Historical informatics
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MAIN PAGE > Journal "Historical informatics" > Contents of Issue 01/2019
Contents of Issue 01/2019
Editor-in-Chief's column
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.
Digital resources
Yumasheva Y.Y. - Internet Photo Archives: Presentation and Study Issues pp. 8-46


Abstract: The article studies online information resources which are collections of electronic copies of historical photographic materials stored in organizations which collect, store and study historical and cultural heritage objects. Over the past 19 years the author of the article has identified and formed a collection of links to similar resources. The collected array of information allowed the author to classify and analyze the content of portals, websites, pages, blogs, etc., as well as identify new approaches to the publication and study of photographic documents presented in the digital environment. The main research methods are historical and genetic, historical and typological, historical and comparative ones. These methods of historical research were accompanied by the problem and chronological method, the historical descriptive method and the method of actualization. The research novelty is the composition of the resources described, the historiographic method of their study as well as the search for the most important (from the viewpoint of historical information science) methods and ways to digitize photo documents, their attribution, description and development of software which provides for studying electronic copies of photos as historical sources.
Yumasheva Y.Y. - Review of Internet Photo Collections of National Archives, Libraries, Museums pp. 47-117


Abstract: The article studies photodocumentary collections stored in national archives, libraries and museums as well as electronic catalogs, thematic projects and online exhibitions created on their basis. The review analyzes more than 100 information resources from 38 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia. The analysis criteria are the number of photo documents stored, the number of online copies, the reference aid as well as the completeness and accuracy of the information provided. The main research methods are historical and genetic, historical and typological, historical and comparative ones. These basic methods of historical research were accompanied by the problem and chronological method, the historical descriptive method and the method of actualization. The research novelty is the composition of the resources described as well as the historiographic method of their study. The author compares information resources, characterizes their representativeness, completeness of attributions and reliability of descriptions. Special emphasis is laid on identification of electronic copies of photo documents related to Russian history.
Quantitative history
Kiryanov I.K., Kornienko S.I., Senina A.V. - Deputy Corps of the State Duma in the Late Period of the Russian Empire: from Source Texts to Computer Methods of Statistical Analysis pp. 118-127


Abstract: The article describes the ways to organize and systematize information about the deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Empire on the basis of the “Parliamentary History of Late Imperial Russia” portal with the goal to transform information sources into quantitative data and carry out their subsequent analysis using mathematical methods. One of the areas to study the deputy corps based on a scientific and educational Internet portal (“The Parliamentary History of Late Imperial Russia”) was projects related to obtaining socio-cultural portraits of parliamentarians and studying their parliamentary activities. The paper proposes a method to estimate parliamentary activity by means of a special coefficient. The coefficient allows estimating the activity of deputies at an individual and a group level, as well as at the level of sessions or convocations of parliament and reflects the process of its development. A set of statistical analysis methods such as descriptive statistics, correlation and cluster analysis and facet classification provides for associating parliamentary activity with the socio-cultural image of State Duma deputies by combining them into a common model of parliamentary elite of late imperial Russia. The technique developed when working with sources on parliamentary history can be used to study the activities of government and self-government in various territorial, chronological and structural sections.
Geographic information systems and 3D reconstruction
Vladimirov V., Frolov A. - All-Russian Scientific Workshop Geoinformation Systems in Historical Research: Integration Approaches pp. 128-132


Abstract: The article discusses a scientific workshop held in January 2018 at the history department of Lomonosov Moscow State University called “Geographic Information Systems in Historical Research: Integration Approaches”. The workshop discussed the achievements and problems of GIS usage in historical research. The central issue was the problem about the creation of historical spatial data repository as well as the way to integrate geodata collected by various research teams and individual researchers working in the field of historical geo-information systems. The authors analyze the viewpoints presented in the main reports and their argumentation and briefly describe the main reports during the round table. The problem of creating a historical geodata repository is new to the national historical science. It has not been completely solved by foreign researchers either. The professional community has recommended to further develop both domains of this problem field discussed at the workshop - accumulation of geodata and aggregation of metadata..
Grishin E. - A Fund of Historical and Cartographic Materials as a Means to Unify Historical GIS and Digital Cartography pp. 133-142


Abstract: The article studies the development of a technique of historical digital cartography and geographic information systems. The article substantiates the proposals for the creation and operation of a collection of historical cartographic materials and names forms of historical spatial data interaction and the possibility of their implementation. Of particular importance is the institutionalization of historical cartography which can solve problems of methodological support of spatially oriented research and achieve unification of historical geodata. The article also speaks about issues of the preparation of topographic bases for the construction of historical maps and cartographic support of historical research and enumerates the main requirements for historical and cartographic materials. The research method is based on a retrospective review of the development of historical cartography. A comparative method is widely used to compare the achievements of general mapping and geoinformatics with corresponding disciplines in the historical segment. The main conclusion of the article is the need to form an institutional core of historical cartography that could take on the functions of solving methodical problems and creating reference mapping solutions for historical research. The article is the first to formulate the main types of interaction of historical and cartographic materials. The basic requirements for the presentation of historical digital maps and the basic content of geographic information projects are defined.
Frolov A. - On the Way to the National Historical GIS of Russia: Two Approaches to Integrate Research Geodata pp. 143-151


Abstract: The article discusses two approaches to integrate historical geodata that have been created by various research teams and individual scholars with different goals and in different ways within the context of the general movement of historians’ community using geo-information technologies to the national historical GIS. The author believes that creation of a special fund accumulating geodata of different owners is not a good solution. Much more effective solution is metadata aggregation. The main difference between these two approaches is an answer to the question whether it is necessary to alienate geodata from their owners in order to provide access to interested users? The answer to this question determines the feedback between a user and the contents of a database. The organization of such interaction is of fundamental importance for the professional community of researchers. Some technical solutions recommended for organizing user access to geodata by means of aggregation are described in the article in more detail. The main conclusion is the relevant integration of various historical geodata by aggregating their metadata in a certain internet resource which must make some technical demands on data providers, be a mediator between a user and a database and delegate a user geodata access rights established by a geodata owner.
Shchekotilov V.G., Lazarev O.E., Lazareva O.S., Shchekotilova S.N. - Repository of Archival Maps and Geocoded Data: Goal-Setting, Audience, Structure and Functionality pp. 152-159


Abstract: The article addresses the formation of a repository of databases and computer programs in the field of archive cartographic materials of historical maps and geocoded data regarding goal-setting, audience, structure and functionality. The authors suggest that the object of storage be practical results of scientific research provided by authors, in particular those supported by grants. Databases of raster and vector electronic maps based on archival and historical maps, geocoded data, Internet navigators, websites can be repository objects. When forming the basic variant of a repository it is offered to use technologies of geographic information systems, databases and the Internet.  The research novelty is the offers to form the steady environment for accumulation, preservation and effective automated functional use of practical results of researches in the form of databases based on raster and vector electronic maps, geocoded data, information models of space-time objects and also computer programs in the form of Internet navigators, geoportals, programs for database inquiries.
Vladimirov V., Krupochkin E.P. - About the Necessity to Establish and Develop a Fund of Spatial Historical Data pp. 160-168


Abstract: The article addresses the creation and development of a spatial historical data fund. Nowadays we can talk about the readiness of the community of historical geoinformatics specialists to cooperate in the field of data storage and use. The article discusses similar studies both in domestic and foreign historiography. The authors propose a way to create a system for managing spatial historical data, consider some problems arising herewith and make suggestions about possible solutions. The main message of the article is that the amount of studies based on geo-information technologies has clearly begun to outnumber the quality. The article uses descriptive and historiographic methods. The main conclusion is the creation of a historical geoportal which, together with a historical spatial data fund, can be integrated into the national spatial data infrastructure. It seems that the idea to develop a historical geoportal should ground on both the convenience of fund navigation and the ability to perform analytical operations.
Computerized analysis of historical texts
Garskova I.M., Simonzhenkova E.M. - Formalized Technique to Analyze Complexes of Memoir Sources pp. 169-188


Abstract: One of the phenomena that left a noticeable mark in the national history of the Soviet period was political repressions which affected all social layers. The large complex of sources of personal origin available reflects authors’ experience and their views on the events or the most significant period of their lives as well as evaluations of the repressions period. A valuable complex of memoirs has been collected on the site of the Sakharov Center. The current study aims at women’s memoirs of the site as a mass source on history of repressions. To achieve this goal one had to solve two main tasks: to describe a collective portrait of memoir female authors and analyze the entire complex of female memoirs revealing common features in their perception of camp life. Prisoners’ memoirs have not been thoroughly studied yet. The same is true as far as female memoirs are concerned. The study uses a set of analytical methods and computer technologies to create a collective portrait of memoir authors (a prosopographic database), carry out their statistical analysis and perform content analysis of the full-text base of memoirs. On the basis of the analysis undertaken, it can be argued that memoirs of female prisoners mainly describe rather the problems of everyday struggle for existence in inhuman conditions that were commonplace in the camp than human emotions which were especially painful to think about.
Digital history
Karagodin A.V. - Social Network Groups: Content Analysis (the Example of Facebook Old New Simeiz Group) pp. 189-197


Abstract: The article addresses new possibilities to study historical sources provided both by professional historians and amateurs posting their publications in thematic historically oriented groups on online social networks. An example taken is the “Old New Simeiz” group on the social network Facebook which brings together users interested in the history of the establishment and the development of a seaside resort in the village of Simeiz on the southern coast of Crimea over the past two centuries – a topic that has not yet been fully disclosed in historical literature. Data on a number of publications, the degree of audience’s interest to historical information of various types, dating and origin have been statistically processed. The author concludes the usefulness of this historically oriented group’s publications on social networks for the dissemination of historical knowledge. These posts bear retrospective information (publication, attribution, interpretation of unknown and little-known various historical sources) and current social information (social network users’ interests).
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