Blog Post #2: Digital Archives

Online digital archives store historical maps, pictures, books, scholarly articles that enables users to access the enhancement of rich varied collections. These are usually arranged in an organized manner to display specific themes or ideas online. In the past, it was time consuming and expensive to access historical information where the archives were and now we are lucky to have information readily available. The History archives discussed in class consisted of Acestry.ca, Medici Achieve Project and The Darwin correspondence project. These three archives showcase the advancement tool for historians and each serves different purposes with their own benefits and limitations.

Ancestry.ca has been advertised on T.V where it reaches out to people who want to find about their own family’s history out of their own interest. This website supposedly provides background history and other important information (deaths, ethnicity, marriages etc) that people can obtain. Even for an adopted child, that child can know about their relations through DNA collected and locate them from any city/country although it requires a fee which is expensive. Another limitation is that even though a lot of information are uploaded online, there may be some information that may not be uploaded. Even so, information can be leaked to companies to use part of their network. Security breaches can also occur and be dangerous.

In memory- Ancestry launches historic WWII collection

Darwin Correspondence project is managed by the University of Cambridge and provides historians with free access to the letters and complete picture of the timeline of Charles Darwin work (scientific studies/ personal life/ important information) through the internet like no other website. This helps historians to analyze the information and search specific information with minimal effort. This archive is highly organized as this archive categorizes their information so it is easily searchable by themes/keywords rather than sorting through the letters individually. The Darwin Correspondence Project also does a fair job to display the information through a blend of both media and text maintaining a professional look. Since the archive is managed by the University of Cambridge it is a limitation because they have control over the story and some historians may think the information is biased. Another limitation is that some information is missing and the authors are asking to fix the puzzle.

darwinproject.ac.uk

The Medici Archive project is free and can be used worldwide. It is designed to explore the various forms of primary sources that includes scholarly articles, journals etc as it makes it available to anyone who may need to use these primary documents (historians) and further their research. The Medici Archive primarily consists of letters. It also is a very secure website that requires a login for entry. A limitation of this archive is that the format of the page seems clustered and there are more images than writing. This draws attention away from the relevant information with distracting clustered media.

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