Digital Archiving Resources

Archival Theory and Digital Historiography: Selection, Search, and Metadata as Archival
Processes for Assessing Historical Contextualization

Title

Archival Theory and Digital Historiography: Selection, Search, and Metadata as Archival
Processes for Assessing Historical Contextualization

Subject

Digital Humanities

Description

This article focuses on the application of archival theory to create digital representations of history, and how this has created a new theory within digital humanities scholarship termed digital historiography—a theory which focuses on analyzing and studying how digital technologies and historical practice interact. The sudden, rapid development of digital humanities scholarship and its increasing emphasis on interdisciplinarity has left scholars without a criteria to properly assess the validity and importance of digital representations, leaving them without a means to determine what scholarly value should be assigned to the project. The author provides a solution to this problem by proposing three processes of archival theory as criteria: selection, search, and the application of metadata. To support this idea, the author examines several digital representations to illustrate how selection, search functionality, and metadata application impact, inform, and interpret the historical knowledge that a digital representation aims to impart. While the author believes technology has improved the ways in which history is conveyed to wider, non-specialized audiences, he explains the important role that more traditional approaches have on archival theory and historical practice and argues for their assimilation into digital humanities scholarship.

Creator

Sternfeld, Joshua

Publisher

Society of American Archivists

Date

2011

Contributor

Wolf, Casey

Type

Journal Article

Bibliographic Citation

Sternfeld, Joshua. "Archival Theory and Digital Historiography: Selection, Search, and Metadata as Archival
Processes for Assessing Historical Contextualization." American Archivist 74, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2011): 544-575. Accessed April 22, 2016. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23079050

Files

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Citation

Sternfeld, Joshua, “Archival Theory and Digital Historiography: Selection, Search, and Metadata as Archival Processes for Assessing Historical Contextualization,” Digital Archiving Resources, accessed November 19, 2017, http://dar.cah.ucf.edu/items/show/362.