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Author: Shawn Martin
Title: The 'Marriage' of Technology and History
Publication info: Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
Spring 2010

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Source: The 'Marriage' of Technology and History
Shawn Martin

vol. 13, no. 1, Spring 2010
Article Type: Editorial note

The “Marriage” of Technology and History

Shawn Martin

May, 2010

One of the primary goals of the AAHC has always been “the reasonable and productive marriage of history and computer technology for teaching, researching and representing history through scholarship.” In this issue, there are two excellent representations of how such a marriage might work: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and text mining. These two technologies have the potential to vastly change how we understand and represent the past, and bring new insights into both pedagogical and research practices of history.

Philip Brown and his students at the Ohio State University have worked extensively with GIS to assist in a number of projects. In a series of five articles he and his students and colleagues explore the potential of this technology.

  1. Exploring Historical Space and Environments in the History/Social Studies Classroom II: Introduction – by Philip Brown
  2. Putting the World in World History – by Ruth Mostern
  3. The Integration of GIS-Based Information Mapping into an Ethnohistorical Seminar – by Barry Robinson
  4. Graduate Education in Geographically - Integrated History: A Personal Account – by J. B. Owens
  5. Exploring Historical Space and Environments in the History/Social Studies Classroom: Discussion and Reflections – by Philip Brown

Additionally, Mark Olsen from the University of Chicago has worked on “Plundering Philosophers” from the French Enlightenment. Using text mining capabilities, he and his colleagues have discovered some unique insights and future areas for historical scholarship.

Finally, Lynne Westney from the University of Illinois – Chicago in her column “E-Journals - Inside and Out” provides some current examples of how this marriage is working on the web.

In all, the potential for a “marriage” still has many possibilities, and the articles in this issue demonstrate just a few of them.