How historians and archeologists are using digital technologies

We were very pleased last week to see another review for The Virtual Representation of the Past, this time in the Times Literary Supplement.

‘This collection … gives notice that the humanities, like books themselves, are finding new ways to talk.’

The Virtual Representation of the Past is edited by Mark Greengrass and Lorna Hughes. The contributors approach digital research in history and archaeology from contrasting viewpoints, including philosophical, methodological and technical.

Contributors to the volume include: Andrew Prescott, Meg Twycross, Donald Spaeth, Fabio Ciravegna, Mark Greengrass, Tim Hitchcock, Sam Chapman, Jamie McLaughlin, Ravish BhagdevCaroline Bowden, Julian D. Richards, Catherine Hardman, Manfred Thaller, Vincent Gaffney, Ian Gregory, Paul Cripps, David Arnold, Richard Beacham, Anna Bentkowska-Kafel.

Other reviews:

‘…more than just a fascinating read about how historians and archaeologists are beginning to use digital technologies. It asks subtle questions about what happens to the past when it is represented digitally, about how digital technology can be used to reveal the layers of interpretation which have accumulated around surviving traces of past activity, and at the same time how it adds new layers of meaning which somehow must also be recognized and revealed…Librarians and archivists might well compare their own practices and values with those described here and think about the ways in which they are also creating virtual representations of the past.’    The Electronic Library

‘The book is a comprehensive academic and technical contribution to this specialist subject area by a distinguished team of leading experts. I am sure it will be invaluable to students, researchers and practitioners – it will certainly be a valuable addition to our library’  Program Vol 43, No 4, 2010

”Virtual Representation of the Past succeds well in its aim to critically evaluate the virtual representation of the past through digital media… recommended to the scholarly community interested in using the latest ICTs and methods to represent the past. This would include scholars from the humanities such as historians and archaeologists, as well as scholars from informatics and computer science.’    Online Information Review, Vol 34, no 2, 2010

‘In an age when the objects of scholarly analysis in the arts and humanities are rapidly moving from the physical world to the virtual realm, researchers from all disciplines need a better understanding of the possibilities and potential of computational theory and methods. The fascinating essays in ‘The Virtual Representation of the Past’ explore the cutting edge of new techniques enabled by the digital age – from data- and text-mining to search to spatial technology – while remaining firmly rooted in the humanistic tradition. The book is approachable and thought-provoking.’    Daniel Cohen, George Mason University, USA

‘This excellent volume, by established and younger scholars, offers a definitive overview of the current landscape from a multidisciplinary perspective. The transformative opportunities that technology has to offer humanities researchers are highlighted, together with the scale of the challenges in an age of where so little thought is given to interoperability and long-term issues such as sustainability.’    Jane Ohlmeyer, Trinity College, Ireland

‘…plenty of food for thought for readers wishing to utilise technologies to analyse and represent meta-data visually….a valuable model worthy of emulation across other countries and professions.’   Australian Academic & Research Libraries

More information about The Virtual Representation of the Past…

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