Intro part 2

After reading a couple of the other blog posts, I decided I wanted to add to my intro and add to my thoughts on digital history.   I went to college the first time in the early 1980’s and there was no interest and in many ways no computers to use for doing research or even writing up essays and papers.   I am astounded at how many resources are now available online and I am excited about learning about the ways to access and search through them.    

One of the issues that concerns me is accuracy and truthfulness.  I always worry about the accuracy of any information I find  – whether on or off the internet.  I love working with the objects that museums collect and I love the stories and histories they hold.  I want to share those stories and help people understand that an object is more than just a thing it’s a link to our past.  Surveys have shown that people trust museums the most in terms of truthfulness and accuracy.  Whenever I present information to the public through exhibits or tours or programming, I try to be extra-diligent in making sure that I present as truthful and accurate information as possible.  

I love the possibilities that digital technology presents to the museum field but we have to be careful not to become overdependent on it and lose focus on the actual objects and their stories.

 

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2 thoughts on “Intro part 2

  1. Debbie, you make an excellent point in regards to the need for truth and accuracy in history! Before we had the internet, the only historical sources were books and museums etc. The reason I believe we have a better trust for these physical entities is the amount of work invested in them. It takes a museum ages to curate all their items and sometimes just as long for an author to publish a book. As such, the time involved usually equals higher level of accuracy and therefore trust. whereas the internet is a very different type of beast. Nowadays there are more ways to find trusted sources (i.e. scholarly articles and journals) but it is just as easy to get lost in the black hole of the information superhighway. We need to continue to establish the internet as a trusted source much like our museums and books are.

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  2. I find that accuracy and truthfulness are worthy of a large portion of the debate that surrounds digital history. You point out that museums are an example of a very trustworthy way to gather scholarly information. I completely agree that identifying primary sources as established as some that are found in a D.C. history museum carry weight in a scholarly work. In Professor Mills Kelly’s class, “Lying About the Past”, the students created fake primary sources that were made to look timewornin an attempt to capitalize on faith in what is ancient.

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