History Can Be Open Source: Democratic Dreams and the Rise of Digital History | The American Historical Review | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  In an ongoing commitment to experimentation, the AHR invited an “open peer review” of a submitted manuscript, “History Can Be Open Source: Democratic Dreams and the Rise of Digital History,” by Joseph L. Locke (University of Houston–Victoria) and Ben Wright (University of Texas at Dallas). Given that Locke and Wright argued for the coexistence of transparency alongside formal academic peer review, subjecting their submission to an open review made sense. The peer review process itself tested the propositions about the democratization of scholarship they put forth in their submission. Their article appears in a new section of the AHR, “Writing History in a Digital Age,” overseen by consulting editor Lara Putnam (https://ahropenreview.com/). The maturation of digital history has propelled historians’ embrace of open educational resources. But, this article argues, open access licensing is not enough. Digital history’s earliest practitioners promised not just more accessible digital materials, but a broader democratization of history itself. This article therefore moves beyond questions of technological innovation and digital access in the rise of digital history to engage more fundamental and intractable questions about inequality, community, and participatory historical inquiry.

 

Copyright Historical Record Books Collection Available Online | Library of Congress

“The first 500 record books in the digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection are now available online. This collection is a preview of digitized historical record books that the Copyright Office plans to add to its Copyright Public Record System. This first release is part of a multi-year digitization project and includes applications for books registered with the Office from 1969 to 1977. The collection is being digitized in reverse chronological order.

The entire Historical Record Books Collection includes 26,278 bound volumes (over 26 million pages) of registration, renewal, assignment, notice of use of musical compositions, and patent records from 1870 to 1977. The Office is prioritizing digitizing records for works that are still under copyright protection. This project is part of a larger initiative within the Copyright Office to digitize and provide access to these public records not previously available online. Through digitization, the Office is also preserving these important historical and cultural records for future research. To find a specific registration record in the online collection, users will need to find the record book volume with the corresponding class and year. If the user knows, for example, the registration number they are seeking, the range of numbers located in each volume can be found in the collection item title. The documents within the historical record books are also indexed in the Copyright Card Catalog and available online in Virtual Card Catalog, and limited groups are listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries. In the future, the Office plans to develop metadata to allow users to search by fields, such as registration number, title, and claimant via the Copyright Public Records System….”

Rice wins NEH grant to create digital database of Atlantic slave trade | Rice News | News and Media Relations | Rice University

“A Rice history professor’s work to create a digital database of the Atlantic slave trade has won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Associate professor of history Daniel Domingues has been awarded $149,995 for his project with Lancaster University to develop the Digital Archive of the Atlantic Slave Trades. He’s one of 208 winners of $24.7 million in NEH grants this year.

This open-access resource will digitize, transcribe, translate and link manuscript materials documenting the South Sea Company and its contribution to the trans-Atlantic and intra-American slave trades. The NEH award will also allow all of this vital data to be linked to SlaveVoyages, the world’s largest repository of data on the slave trade, which is housed at Rice and overseen by Domingues….”

AWOL – The Ancient World Online: List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies

“This is a List of all Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies known  to me. It includes digitized paper-based journals from their 18th century origins to the present day. It also includes born-digital open access journals. I am in the process of compiling a list of currently active (i.e. seeking contributions) open access journals as a guide for scholars seeking opportunities to publish openly.”

It’s now possible to visit the Smithsonian’s African American history museum virtually : NPR

“Anyone who’s been to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will speak of its elevator ride through time, which takes visitors from the present day to the 15th century and kicks off the first exhibit, Slavery & Freedom. With the launch of a new virtual platform, visitors can now travel on the elevator down to that exhibit without ever leaving their homes.

The Searchable Museum, launched Thursday, transforms the artifacts, stories, and interactive experiences of the physical exhibit into a digital platform where museumgoers can take it in at their own pace.

Eventually, the museum plans to bring all of its exhibits online. The next exhibit, Making a Way Out of No Way, will go online this spring….”

Global Press Archive CRL Alliance adds Southeast Asian Newspapers as Digital Open Access Collection

The Center for Research Libraries and East View Information Services have launched Southeast Asian Newspapers(link is external), the fifth open access collection of titles digitized under the Global Press Archive CRL Alliance. Southeast Asian Newspapers follows Imperial Russian Newspapers(link is external), Independent and Revolutionary Mexican Newspapers(link is external), Late Qing and Republican-Era Chinese Newspapers(link is external), and Middle Eastern and North African Newspapers(link is external), the Alliance’s first five open access collections. Southeast Asian Newspapers adds to the growing body of open access material available in the Global Press Archive, by virtue of support from Center for Research Libraries members and other participating institutions.

University of Georgia Press Launches the Georgia Open History Library | UGA Libraries

“The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce the launch of the Georgia Open History Library on Oct. 15, 2021. The Georgia Open History Library (GOHL) is an open-access library of nearly fifty digital editions of single-authored scholarly titles and two multivolume series, as well as primary documents going back to the founding of Georgia as a colony up to statehood and beyond.

 

GOHL includes studies of Adams and Jefferson; the American Revolution in Georgia; the Creek Nation; the papers of Revolutionary War general Lachlan McIntosh and the colony’s visionary founder James Edward Oglethorpe; and records of the German-speaking Protestant Salzburger settlement. The titles also focus on how Georgia navigated its relationship with Indigenous peoples, other colonies, international diplomacy, as well as its place in a new nation.

 

Selected by a statewide advisory board of Georgia historians, the volumes in the GOHL constitute the most fulsome portrait of early Georgia and its inhabitants—European, Indigenous, and diasporic African—available from primary sources. Of particular importance are the colonial records of the state of Georgia and what are widely regarded as the essential supplements to those records: the journals and/or letters of the Earl of Egmont, Peter Gordon, and Henry Newton, as well as the two publications of General James Edward Oglethorpe’s own writings. The Press commissioned new forewords written by contemporary historians that add important current scholarly context to each volume….”

Graves in 19,000 English churchyards to be mapped online | Anglicanism | The Guardian

“Graves in 19,000 churchyards in England are to be digitally mapped in a seven-year project that will be a boon to people researching family history.

The Church of England is to launch a free website next year that will eventually list every grave memorial in every churchyard in the country.

 

The ancient church of St Bega on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria is the first churchyard to be scanned by surveyors using sophisticated laser equipment….”

UKRI Open Access protocols: August 2021 | Historical Transactions

“Is to publish the research article in a subscription journal and deposit EITHER the Author Accepted Manuscript OR the Version of Record (where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository at the time of final publication. This loosely corresponds to Green Open Access, though whereas this has hitherto operated with an embargo period, the policy now requires immediate Open Access to the deposited article. It is worth noting that some publishers, particularly outside the UK, do not currently permit a zero embargo period: authors will need to request this, which publishers will consider on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, submissions under Route 2 must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter / note accompanying the submission: ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’.

Importantly (and in response to input from humanities and social science stakeholders), an exemption is permitted to the CC BY licence. CC BY ND (no derivatives) may be used where this can be justified by the author….”

The World’s Most-Used Resource for 18th-Century Studies Gets an Upgrade

“As ECCO is upgraded to a new platform with enhanced features, what is its value today in what is a changed digital world?

Eighteenth Century Collections Online can be seen as a library of eighteenth-century life. It is an extraordinary resource for all manner of research topics. Not only does ECCO provide the facsimile texts of well-known, less well-known, and the unheard-of for centuries, but it enables researchers and students to search through its entire corpus….”

Open Access and Art History in the 21st Century: The Case for Open GLAM – CODART CODART

“Almost 1000 cultural heritage institutions around the world1 have published some or all of their online collections for free reuse, modification and sharing. They are part of the ‘Open GLAM’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) movement that views liberal access2 and reuse (where culturally appropriate3) of digital collections as fundamental to education, research and public engagement.

A key principle of Open GLAM is that works in the public domain – in which copyright has expired or never existed – should remain in the public domain once digitized. However, many museums do assert copyright in digital reproductions of public domain artworks. How legally legitimate is this? Although the answer is not straightforward (the relevant copyright law is complex and lacks international harmonization), in the European Union the standard of originality for a new copyright requires that the work be the ‘author’s own intellectual creation’….”

The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge

“In The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge, MIT Open Learning’s Peter B. Kaufman describes the powerful forces that have purposely crippled our efforts to share knowledge widely and freely.

Popes and their inquisitors, emperors and their hangmen, commissars and their secret police – throughout history, all have sought to stanch the free flow of information. Kaufman writes of times when the Bible could not be translated – you’d be burned for trying; when dictionaries and encyclopedias were forbidden; when literature and science and history books were trashed and pulped – sometimes along with their authors; and when efforts to develop public television and radio networks were quashed by private industry.

In the 21st century, the enemies of free thought have taken on new and different guises – giant corporate behemoths, sprawling national security agencies, gutted regulatory commissions. Bereft of any real moral compass or sense of social responsibility, their work to surveil and control us are no less nefarious than their 16th- and 18th- and 20th- century predecessors’. They are all part of what Kaufman calls the Monsterverse….”

Poland’s ‘legislation’ of Holocaust history vs. Netherlands’ open-access archive | The Times of Israel

“When historians seek to research what Dutch citizens did during Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Netherlands, they have access to a stack of files that’s taller than the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Twenty years ago, those files of the “Central Archive of Special Jurisdiction” were deposited at the Dutch National Archives in The Hague. Suddenly, 300,000 case files on Dutch citizens suspected of having collaborated with Nazis were made available to everyone….

The climate in the Netherlands differs sharply from an allegedly “research-muzzling” atmosphere in Poland. On February 9, a district court ordered prominent Holocaust historians Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking to apologize to a woman who claimed the scholars slandered her deceased uncle….

In Poland, research into the Holocaust has become a lightning rod since the Law and Justice party was elected in 2015. Simultaneously, the digitization of the Netherlands’ “special jurisdiction” archive has helped researchers piece together a diverse mosaic of Dutch citizens’ wartime behavior….

Poland has its own version of the “Central Archive of Special Jurisdiction.” In 1989, files from the communist-era security services became available to the public, including those related to Nazi collaborators….

According to Grabowski, Poland’s “History Laws” are intended to “defend the good name of the Polish nation.” Any claims that Poland bore responsibility for the Holocaust are now criminalized, despite the historian’s documentation that 200,000 Jews were murdered by their Polish neighbors….”

Hundreds of Holocaust Testimonies Translated, Digitized for the First Time | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

“Due to pandemic restrictions, survivors and educational groups couldn’t visit the sites of Nazi atrocities as they have in years past. But a new digital resource from the Wiener Holocaust Library in London offered an alternative for those hoping to honor the genocide’s victims while maintaining social distancing. As the library announced earlier this month, hundreds of its survivor testimonies are now available online—and in English—for the first time.

The archive, titled Testifying to the Truth: Eyewitness to the Holocaust, currently includes 380 accounts. The rest of the 1,185 testimonies will go online later this year. …”