Historical informatics
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Publications of Borodkin Leonid Iosifovich
Historical informatics, 2019-4
Borodkin L.I. - Virtual Reconstruction of Historical Urban Landscape of Bely Gorod pp. 90-96


Abstract: The article addresses methodological and methodic issues concerning the study of historical urban landscape. The methodological basis of the work is a concept suggested by UNESCO. It is a developing field of contemporary historical urban science. Its methodic and technological basis is digital technologies, primarily 3D-modelling and 3D GIS. The article describes foreign and Russian studies reconstructing historical landscapes with the help of modern technologies. The research subject is a virtual reconstruction of Bely Gorod’s landscape in the 15th-18th centuries – a historical site in Moscow’s center. The author describes the interdisciplinary research project, its source base including different sources as well as technologies of their analysis and synthesis. The sources and methods used provide for the first virtual reconstruction of the landscape and the main objects of Bely Gorod which 3D models are “introduced” into the historical landscape being reconstructed throughout its three centuries of evolution. Additionally, laser scanning and digital aerial survey technologies providing for building 3D models of objects at their later time slices are used in the study.
Historical informatics, 2019-3
Borodkin L.I. - The Historian and the World of (Big) Data: Challenges of the Digital Turn pp. 14-30


Abstract: The article discusses contemporary challenges and problems related to historical science in the digital turn era as well as large scale digitization of historical sources. It also analyzes relations of historical information science and digital history (digital public history included) in detail. Emphasis is laid on data problems traditional of historical information science which has received a new impetus in recent years. The author discusses an expanded definition of “big data” and its specificity as applied to historical research giving a number of large-scale international research projects as an example. The article explores opportunities provided by the use of concepts and technologies of big data in history-oriented research projects and identifies promising areas to apply mathematical methods and digital technologies in historical research and educational programs..
Historical informatics, 2019-2
Borodkin L.I., Vladimirov V.N. - Digital Technologies and Resources in Historical Research: Discussions and Experience pp. 1-8


Abstract: The article discusses topical issues of the development of methodological tools of historical research in the light of the “digital turn”. The current agenda is formed today in the framework of international conferences and round tables. In the first part of the article the authors characterize the interdisciplinary discussion that took place at the Helsinki conference in 2019. The discussion focused on the role of digital data and tools in historians' research practices and forms of cooperation. Special attention is paid to the question of the extent to which the “digital turn” affects the fundamental aspects of historical research and its results. In the second part of the article it is noted that the answer to this question can be obtained through concrete historical research projects. The characteristic of a number of the latest works of Russian and foreign historians using digital resources and technologies in concrete historical research is given.
Historical informatics, 2019-1
Borodkin L.I. - Invariants of Historical Information Science in a Changing World pp. 1-7


Abstract: The article discusses “invariants” of historical information science (concepts, categories and characteristics of this interdisciplinary research field) which have been practically unchangeable for its nearly 30-year development. At the same time, the dynamic development of new technologies, the “digital turn” in history brought out new challenges and made a number of historical information science categories update. The article touches upon some recent discussions on the relationship between historical information science and digital history affecting, in particular, the issue of the extent to which the digital turn which has dramatically expanded access to digitized historical sources may affect the analytical work of a professional historian.
Historical informatics, 2018-4
Borodkin L.I. - History Students Estimation of Digital Public History (the Example of the Project 1917. Free History) pp. 123-142


Abstract: The article discusses reflections of history students history related to digital media resources of public history. It is mainly about the project “1917. Free history” which published various materials about personal 1917 daily events and moods. The student read the media resource and its critical analysis publications and wrote their essay reviews estimating them. The article is in line with modern current debates of historiography on the problem of “history consumption”, development of principles and criteria for professional assessment of digital historical media resources. The estimates of digital media resources in total are of interest from two points of view. Firstly, this is the young audience who are accustomed to digital information. It is “their environment”. Secondly, these are opinions of future professional historians. As can be seen from the presented materials, the majority of students agree with the critical estimation of the media projects of public history reviewed.
Historical informatics, 2018-3
Borodkin L.I., Vladimirov V.N. - To the 50th Anniversary of Russian Quantitative History pp. 1-6


Abstract: Russian quantitative history studies began in the 1960s when historians started to use mathematical methods and computers. Those activities contributed to the establishment of the Commission on application of mathematical methods and computers in historical research at the Department of History of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1968. So, this event initiated by I. Kovalchenko, the future academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences, marks the 50th anniversary of Russian quantitative history. The article, written for the column "Editor-in-Chief", through the prism of the materials of this issue of the journal describes current trends in historical information science, which origin was largely due to the experience of computer applications in the quantitative history studies. New approaches are characterized in the application of technologies of virtual and augmented reality creating 3D reconstructions of historical and cultural heritage. The new trend is software modules development aimed at providing validation of virtual reconstructions in historical and archeological studies. New approaches to the study of spatial aspects are developed using GIS technologies in combination with the analysis of narrative sources. 
Historical informatics, 2018-2
Borodkin L.I. - Bachelor, Master and PhD Students: Moscow State University Historical Information Science Educational Programs pp. 115-125


Abstract: The article analyzes the formation and the development of educational programs in the field of historical information science at the History Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University. The topicality of the issue is the growing demand for specialists in humanities who have professional experience in the expanding information environment. This demands further development of a relative component of historian’s education considering those innovations which characterize “digital shift” in historical studies. Development of this educational component provides history graduates with conspicuous advantages at modern intellectual labor market. The article systematically studies the structure of educational programs in this interdisciplinary field and characterizes the main scholarly work of the academic staff at the same time. This article is the first to provide a detailed description of historical information science educational programs realized in Lomonosov Moscow State University at all three levels of university education. The experience of the Department of Historical Information Science of Moscow University may be in demand in other universities as well.
Historical informatics, 2018-2
Borodkin L.I. - Review of Arnold T., Tilton L. Humanities Data in R: Exploring Networks, Geospatial Data, Images and Text. Springer, 2017. - 211 p. pp. 126-132


Abstract: The article briefly describes the integrated software R and the book by American authors about the use of R in humanities and social sciences. This book demonstrates functions of R which has become popular in applied studies of different research fields and now is widely used in humanities as well. The authors’ aim is to teach the humanities readers to use R functions in four spheres of data work which are important for humanities scholars and represented by networks, texts, maps and images. The book employs the comparative approach (to compare R package with other software tools) and is the first to characterize R when one works with data of studies in humanities. Taking into account that R is not widely applied by Russian humanities scholars, brief information about this nontrivial software is provided. The open source programming language R and its numerous packages is conspicuous of modern approach to analyze heterogeneous data. 
Historical informatics, 2017-3
Borodkin L.I. - Development of Historical Information Science in Russia: First Steps of Historians along the Microcomputer Revolution path pp. 155-172


Abstract: The article is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the History and Computer Association (HCA) that united Russian and foreign specialists working within the interdisciplinary filed of history and information technologies. The article concentrates on the development of this association in the first half of the 1990s. The idea to create the association came, on the one hand, from the Council of the International Association “History and Computing” (), its president professor Manfred Thaller, and, on the other hand, from a group of Russian specialists who had used computers to analyze statistical sources and create digital archives of historical data and participants of “quantitative revolution” that had a great influence on a number of historical fields. The article data demonstrate the formation of the main research domain of historical information science that is creation and use of electronic versions of historical sources. The article is of a historiographic character and employs historical and genetic approach joining historical information science with quantitative history (following HCA periodicals of the 1990s). These materials provide for reconstructing the initial stage of this interdisciplinary community. One can see the atmosphere of positive professional cooperation within HCA and international as a whole. It is the first time when the information value of the HCA bulletin is studied to analyze the HCA initial stage.
Historical informatics, 2017-2
Borodkin L.I., Vladimirov V.N. - Innovations and Traditons of Historical Information Science pp. 1-4


Abstract: The second 2017 issue of Historical Information Science journal is characterized. The main sections of the issue are presented. These are “Databases and Data Retrieval Systems”, “Quantitative History”, “Digital Resources”, “Information Technologies in Archives and Museums”, “Information Technologies in Historical Education”. The basic content of the articles is analyzed. Emphasis is laid on the articles describing the use of geoinformation systems in historical studies. The authors of these articles emphasize the necessity to modernize opportunities of spatial historical processes dynamics analysis on the basis of GIS-technologies. In this respect, they suggest the use of available GIS-packages as well as their own software. The editorial board plans to publish at least two issues of the journal and focus on research in this domain in one of them. The second issue is likely to address the analysis of historical texts based on modern software application.
Historical informatics, 2017-1
Borodkin L.I. - Network Analysis within Historical Studies: Micro and Macroapproaches pp. 110-124


Abstract: The article addresses the issues of network analysis within historical studies. It is a comparatively new trend to modernize techniques and methodology of history (though sociology has been considering this approach as one of the main ones starting with 1950s). The article discusses the specific character of network analysis within historical studies which can bee seen in the problems set, source structure peculiarities and methods of their analysis. Such studies have been carried out within the framework of Historical Network Analysis. The theoretical basis for the network analysis is a mathematical theory of networks (a branch of graph theory) proving the formal apparatus for describing the graph links, its clusters and nodes. The goals of micro and macro analysis of history oriented networks are set for the first time. The task to find networks of individuals on the basis of historical texts (ego type documents) is a special research issue. The article focuses on the projects dealing with the network analysis of the structure of Russian medieval political and polemical texts (when the problems of their attribution are being solved) as well as migration flows in Russia in the first quarter of the 20th c.
Historical informatics, 2017-1
Borodkin L.I., Vladimirov V.N. - Address to Authors and Readers of Historical Information Science Journal pp. 1-4


Abstract: The authors mainly focus on the aims and goals of Historical Information Science journal that continues to publish articles within the frames of this interdisciplinary domain as it originally did 5 years ago in a different format though. In Russia this domain has been related to computer technologies and mathematical methods use in history and education for 25 years already. The authors state that its basis is a complex of theoretical and applied knowledge needed to develop, process and analyze electronic versions of various historical sources. Characterizing methods and technologies of historical information science the authors note the broadening of their potential due to the “microcomputer revolution” of 1980-1990s and two decades that followed. The conclusion is that the main issue addressed by historical information science specialists is the question: How do new methods and technologies enrich historical studies? This question is sure to be the key one in new issues of Historical Information Science journal.
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