Blog #2: Digital History Archives

Looking at the Ancestry archive, the site offers little to no information to users who aren’t ready to pay for an online-subscription. This site offers a one stop shop for their information to its users for a monthly fee of $14.99. However, the information is typically very broad and general. This means the researcher must initially have a few detail specific facts related to their topic prior to using the archive and even then it can still provide useless information. The fact that anyone who wants use this archive, whether it’s just someone trying to develop their family tree or a great historian, having to pay for information that is most likely unhelpful and unrelated is a huge limitation.

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Shifting our attention towards the Darwin Correspondence Project archive, right from the top the site is FREE for everyone to use. And by everyone they mean everyone, as it has worldwide access to those with an internet connection. The site provides it’s users with copious amounts of information, although that information is only pertaining to Charles Darwin. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to historians and those who want to further their knowledge of Darwin. Additionally, this site is easy to navigate as it has a general flow to its layout, allowing you to look deeper into a topic while not straying too far from the home page.

Similarly to the Medici archive, the site was also free and provides its users with loads of historical information. Although, the information is only useable to historians who already have a decent understanding of the Medici family or Italian history. Additionally, the site would be far easier for a historian to explore as opposed to a regular student who isn’t sure what they are looking for exactly as its layout is quite distracting and leaves the user not knowing where to begin.

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Having said the various flaws incorporated with digital archives, it is important to remember that they do typically provide a researcher with a large amount of information compiled into one source. It’s up to the researcher to be informed and choosey when searching for historical information.



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