusing because it doesn’t make sense, but because defining “public” and “private” is a messy affair, which Habermas recognizes from the introduction. Even marriage and family are not private because there are defined legally and have legal/public ramifications. The twentieth century is even more complicated because commercialization, consumer culture, and mass media have broken down the public sphere even further. Habermas describes the breakdown of the bourgeois public sphere, but I feel that there is no truly private world either – so, is there no public sphere, period?

“How does Habermas’s examination of the changing public sphere coincide with digital history?” Well, to start, the lines between public and private are more blurry than ever with the advent of the internet. Social media will eventually be used as historical sources, if it hasn’t already. These accounts, which can be made “private” but are never truly private, are a new source base. Additionally, sources are increasingly available to the (non-bourgeois) public through digitalization. This digitalization has also allowed digital historians to present their findings in increasingly aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-navigate ways. Habermas’s work aligns with many of the questions we historians ask about public and digital history .

Delia’s Introduction

Hello everyone! I am Delia Tomlinson, a first year master’s student in the history program. I graduated from VT in 2015 with my bachelor’s in history. I am from Pennington Gap, Virginia, a tiny town in far southwest Virginia between Bristol and Cumberland Gap. My research interests include film history and Appalachia in the twentieth century.

My interest in digital history is two-fold. First, like many others in this class have expressed, I am a digital native. Most of them media I consume is through the internet. I have also created content on blogs for undergraduate courses and personal sites (currently working on a photography portfolio, but for now, my photos are hosted here). Sharing information and resources through digital means comes naturally to me. The second reason for my interest in digital history is my passion for public accessibility of information. Breaking down the wall between academia and the greater public is very important to me, especially in the field of history.

I see digital history as a junction of sorts – the past meets the present, academia meets the public – and I am very excited to explore further.