Text Post #4

Throughout my exploration of Voyant Tools, I found a plethora of things to spark my interest. This tool is very interesting because it allows one to copy and paste a section of writing, or plug in a word document off their computer and as a result, this site will produce data based off what was given in the text box or word document. Voyant Tools is also a free site which can be used in many ways. I know that we used it in my highschool English class to see which words we had used the most in our essays and whether or not they were needed that many times. Voyant Tools offers text analysis which would allow those using the site to break down their work and analyze specific details of it.

This site is of major use to historians because by inputting a certain work found at an archaeological site, they can determine the speech patterns of those who lived during that time period. Voyant Tools can show the user how many times a word is present in a work as well as when that word appears, for example if one word always appears after another one, then both words will be brought to the attention of the user.

The ability that Voyant Tools has to analyze text patterns in large bodies of writing can help or hinder the historical analysis. It can do both based on what the historian is attempting to analyze. In large works where speech patterns are being analyzed. However, the site will not be as useful when the body of work is not of a decent length. The site Voyant Tools has proven to be immensely useful to me and I plan on using it again in the future in assistance with my essays not only to find repetitive words, but to analyze my own speech patterns in my essays.


HIST2P26 Blogpost #3

For my third blogpost I decided to analyze the Trans Atlantic Slave Visualization found on the HGIS site. This is map which I found to be extremely interesting. The creators of this site are a computer scientist and a historian whose specialty is slavery. This site is extremely easy to navigate which is a good indicator that the authors of this website have made it very user-friendly. In a way that anyone can use it and take in its data. You don’t have to have a doctorate in order to find your way around this site.

Contained within this site is data which indicates here the slaves were from as well as where they were going to be shipped to. We can also see what time during history these slaves were being traded. The first map indicates that most slaves had begun to be traded in Portugal and from there went to the United Kingdom then into Brazil. It is also seen that there were slaves being traded in the Unites States of America. Contained within the second map on this site is where slaves were being purchased from, it is first seen in the areas of Angola, furthermore, into Nigeria as well as Ghana and Guinea. The last map on this database depicts where the slaves had landed upon leaving their homes. It is seen that they had first landed in Venezuela then Argentina and further into the United States of America.

In total I believe this website to be a clear indicator of the data that it is attempting to portray. It provides accurate data and gave the reader a clear depiction of the slave trade.

Blogpost #2: Digital Archives

Digital History is a difficult subject to discuss. It is fairly interesting, what is also interesting and quite surpasses Digital History is the aspect of digital archives. Digital archives, while amazing resources, still have limitations. The archives have improved the speed at which historians are able to obtain data. In addition to this, they have broadened the availability of these documents to people all over the world who may not have had the opportunity to view them previously. One particular online archive is the archive of the Darwin Correspondence Project. This archive has the ability for worldwide access, as long as the researcher has an internet connection, it is assembled of letters that were written by Darwin until the year 1872, and it was assembled by the University of Cambridge.

What makes this digital archive challenging however is the fact that one only has access to information about Darwin. Some of the best research has happened by accident and this database is forcing the researcher to stay within the realm of Darwin. While there is a plethora of knowledge on this digital archive, it is surrounding Darwin. If one was looking for another topic, this database may not be right for them but it is always a good place to start. This archive also highly provides information of high value for historians. Being that it is on one topic, it makes it difficult to stray from this topic if one was doing research primarily on Darwin.

The site of Ancestry is vastly different in the sense that it based off of subscription whereas other sites are not. Ancestry does contain the contents of these other sites and just puts them all together in one area. I would much rather do my own research and form my own opinion. Above all, if not to have the satisfaction of doing the research alone, I am cheap when it comes to subscriptions and I have the means to do the research alone anyways.

Both of these digital archives have a plethora of knowledge to share, it just simply depends on what the researcher is looking for. Digital Archives are an amazing resource for today’s historians, because they take a lot of the physical work out of doing research and it is exciting to think of what is yet to come.


Introduction to Me

Hello everyone, my name is James and I am a second year History student here at Brock. I am from a pretty small town called Stoney Creek, no one usually knows where it is so I just say that I am from Hamilton. It’s a pretty cool city but there isn’t much to do here. After I complete my undergraduate program, I plan on going to Law School and becoming a Lawyer. A little bit about me, I commute to school this year but last year I lived in residence which was an experience to say the least. Growing up in an extremely suburban town was pretty much as basic as it gets. I knew everyone on my street and I was the youngest of three boys. My brother Joey is a year older than I am and my brother Justin is 12 years older than me and he is a highschool teacher as well as a graduate from Brock. Living so close to the Niagara region and the Toronto area was really convenient when I was growing up. We would frequently visit Niagara so it felt right to go to school out here as it is far enough that I can live here if I want, but I can also commute.

I do not really do much outside of school as I work two jobs. I work at Starbucks as a Barista, and I am also a cook at my local breakfast diner. Jugging school and two jobs is pretty stressful at times but I manage to just work really early opening shifts then head to school. It really is not ideal most days but I get free Starbucks when I work so hey, who wouldn’t always want to be working right? I have done almost everything when it comes to jobs, I have done everything from being a server, to a lifeguard, to a landscaper. I feel as though I have found what I like to do being a Barista as I was a regular customer at my store and it was just fate that brought me to working there.

So, what does the term “Digital History” mean to me? To me, I view it as a gateway to everything todays generation knows. Every time there is a question with an unknown answer, one can simply “Google it” which I believe to be an amazing, yet dangerous tool. The term of “Digital History” can show us of what came before the high speed and all-knowing power of technology that we currently know today. The perils of digital history are that it used to be just a place for simple YouTube videos and Google searches; but now, it is a lifeline for almost everyone in todays society. It is a source of communication as well as a source of income for others. Just by posting videos, people are able to make a living which is an incredible aspect of the digital world. This can cause the people of the world to become less educated and less caring about the environment. Even from an education standpoint, doing these postings while in the comfort of your own home without having to leave the house in order to submit it is something that has developed rapidly over a few years. My oldest brother is amazed at how much is at out disposal now, compared to when he was a student at Brock. For my program, having ancient documents available on the internet is incredible. I can view items which are currently across the globe with a simple search for them and I can even discuss with other students who are in other areas of the world.

The main reason why Digital History is so interesting to be is because it has exploded with development is such a short time, really in a simple 15 years. It has turned from a luxury to almost a necessity. Which I believe to be an amazing quality that must be studied in order to fully understand. I am looking forward to this course as I feel it will provide details to some events and situations that might have gone unnoticed previously.