Digital History at UWI

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Class Blog 1 (Monday)

Dr. John Campbell in his article “Clio’s Matrix: Reflecting on Digital History at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine” states that the discipline of History “stand[s] not weakened but in fact strengthened” by Digital History. Give your opinion of his conclusion in the blog below (minimum 150 words). 

Due: Friday 10 February 2023 by 11:55pm                                                              

Please upload your answer in the comment section below. Also, please remember not to include any personal information other than your name- ie. no student id numbers. 

For evaluation criteria go to the Class Blog page.



  1. sarayaganesh says:

    Today, almost all historians, if not all, utilize technology to search for and store materials. It allows historians to experiment with techniques, ideas, and approaches from other fields, such as computer science and computational linguistics, in order to gain novel insights into our history. (Romein 2020,14)
    What I take away from this is that digital history serves as a practice-based, community of researchers from all backgrounds who traverse institutional and disciplinary boundaries to engage in historical activities that employ the analytical and epistemic principles of other disciplines. To clarify further the phrase ‘digital history’, according to (Rosenzweig 2022, 5), “is a way to investigate and depict the past that takes advantage of modern communication technologies such as computers and the Internet. It makes use of crucial digital elements such as databases, hypertextualization, and networks to develop and distribute historical information.”
    Dr. John Cambell went on to say in his piece ‘Clio’s Matrix’ that the discipline of history “stands not weakened but in fact strengthened” by digital history. I can say that I somewhat agree with his opinion.
    Through the combination of primary sources and imagery with contemporary technological developments, historians can now convert their scholarly study into digitized resources, and these digital historians can subsequently publish their findings on sites, forums, social networking pages, and even web journals!
    Aside from that, it allows these historians to use technology like WordPress and Omeka, amongst others, to create engaging and instructive presentations such as: dynamic graphs, charts, and maps, to aid others in conceptualizing past events. Indeed, allowing history to flourish as a discipline. Isn’t it enticing?
    However, reaffirming my previous comment, “I somewhat agree,” I maintain my belief that the discipline is still in its early phases of adoption, and by extension, humanity is still grappling with this change. Some of the beneficial components that digital history has brought to our computers, in my opinion, are negated by major risks and dangers.
    To elaborate, the issue of quality and authenticity arises. From my experience of seeking material for projects, I can attest that it’s primarily trash and internet search engines. Aside from that, there is a lot of false history on the internet, there is the obstacle of filtering data since there is so much of it, and the dilemma of whom to trust emerges because the publishing environment has splintered and altered in so many ways that historians collectively have limited experience in thinking about and knowing how to cope with such situations.
    However, the question that concerns me is if there are any mechanisms in place to control the restrictions on historical accuracy and quality on the internet. Who wouldn’t want that, right? I’ve realized that moving history online generally means moving it into a less regulated and controlled setting than your typical history classroom or museum, which may have both good and frightening ramifications. However, with reference to (Campbell 2012), he postulated that “Digital History is a methodology for doing history easier and representing it differently. It is not necessarily A MORE ACCURATE WAY or a way that eliminates many of the traditional issues associated with historical writing. The fundamental issue of deriving truth from the sources remains and, in some cases, is actually expanded”, but nonetheless, in my opinion, digital media has destroyed an existing trust and authority structure, necessitating the establishment of a new framework of historical legitimacy and authority.

    “History is not just the evolution of technology; it is the evolution of thought.” – James Redfield.

  2. Marc-Anthony Hosten.

    I agree that the Discipline of History is strengthened by Digital History as Digital History opens more mediums for which history can be recorded and outputted to not only the public but also to other historians. The use of technology does not solve all of the problems that historians have had however it does alleviate some burdens of finding information as historical documents from all over the world can be scanned and uploaded to various websites.
    While the Digital History may also bring about its own problems, I believe that the pros of utilizing technology outweigh the cons especially in the current technological age. “Perhaps the biggest advantage of Digital History is that it allows the historian the freedom to realise truly multidimensional historical presentations.” (Campbell 2012)
    Even though the norms of a historian may change as Digital History becomes more popular it should be seen as a progressive advancement in the Discipline of History as it allows historians to have different and more convenient avenues in how they acquire and present historical information. However, Traditional “pen and ink” Historians who prefer to be hands on do not have to feel scared or threatened as the norm is changing as not everything can and will be digitized, such as experiences and interpersonal human interaction.

  3. Alexa Reyes says:

    Alexa Reyes
    Technological development has exploded in the last century, creating a brand-new generation that is dependent on technology. Technology is, “the application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life or, to the change and manipulation of the human environment;”1 and is present in practically every facet of our everyday lives. A new discipline has been created called ‘Digital History’ defined as “an approach to examining and representing the past that takes advantage of new communication technologies such as computers and the Web. It draws on essential features of the digital realm, such as databases, hypertextualization, and networks, to create and share historical knowledge.”2 According to Dr. John Campbell’s article, he believes that history is strengthened by Digital History, and as a result, a thorough analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of this study is required.
    In the Dr’s paper, he mentions “educators argue that the proper use of digital technology within their courses could improve learning.”3 This is applicable not only to learning in schools, but to anyone interested in understanding the past. “These valuable resources are no longer limited to those with the authority and ability to easily access archival collections.”4 Anyone can use it to conduct research for credible material on any historical subject from any civilization throughout practically any time period. Given that the internet provides a plethora of valuable information, it would be detrimental to history if it were excluded out of this collection.
    Dr. Campbell also states that “Digital History by making use of much of the social computing networks and tools has widened the teaching forum, methodologies and appeal beyond the classroom.”3 Because our society is so digitally advanced, you can engage individuals of a various nationalities, of numerous ethnicities with different cultures interested in yours that has no link to them. The world is so engulfed with the internet and social media that it’ll expand learning beyond the classrooms and just to students as “The adoption of digital technologies offers important opportunities, however, without a holistic, contextually relevant and scalable approach, technologies can increase the existing inequalities of opportunities.”5
    A major drawback highlighted by Dr. Campbell article is that digital history now has “an egalitarian approach to ‘who gets published’, makes everyone a publishing historian”3. Although there is no doubt that this ‘faux historian’ is a problem, “Because of the openness of the web anyone can publish low quality or historically inaccurate work,”6 this is a challenge that all academic fields encounter, not just this one. The dissemination of false information and unreliable sources online has long been an issue. Because of this, people need to examine the reliability of their material continuously and carefully before using it.
    Another problem to which the paper refers to is “a contested area of interpretation in which historians argued over the primacy of anyone ‘correct’ interpretation.”3 A concrete definition or declaration is required for historical documents or photos published to the internet, in order for them to be easily found and understood. This is not the case for all sources however, as “Many of the more interactive components in digital history have trouble using the computer to detect “gray” areas.”6 Because various historians interpret occurrences differently, history does not have a clear context about every aspect. This presents an issue since information uploaded in specific contexts may be questioned as being misleading. Allowing young researchers to examine and develop their own conclusions based on all provided interpretations of the subject in question; decided for the researcher.
    The most essential elements were focused on in this review to determine whether Digital History strengthens information about the past, despite the fact that other advantages and negatives were stated in the paper. I arrive at the conclusion that Dr. John Campbell’s assertion was accurate. It doesn’t come without obstacles, but the benefits of providing people with simple access to collective histories and engaging them in it greatly outweigh those of ‘faux historians’ and ‘gray’ historical documents or artifacts. History can be saved for the future by preserving it in a digital form that exists indefinitely.


    1. “Technology.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Accessed February 9, 2023.

    2. “Research Guides: Digital History: What Is Digital History?” What is Digital History? – Digital History – Research Guides at Sam Houston State University, December 5, 2022.

    3. Campbell, John F. “Clio’s Matrix: Reflecting on Digital History at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine.” View of Clio’s matrix: Reflecting on digital history at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, November 2012.

    4. Howell, L. “Pros and Cons of Digital History.” Introduction to public history, April 10, 2014.

    5. World Bank Group. “Engage the Ecosystem: Reimagining Human Connections Technology and Innovation in Education at the World Bank.” World Bank. World Bank Group, December 1, 2020.

    6. Kelseyfritz. “The Good and Bad of Digital Media.” Digital History Methods, January 17, 2011.

  4. Sebastian Marchand says:

    Dr. John Campbell’s opinion in his paper that digital history strengthens the discipline of history is shared by many other historians around the world. Digital history has ushered in a new age in the discipline of history, providing new and inventive methods for gathering, analyzing, and presenting historical data. With the advancement of digital technology, it is now feasible to access a large amount of historical data and information from all around the world with just a few clicks of the mouse. This has expanded the possibility of fresh discoveries and insights into the past significantly.
    Furthermore, digital history has made history more approachable and engaging. Historians may now convey historical material in a more engaging and aesthetically appealing manner, making it simpler for people to comprehend and appreciate the past. This has also contributed to a greater public interest in history and brought the field to a larger audience.
    However, it is crucial to emphasize that, while digital history offers many benefits, it also has drawbacks. The dependability and quality of digital historical data are two major challenges. Because digital material is often corrupted, historians must be vigilant in validating the legitimacy of the data they utilize.
    To conclude, digital history has strengthen the discipline of history, but it is critical to utilize digital technologies responsibly and thoughtfully. The use of digital technology into the discipline of history has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of the past while also bringing history to a larger audience.

  5. xuanmauge says:

    My opinion on “Clio’s Matrix: Reflecting on Digital History at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine” states that the discipline of History “stand[s] not weakened but in fact strengthened”:
    I agree with John F. Campbell as the text seems to be well-reasoned and supported by the arguments presented in the text. The authors have carefully considered both the potential benefits and challenges of incorporating digital technologies into the field of history and have concluded that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
    This perspective is in line with the wider trend in many disciplines towards greater use of digital technologies and reflects the recognition of the potential for these technologies to transform the way we approach research, analysis and dissemination of information. While there are certainly challenges to be addressed, the conclusion that the discipline of history is strengthened, not weakened, by the use of digital technologies is a compelling one and on that many historians and scholars in related fields are likely to find convincing.

  6. Britney Sherwood
    Digital History is understood broadly as an approach to examining and representing the past that works with the new communication technologies of the computer, the internet network, and software systems. The statement that Digital History has not been weakened but in fact strengthened is one that I firmly agree with. The implementation of digital history has allowed for the expansion and surplus of resources that are readily available to researchers, not only has it been able to expand the scope of information that we have access to in a multitude of ways but it provides different forums for disseminating information. From having audio-visuals, electronic presentations and wider storage methods to different modes of allowing historians to collaborate and publish findings without having to go through vast amounts of red tape to have their information be seen and recognized. However, the downside to this is that the authenticity of the information can be an issue since anyone has the ability to publish any source of information as they see fit but there are ways to ensure authentication by getting your information from credible websites and blogs. The implementation of digital media should be considered an addition to the already preexisting primary sources of information that are available to historians and researchers as it brings about an easier way of getting the information right at your fingertips and it also helps individuals to get the perspectives of other historians, researchers and students from all around the world through the internet, blog post, YouTube videos, etc. Digital history should be seen as an improvement rather than a disadvantage to the community because it has provided us with the means to retrieve information about our past in a very easy and accessible manner that not only is helpful but it has added to our knowledge as we are able to access different pieces of information from different time periods in history all around the world, see different perspectives on how people view monumental moments in history and communicate with each other from the comfort of our own homes.

  7. karishmaboodoo says:

    According to Seefeldt and Thomas (2009), digital history can be defined as a method of examining and representing the past that employs new communication technologies such as computers, internet networks and software

    “Digital history harnesses new technologies to analyze historical sources, to locate patterns and trends, and to communicate scholarly findings” (“Digital History | History | the University of Chicago” n.d.). Digital historians use many analytical methods and approaches ranging from big data analysis and text mining to geographic information systems (GIS) as it provides historians with a rather novel approach to understanding the past by reconstructing it using either historical or archaeological data or both.

    In the past, the study of history was ideally based on traditional methods of analysis and research which includes the examination of primary and secondary sources which include but are not limited to archives, manuscripts, stone, parchment, human remains, oral traditions and even buildings, ruins and artifacts. However, the way in which historians research and write history has dramatically changed with the introduction of digital tools.

    One of the key benefits of digital history is the ability to access as well as analyze large amount of data easily and quickly. With the use of traditional methods, historians and researchers were limited by time and resources required to physically locate and examine and analyze primary sources. However, with the introduction of digital tools, historians and researchers can now access vast amounts of historical data from a single location (an online database for example) and then use data mining, algorithms and software to interpret this data in new and innovative ways.
    For example, historians, researchers and digital historians can use these online databases to track patterns and trends over specific periods of time in order to identify relationships between people and events and then use this data to create visualizations that assist in bringing historical data to life in an interesting and innovative ways.

    The digital technologies have also transformed the practice of history by making primary sources easily accessible. In the past, accessing historical documents and artifacts required considerable travel and research in archives and libraries. The digital technologies have made many of these historical documents and even artifacts easily accessible online from anywhere in the world. This has made the research process more efficient and effective for historians and has also opened up new avenues for exploration. The digital technologies have enabled historians to conduct research and data mining projects on very large scales which would have been extremely difficult before the introduction of digital tools. These projects have revealed avenues and insights in digital history and historical events and trends and have also challenged existing historical narratives.

    In addition to these, digital history has also made it possible for historians to collaborate globally. With the ability to share data and resources digitally, historians from all over the world can now work together and collaborate on large scale projects through the pooling of their knowledge, expertise and resources. This has therefore allowed for new and innovative historical research to take place and has also created a more diverse and inclusive community of historical and digital researchers. The digital technologies have allowed historians to collaborate on digital humanities projects which have revealed new insights into the role of gender, race, and other social factors in the shaping of historical trends and events.

    Despite having a lot of benefits to digital history, there are also challenges which need to be addressed. One of the key challenges of digital history is the need to critically evaluate sources. With the introduction of digital tools, it is now easier to manipulate and falsify historical data which now makes it essential for historians to be able to critically analyze and evaluate sources as well as preserve and protect historical data and therefore ensure that the data which they are using is reliable and trustworthy. This however, requires a very deep understanding and appreciation of the principles used in historical research and a very strong commitment to the ethical standards in the use of these digital tools.

    In conclusion, it is my opinion that the discipline of history stand[s] not weakened but in fact strengthened by digital history. With the ability to access as well as analyze large amounts of data quickly and easily, making primary sources more accessible and collaboration on a global scale, the practice of history has been transformed in many meaningful and impactful ways through the digital technologies. As with anything, there will be challenges, it is clear that the discipline has been strengthened by digital history. As this field continues to evolve with further integration of digital technologies into the practice/discipline, there would be more potential to enrich the understanding of the past as well as reveal new insights into historical events and even trends.

    Altaweel, Mark. 2016. “How GIS Is Used to Understand History.” GIS Lounge. June 15, 2016.

    Brennan, Sheila A. 2019. “Digital History – the Inclusive Historian’s Handbook.” June 4, 2019.

    Cohen, Daniel J., and Roy Rosenzweig. n.d. “Digital History | Promises and Perils of Digital History.” Accessed February 9, 2023.

    “Digital History | History | the University of Chicago.” n.d. The University of Chicago. Accessed February 7, 2023.

    Koller, Guido. 2019. “Outlines of a New, Digital Source Criticism.” We Think History. February 19, 2019.

    Milligan, Ian. 2022. “The Transformation of Historical Research in the Digital Age.” Elements in Historical Theory and Practice, August.

    Seefeldt, Douglas, and William G. Thomas. 2009. “What Is Digital History? | Perspectives on History | AHA.” May 1, 2009.

    Wijfjes, Huub. 2017. “Digital Humanities and Media History.” TMG Journal for Media History 20 (1): 4.

  8. deanjeno says:

    Dr. John Campbell in his article “Clio’s Matrix: Reflecting on Digital History at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine” states that the discipline of History “stand[s] not weakened but in fact strengthened” by Digital History. This was stated after listing a range of critics against Digital History, before he in turn listed the many benefits of the digital revolution within the history field.
    In my opinion, arguing against the use of modern technology in some bizarre self-righteous act and belief that it somehow diminishes traditional history’s value is both ignorant and an insult to history itself. Forget traditional text and printed words on a page, before the invention of the printing press, what did persons use to record history? Humans beings have constantly invented new technology and will continue to do so. Today if one thinks of the term “technology” concepts of the digital age, internet, computers and so forth may come to mind. However, an estimated 2 million years ago, a technological invention would have been “stone tools”. The British Museum describes the lower paleeolithic | Olduvai stone chopping tool as the “first known technological invention”.
    Technology is not something to be feared, rather technology is simply the application of scientific knowledge in a manner that serves a practical purpose. If we think of modern technology, it is simply practical to use the digital medium to record and preserve history. Historians of the past who recorded historical data using ink and paper were doing simply that, using the technology of that era in practical ways to assist in the field. As technology advances so does the range of possibilities.
    For example, while a scribe could record written history from investigating and listening to oral accounts, modern technology allows for not only voice, but video recordings. If history and the recoding of such was static and removed from technological advancements, it may still exist in some forms yes [as remote indigenous tribes still exist and pass on their history to the next generation], but not using the technology when it is available to the historian seems a rather bizarre choice to me.
    “Digital History”? Is such a thing really that absurd for persons to criticise it? Then what of “Written History” contained in print books. Would the persons now entering the age of the printing press have thought placing history in printed books to be worthy of criticism as well? Could they even imagine back then that the papyrus or scrolls being turned into printed books would in the future transcend the ink on the page to intangible words reflecting off of a computerised screen in the form of an e-book?
    Now, that is not to say that Digital History is flawless. All technology can be used for good or harm. Lies could be published in a printed book as much as it could be written online. An image or painting could be forgery and counterfeit, while a photograph could be manipulated on a computer.
    As the author concludes: “Digital History is a methodology for doing history easier and representing it differently. It is not necessarily a more accurate way or a way that eliminates many of the traditional issues associated with historical writing” (p.101). Utilising the digital sphere is a method. It is the technology of today and it is simply logical for a historian to utilise all methods at their disposal, ethically of course, to present history.
    Technology will continue to advance. One day, will we be debating a stage beyond the digital? Only time will tell as our present will one day be history too.

    Dé. Noel

  9. marieayoung0 says:

    Marie Ayoung
    The evolution of contemporary media within the last decade has expedited the growth and accessibility of mobile online platforms for the average person. Undoubtedly the shift to digitizing traditional forms of educational resources into digestible and interactive platforms have resulted in the increased memorization capability of students within recent years (Khan 2019). Moreover, the use of digital media being incorporated in disciplines, especially fields that were traditionally restricted to conventional media, have testified to a more seamless transfer of knowledge and a cultivation of an excited and engaging online learning community (Dempsey 2017). Argued by Mateer and Ghent (2023) it’s actually important to have multifaceted teaching and learning techniques that challenge the ritualistic approach in a classroom.
    Hence, the introduction and implementation of a Digital History course (HIST2807) at the University of the West Indies, St. Augstuine has taken a step in the right and revolutionary direction to not only teach, but to expand, protect and preserve the essence of history within its institution. In agreeance with Dr. John Campbell, the discipline of history has in fact, been strengthened by courses such as HIST2807. As stated by Dr. Campbell himself, ‘many Caribbean educators argue that the proper use of digital technology within their courses could improve learning’ (Evans, 2007; Kuboni, 2009). Truly, the intention of this course was to entice students within the humanities and social sciences departments to be interested in this multidisciplinary field (Campbell 2012). As intended, this course delivers a balanced interconnected blend of both technological and theoretical resources for students to explore the essence of history but in a less restrictive and non-linear way.
    Students who are interested in history now have an avenue to explore their research and present it in a way that’s comprehensible and fun for themselves and their peers. The seemingly ‘boring’ stereotype of history being a bland and monotonous subject could be revamped into something that is approachable and fresh! To have student engagement, courses need to adapt and implement strategies of teaching that are appealing and digestible for students to actually be immersed in the content and ready to learn. By allowing students in HIST2807 to create their own platform of historical research they have the liberty to explore the avenue of not just Caribbean history but also, technological skills and resources that help to filter, validate and preserve the research they’ve done. In other words, ‘History comes alive through these electronic presentations’
    Additionally, also stated by Dr. Campbell, the introduction of Digital History will be helpful since it could potentially boost Caribbean Historical representation. For centuries, Caribbean history has been recorded from a Westernized, colonial perspective. Although there are incredible studies, documentations and research done about Caribbean history, there is a lack of authentic representation of local and regional publications that are produced by Caribbean people that’s easily accessible to the wider online community. HIST2807 grants young academics the opportunity to publish their research, from a culturally rich perspective as a Caribbean student that studies local and regional history. Essentially, there would be an increase in online publications of Caribbean based topics and a growth of knowledge that would be shared not just regionally but internationally as well. Thus, this not only develops our history but also creates lifelong platforms that preserve our past and ensure our future because (Campbell 2012) there will be the creation of new historical sources and accompanying representations of them. This course subsequently fights against the under-representation of Caribbean history and moreover, develops and preserves our past and how we choose to express our story as the authors of these platforms.
    In summary, in agreement with Dr. Campbell, Digital History truly does strengthen the discipline of history within the University of the West Indies. This course’s multidimensional skill-sets, strategies and resources have improved student engagement and boosted the excitement for history overall. Not only are the younger generations ‘excited’ for history once again but now they are the pioneers for Caribbean history development and preservation, telling the story of our past through their own voices.

  10. Kerissa Dowrich
    The article being discussed which states that the “discipline of history stand[s] not weakened but in fact strengthened by Digital History” can provide a sense of understanding of what the topic of digital history surrounds and by extension the benefits associated with this form of history. Scholarly articles have provided the definition that “Digital history is an approach to examining and representing the past that takes advantage of new communication technologies such as computers and the Web. It draws on essential features of the digital realm, such as databases, hypertextualization, and networks, to create and share historical knowledge.” This definition does a sufficient job in bringing to light the understanding of the statement presented by Campbell since Digital history is definitely considered a forum for more conveniently providing historical information to wider masses. Though the article highlighted some very valid downsides such as validity and accuracy of information presented, the article also highlights that it presents readers and seekers of historical information with a more enjoyable historical experience. In my opinion I would agree with his conclusion since in the general scheme of things it has strengthened history since it makes historical information easily accessible for the masses and it further allows for the information to be presented in a variety of ways which can allow for understanding among people from all around the world and of different age groups. This therefore allows for more persons to become more educated on historical events and with this new sense of technological adaptation it allows history to evolve with the changing world and not stay something that sticks to traditional ways in an ever-changing world and only facilitate ways of the past.
    “Research Guides: Digital History: What Is Digital History?” 2013. 2013.

  11. jolierooplal says:

    Seefeldt and Thomas (2009) describe “digital history” as the display of academic material and the creation of new study resources to assist learners in comprehending historical issues. This strategy also reflects the dissemination of historical knowledge using computer technology. Others are opposed to the idea, as they believe that digital history can increase the lack of legitimacy and authenticity of data. I believe the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. According to Sankar (2022), this method provides a bigger audience with access to worldwide historical data. This information takes into account the availability of both primary and secondary materials, allowing for a broader variety of historical publications, and offers a more engaging and clear manner of studying history that is appealing to the next generation. Moreover, while some say that the digitalization of history entails a deluge of resources (Campbell 2012), I argue that these resources contribute to a broader comprehension of any historical setting. Consequently, if one source provides limited information on a particular topic, additional sources may enable the reader to properly comprehend that topic in more detail. Hence, according to the essay titled “Cleo’s Matrix,” I concur with the statement that “digital history stands not weakened but in fact strengthens the discipline of history.”

  12. ajay gunness says:

    Ajay Gunness

    “The Internet, by offering an egalitarian approach to ‘who gets published’,
    makes everyone a publishing historian. Many established historians caution against
    this digital aid that allows numerous varying (and sometimes misleading) accounts,
    to have as much significance as those accounts of the historical heavyweights”.
    Dr. Campbell’s perspective of folding technology into the existing practices associated with recording history is well founded and has widely utilized by many historians and historical news outlets as the internet became more and more adopted. The digitization of historical records and events going forward as time progresses as opposed to more archaic methods as physical records to be published, collected, sorted and stored with a distant expiry date should be, as it has been, accepted and encouraged.
    A point of interest is the notion of only verified historical news outlets being capable of publishing what should be regarded as the objective truth of historical events. This can easily lead to biased records being published and an argument can be made that it is the capacity for smaller independent outlets to produce well written alternative depictions of events that are corroborated by proper sources and peer reviewed by experts in the subject that allow for proper discourse to be had without a monopolization on the dissemination of information. As was such the case when there were meagre sources or even single source of information in the form of newspapers or news stations that were largely regarded as sound and truthful but controlled by companies that potentially could have written a version of history that could not have been easily disputed the way independent websites/blogs that are verifiable can do today. The issue lies not with the multiplicity of sources of historical account but in their objectivity and verifiability. The importance of multiple points of view cannot be stressed enough, An article written by ShareAmerica(Thompson, 2021, line 10) greatly stresses this point where it expresses the media being regarded as the “fourth estate” or fourth branch of government. Responsibility should be placed on the shoulders of the educated reader, within reason, to absorb the perspective of the independent source and weigh it against the heavyweight source.
    There also existed the issue of how exposition is formed and how it may vary between the pen of two authors, this was discussed in the article by Dr. Campbell, when speaking about Jonathan Culler and Jenkins who expressed the same views that “the text the historian used were pronounced to be nothing more than linguistic codes that constitute social and discursive formations and which allow the real to be as imagined as the imaginary”.

    The idea of texts ever present on the internet being unverified is also addressed in the article by Dr. Campbell in that there are laws and regulations put in place by governments and governing bodies that protect the authenticity of documents through such technologies as DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) that can uniquely identify documents present on the web that labels the documents with an indelible signature that cannot be replicated. He accurately and expertly summarized these findings with “The point here, ultimately, is that Digital History is a serious area of study employing an ever-expanding and legitimate set of methodology and safeguards.”

    Dr. Campbell also outlined the stage of the evolution of Digital History practices being adopted where essays were expounded with the inclusion of hypertexts and graphical representations within the text and new methods of reading the text, all of which broadened its reach to new audiences as it could be widely and easily accessed.
    The article portrays a mostly objective view of the advantages digitization would afford current and future historians but it doesn’t address the rate at which information is digitized, how difficult this is as is outlined in the Cambridge study(Milligan, 2022, section 2.3). In this study he addresses the preconception that even though there exists a massive, comprehensive library of studies and information in general on the internet, most of the world’s documents are not digitized as it is a resource intensive task. He also brings light to an important fact that the information being largely digitized is largely that of more well-funded institutions and countries that are able to invest in the digitization process. The Caribbean for example would have a much smaller library of digitized documents than that of the United States.
    In conclusion, the main takeaway from this article is rooted in the fact that the modern-day historian has at his disposal, more resources than ever before, access to information, writing capabilities and is limited only by the fact that physical documents have become scarce and difficult to locate. This is taking into account the documents that are only available physically. The struggle of the writer is only that of verifying his research and ensuring the information he is presenting is objective and of an accurate account. Dr. Campbell provides an excellent argument in favour of the adoption of more digital history practices.


    Milligan, Ian. 2022. The Transformation of Historical Research in the Digital Age

    Thompson. D 2021. The Importance of an Independent Press.,all%20free%20of%20government%20influence.

  13. shaniakhan1 says:

    First and foremost before diving into an exploration of the article “Clio’s Matrix: Reflecting on Digital History at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine”, it is important to understand what digital history is. The term “digital history” can be used generally to refer to a method of studying and depicting the past that makes use of modern software-based, computer, internet and communication technologies (Seefeldt and Thomas 2009). Additionally, Seefeldt and Thomas (2009) notably stated that while yes, digital history does mean to digitize the past, it expands beyond this as well, as it also seeks to develop a technological framework that will enable individuals to read, experience, and follow a discussion on a significant historical issue.
    Campbell (2012), similarly illustrated digital history as such, when he stated that it is not only the “digitisation of source materials into online reference materials…” but also “a complex set of technical skills used to codify historical sources using contemporary technologies”. Moreover, he went on to discuss the significance of digital history within a Caribbean context which include and are limited to an increased accessibility of materials, more publications and the creation of new sources. Notwithstanding these collectively positive outcomes, there are also some downsides with the emergence of digital history. One such flaw that Campbell (2012) comprehensively noted was the allowance of anyone, not exclusively seasoned historians, to publish their accounts and interpretations of events which differ to varying extents and possibly contain inaccuracies. However, he also posited that with these alternative perspectives of historical occurrences, a wider and more comprehensive understanding may also be offered as well as assistance in deciphering the most accurate account of the matter of interest. In addition to this strength, Campbell (2012) also highlighted a significant fact, that this phenomenon was essential in constructing Caribbean history as we did not merely take the word of established historians (colonizers) but also that of the public to form and verify the things of our past which undoubtedly aided in constructing a legitimate or rather, an accurate and extensive history of the Caribbean. Another weakness discussed in the article was the “authenticity of sources themselves”, which basically referred to the colour of images being enhanced or altered in some way for example, which may occur due to display settings or even the beliefs and opinions of editors. This therefore tasks the user with determining what is an objective representation of a work and what is a subjective version of a work which further adds to the workload of the digital historian and affects productivity (Campbell 2012). Regardless of this possible falsification of aesthetics in publishing certain forms of historical media, with the digitisation of records, artwork and journals, historians have also been greatly assisted. Most, if not all of these sources were previously inaccessible to many persons, if one was not able to actually travel to the location of storage and also provide the required documents to ensure use. Also with the advancements of software and technology, which at this point in time largely do not require any human assistance, the authenticity of source materials when displayed can be described as that of a high caliber.
    Overall, Campbell (2012) in explaining and discussing the positive and negative consequences of digital history, successfully spotlighted the remarkable advantages this new field provides. In that, regardless of the existing areas of concern, the possibilities and opportunities it provides historians and the public with are countless and the discipline of history is thriving because of it.

    Seefeldt, Douglas and Thomas, William. 2009 “What is Digital History?”

    Shania Khan

  14. Sydney Lutchmansingh –
    Digital history is a recently considered field of academic study that became popular in 1993. It entails translating primary sources into electronic virtual databases to be accessed online by researchers or anyone seeking information. Broad examples include history pieces on web pages, digital archives, school databases or other software platforms.
    I strongly believe that digital history has countless benefits that outweighs it’s weaknesses. A convincing illustration of the significance and power of digital history is the historical recovery of documents, like the history of the region’s plantation sugar industry, which has occupied a major amount of Caribbean history available online.
    Firstly, I would like to highlight a few rebuttals against some of the weaknesses stated. Some may say it is easier to “fake” history with digital history. The internet serves as both a publication platform and source of information, however fraudulent material can also be replicated and created both physically and virtually, therefore this justification is false.
    Another weakness is that digital history lets anyone be labeled a ‘historian’ without any official credentials. My viewpoint is that digital history allows differing opinions which is an asset. Alternative perspectives play a clear and beneficial part in each and every historical issue. It provides prospects for advancement by enabling new and future historians to publish and share their writings.
    Secondly, a few important strengths were highlighted in the article. Digital history allows historians the freedom to use “multidimensional” presentations. This could mean using creative ways to influence new audiences using digital tools. Photos, videos and other aspects of digital media can be utilized to give a more fun, interesting or intimate relationship between publisher and reader.
    History can be the voice of the minority. Caribbean history was usually voiced from the “colonized” point of view, however allowing history to be accessed and published freely allows local Caribbean citizens to add their opinions. Small, independent students conducted by locals like J.J. Thomas who criticized and contested the imperial’s predominance and its authority to speak for the Caribbean community. The Caribbean now has history and credibility all on its own. This helps to combine the minority’s perspective with what has been previously presented from the dominant majority’s perspective. This has also helped reduce the disparity between the public and private forums.
    Overall, in my opinion, digital history allows all audiences to access their niche historical material easier and it helps both creator and reader to benefit. In this tech-savvy generation, online tools and resources can be used in education and recreational spaces. Digital history is also on the right path to erase solely traditional methods and now utilizes technological tools to advance research and the field.

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