Perceptions of history

Each of these articles brought a different idea to the table. I like how each talked about this idea using varying approaches. To me, one of the most important ideas here is those of Sharon M. Leon. She talks about many key issues that the historian faces in this ever-changing landscape. She states that public history is pointed at a specific audience. Our work needs to be engaging and be able to reel the readers in. This goes in hand with the thoughts from those involved in the HeritageCrowd Project. I like their distinction of who the audience is actually composed of. As scholars in the field history, our work tends to have a more niche audience. Whether it be other scholars interested in that area or others in classroom setting. On the other hand, the work in digital public history necessitates that historians drop the history lingo and adopt a methodology that the layman can understand. They need to not only make the site accessible but also the information and their sources too. This reality forces us to rethink what we put in our public project but more importably how we display it. A positive aspect of this reality is that it will make our projects much more appealing and understandable regardless of their level of interest in the historical field. I feel like the overarching theme is that thinking like a historian will always be important. We need that for various other research projects. However, we need to remember to sort of distance ourselves away from that mindset and rewire out brains to help bring the information to an audience that may have no stake or knowledge in what we are doing. These articles have encouraged me to reflect on the next few steps in our project which will be outreach and how to encourage people to stay on our site.

One last note, Leon also talk about the necessity of digital historians to code. Personally, I have struggled with this idea since I have never been good at those types of things. However, she puts it nicely by saying that all it requires is someone who is willing to tinker around. I feel like this is a very important concept that upcoming digital historians need to understand because I feel like many, like myself, have been intimidated to enter this area of history due to our inability to code or what not. I really liked her ideas and it reminded me of my group’s efforts to make things work despite not knowing the system too well!

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