Steinfield, Charles, Joan M.
Refugees, Exile and Resettlement. This made it easy to move back and forth between records that had been scanned versus those in the London archives. A browse feature made it possible to see a full list of the scanned materials and to study the arrangement of documents and the relationships between different fonds.
The Post-War Europe collection placed the archival record online with the power of full-text search, subject browsing and access to materials whenever needed.
My research, teaching and writing took place concurrently. The archive was alive and accessible in new ways. My excitement about this new tool inspired me to design a course on digital archives.
The seminar would give me a chance to reflect on my own research and to explore the new potential of digital collections and computational methods. The class met for three-hour sessions once a week.
The remaining time was used for small-group projects using the digital archive. Exercises were designed to become increasingly more complicated.
We began with single documents, then a single folder of documents, then multiple folder collections and finally entire archives. On our best days, the class agreed on a common research problem and divided the research tasks among small groups led by graduate students.
Each group researched part of the problem and we combined our results as a class in the final half hour. The class was consistently able to conduct primary source research in small groups and to link their findings into a master narrative by the end of class.
Our research reproduced both familiar narratives and suggestive directions for future research. This was extremely rewarding to witness. Success came with a careful balance of structure and spontaneity. For one class, I gave each student a single document to read and discuss with his or her group before working with the larger collection.
These materials gave the students key evidence and set their discussion in specific directions. The final pieces fit together very well and there was a tangible feeling of accomplishment. Total freedom produced less certain results, but the findings were often more original and unexpected.
After ten weeks working with multiple online archives, we had a final discussion about our experiences. There are three topics that appear prominently when looking back on the course and deserve further contemplation.
These are the diversity of archival interfaces, the problem of archival integrity and the future potential of digital research methods.
Interface As the students and I reflected on the course, it became clear that nearly all of the archives that we worked with had a unique interface.
This required students to learn and adapt to the available tools, capabilities and limitations of each web-site and its interface.
Full-text search is available in some archives, but not others. Most archives do not allow users to browse record descriptions and locations.
There is no consistency in the ability to search by date, record type or other attributes.
We need a historical source analysis program, comparable to ArcGIS for mapping and spatial analysis, that would allow users to compile and analyze materials from digital archives.
Such a program would function as a professional research tool that could be adapted to the requirements of computational methods and Digital Humanities projects. This would allow researchers to utilize materials from existing digitized collections in addition to images and scans collected from analog archives.
Few researchers work solely from digital or analog collections alone.
We already use Zotero and Endnote to organize secondary sources. Surely there is great potential for a unified historical information analysis platform. Additionally, as one student noted, a tool is needed for handwritten texts.
Imagine a paleography tool that could be used with any digital archive to quickly read handwritten documents and generate text for computational analysis.
The technology for such a tool exists, but none of the archives used in our course featured such a tool.
|About - ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global - LibGuides at ProQuest||Tables, graphs, figures, images, text extracts and quotations from published resources.|
|Related LibGuides||There is also a collection ofmodern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free archive.|
This tool would utilize the potential of digital archives to make handwritten text, which is often overlooked or demands significantly more time to read, more accessible.The Senior Thesis Collection is the most frequently used collection at the University Archives. Princeton students consult theses at a rate of about 1, per year to explore topics, gather ideas for possible faculty advisers, find sources, gain familiarity with disciplinary writing styles, develop research methodologies for their own theses.
Enter some text in the box below to search. Recently Added.
Title: “Naked” Magnetically Recyclable Mesoporous Au-γ-Fe 2 O 3 Nanocrystal Clusters: A Highly. DiVA portal is a finding tool and an institutional repository for research publications and student theses written at 47 universities and research institutions.
Search the Digital Thesis Archive. develop research methodologies for your own thesis, and understand what makes a good thesis. For tips on how to search, request to view, and order Princeton University senior theses, please visit the Senior Theses LibGuide. Archival Research Using Digital Archives.
My first encounter with a digital archive was a collection called Post-War Europe: Refugees, Exile and Resettlement.. The collection contains , pages of scanned materials from the National Archives and Wiener Museum in London relating to post-World War II “displaced persons.”.
The collections contained within the Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library are largely composed of digital versions of paper documents from the Ike Skelton CARL collections and student papers produced at the US Army Command and General Staff College.