Historical informatics
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MAIN PAGE > Journal "Historical informatics" > Contents of Issue 03/2017
Contents of Issue 03/2017
Editor-in-Chief's column
Borodkin L., Vladimirov V. - Association History and Computer: 25 years on. pp. 1-6


Abstract: The article studies the formation and activity of History and Computer Association (HCA) that is a union of historical information science specialists. The HCA development was accompanied by the formation of historical information science, a historical field employing mathematical methods and computer technologies. The article describes the formation of a new research domain, the main aspects of HCA activity connected to the development of historical information science as well as the main stages of HCA development. The role of the journal “Historical Information Science” for this new domain is emphasized. The research methodology is to analyze the key events and processes of HCA life a scientific community which influenced the formation and development of such a domain as historical information science.Today the association is a professional community developing a topical interdisciplinary field, historical information science, that is increasingly active. By autumn 2017 about 200 people were HCA members. They represent research centers and universities from Russia, the Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Latvia and the Ukraine. 
Methodological problems of historical informatics
Thaller M. - Modeling of History: Today and in the Future pp. 7-19


Abstract: The article interprets the term “modeling” which has had a long history related to the development of computer applications in historical research. For instance, the international conference held by the Association “History and Computing” in Moscow in 1996 announced modeling the key topic. The author notes a special role of Willard McCarty who formed our understanding of modeling as a key point of all attempts to use information technologies in humanities as a whole. The author avoids the general character of “digital humanities” and limits the study of information technologies application by analytical historical studies. The article addresses foreground approaches to modeling (methodology aspects of modeling as well), computational algorithm models, models as computer devices, text models,  models of meaning and models for computerized historical studies. It is the first time when all time-tested approaches to modeling in history are discussed. The author notes that the term “modeling” is well known but is still vague. McCarty’s original conception cannot be the most distinct definition of modeling as a precondition to use computer methods in humanities.
Digital resources
Antopolskii A. - Inventory of Information Resources of the Social Science Academic Sector pp. 20-42


Abstract: The article studies information resources of academic institutions related to social sciences and humanities. The author defines information resources data to be collected in the process of inventory as well as the inventory sphere and the source composition. Qualitative data on the main information resources categories (both traditional and electronic ones) are given.The main resources are as follows: archival funds, funds of traditional libraries, museum funds, bibliographical lists and catalogues, periodicals, electronic libraries, databases and other AIS, reference resources, linguistic resources, encyclopedic resources, data on events, prosopography, photographic documents, audio documents and video documents, etc. The author discusses methodical issues related to information resources inventory accounting for the ongoing transition from traditional forms of creation and storage of various resources as well as access to them to digital forms. The article also addresses the issues of resources in the sphere of social sciences and humanities and academic resources. The author proposes a classification of resources and a database structure containing the inventory results. The author concludes that the inventory results can be used to solve the following problems: •acquisition of basic data for further coordinated development of information resources in academic institutions related to social sciences and humanities; •organization of efficient navigation within the information field of social sciences and humanities in academic institutions; •determination of parameters of a program to digitize library, archival and museum funds of academic institutions; • determination of parameters of a program to preserve (store in archives) valuable scientific digital information of academic institutions; • development of suggestions about conditions and prospects of information space development in the sphere of social sciences and humanities;• determination of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences’ role and place to coordinate the development of the information space within social sciences and humanities;• development of principles of constant recording, monitoring and evaluation of information resources.
Quantitative history
Mazur L.N., Brodskaya L.I. - The Use of Historical and Typological Method to Study Families in the Early Soviet Period pp. 43-77


Abstract: The article describes the methodology for analyzing the primary materials of the 1922 All-Russian Census of the RCP (B) members that was based on the use of historical and typological method. The article is composed of three logical blocks. The first section deals with the essence of the historical and typological method, its types and problems solved. The second section characterizes sociological and demographic typologies of families and their dependence on the research object, i.e. its local and temporal aspects and research goals. The third section reveals the technique for studying the party census data. The key goal of the article is to show the analytical potential of historical typology, consider the modes of the method application (multidimensional analysis methods included) and substantiate the efficiency of its use to study nominative sources organized within a database. The authors implemented a combination of the deductive and the inductive approaches to form a typology that was based on the use of mathematical and statistical methods. The typological method allows us to extrapolate the results of the study of the target array (party families) to the entire early Soviet society of the early 1920s and trace the influence of ideological factor on historical and demographic processes
Saltseva A.D. - Reconstruction of the Social Profile of the Red Terror Political Prisoners on the Basis of Data Provided by the Political Prisoners Aid Society Moscow Political Red Cross (1918-1922): Database Analysis. pp. 78-93


Abstract: The article analyses prosopographic database developed on the basis of Political Prisoners Aid Society “Moscow Political Red Cross”. The source base of the database is census papers of political prisoners collected by the MPRC legal department stored in the Russian Federation State Archive, Fund -8419. Most of them are introduced into scientific turnover for the first time. Reconstruction of the social portrait of political prisoners demonstrated the prevalence of literate people among them compared to the distribution of the literacy level in the country population in general. Occupational dominants have been found out. For instance, workers and clerks turned out to be prevailing among political prisoners while military men, civil servants and professionals were few in number. The number of peasants was small. These were mainly “hostages”or those arrested for taking part in peasants’ uprisings. It was also found out that most of political prisoners changed their occupation after revolution. The majority of political prisoners were Russians. It is no surprise that the share of women turned out to be small thus being in line with the supposition about bigger activity of males in political events of the time. The analysis demonstrated that political prisoners were primarily young males aged to 35. Most of the arrested had dependants. Over a half of political prisoners suffered from various diseases.
Methods and techniques of online analysis
Garskova I.M. - Network Analysis of Historiography: Dynamics of Regional Historical Information Science Centers Formation pp. 94-115


Abstract: The article scientometrically analyses papers published under the aegis of the History and Computer Association (HCA) for a period of its 25 years from 1992 to 2016. The main research domains, as well as schools of thought and historical computer science centers, their specific character and cooperation come under review. The article is the first of two dealing with historiography network analysis. It studies the dynamics of HCA network composition and structure at the level of regional groups. The study is based on the information system developed by the author that includes a bibliographic database of HCA published papers and full-text dataset of articles and reports presented at Association’s conferences. The method employed in the network analysis. The novelty of the study is the first attempt to study thematic historiography by means of network analysis (SocialNetworkAnalysis – SNA). The results allowed the author to see the specific character of small groups of authors developing a specific field as well as larger groups which are more stable due to their multi-dimensional “profiles” The technique offered is considered promising for historiographic research.
Information technologies in archives and museums
Miklas H., Brenner S., Sablatnig R. - Multispectral Imaging for Digital Restoration of Ancient Manuscripts: Devices, Methods and Practical Aspects pp. 116-134


Abstract: The article gives an overview of the current situation with the multispectral imaging starting from the formation of multispectral images, their registration and splitting of initial texts to further processing in order to enhance readability. It is the result of ten year development of the method as well as its practical use within interdisciplinary projects dedicated to ancient written heritage. In order to develop new research methods the inter-university Center of Images and Material Analysis in Cultural Heritage (CIMA) was founded in 2014 (http://hrsm.caa.tuwien.ac.at/). The specialists of the center together with material engineers have developed a repertoire of tools and techniques for the acquisition, processing and enhancement of multispectral images of badly preserved manuscripts.Multispectral Imaging (MSI) is an approach to compensate for most of the shortcomings of human visual perception. The novelty of the method use within philological studies and source studies is apparent as it enhances the readability of degraded texts, reconstructs fully lost (erased from the surface of a parchment) information, analyzes writing materials – ink and devices to write and erase texts and images, studies the surface structure of the medium – parchment, etc. These are few issues to address with the help of the multispectral imaging method.
Digital history
Ovsyannikov Y.Z. - Family Archive a Software Package to Manage Personal Archives pp. 135-154


Abstract: This article describes and reviews the main opportunities of the Family Archive software package created by the author to collect, systematize, study and store materials from personal archives (documents, manuscripts, books, periodicals, memories, media content and collections). The package enables to accumulate electronic copies of materials as well as original documents created and existing in an electronic form irrespective of their type or format, within one application. It also allows you to find and display the connections between data and sort them by various criteria thus contributing to identification and elimination of personal, family and ancestral history gaps. The Family Archive software package was developed within the FileMaker Pro 15 Advanced that is an application of FileMaker Inc. to create relational databases. The package does not have any total analogs and can be employed by various users to address issues when working with personal archives. The growing data volume as well as the need for data systematization account for the topicality and importance of the package functionality.
Chronicles of scientific life
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.
Peer reviews
Vladimirov V. - Review: Yumasheva Yu.Yu. Informatization of Archival Studies in the Russian Federation (1991-2015). Studies in the Sphere of Information Technologies Application: Monograph / Yu.Yu. Yumasheva. M.; Berlin: Direct-Media, 2016. 355 p.
pp. 173-178


Abstract: The article reviews the monograph by Yu.Yu. Yumasheva “Informatization of Archival Studies in the Russian Federation (1991-2015)”. It is noted that the overview of papers by researchers and those practically involved in archival studies for a 30-year period provides for precious results related to the evaluation of archival studies informatization within the frames of general informatization in the country. Yu.Yu. Yumasheva is both a well-known experienced archivist and a professional historian in the historical information science domain. The structure of the monograph is found appropriate as it consists of several thematic parts covering the main issues of archival studies informatization. The review rates the monograph high. The novelty of the study is its elimination of important gaps in the archival studies domain and is of value to anyone interested in Russian archives, their condition, prospects, documents stored and those willing their transformation into modern institutions corresponding to the information society level.
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