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Ian Milligan

Ian Milligan

The CHA Journal Prize ( The best article from #1 and #2 issues)

2013

Ian Milligan. “Mining the ‘Internet Graveyard’: Rethinking the Historians’Toolkit” in JCHA/RSHC volume 2.

The deluge of information created in a digital format in the last fifty years has changed the game for historians of recent times. In his timely article, Ian Milligan proposes that historians need not abandon their methods, but rather expand their toolkits to handle the volume and form of digital information, by focusing on “distance reading,” such as machine-reading of large amounts of information to find broad patterns. He walks us through existing tools for managing digital information, and then considers how historians may develop their own software to create tools specific to historians’ concerns. This excellent article encourages historians to embracing programming as a new skill for historical research.