Historical informatics - 2 2020
Historical informatics
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MAIN PAGE > Journal "Historical informatics" > Contents of Issue 02/2020
Contents of Issue 02/2020
Digital history
Burmistrov E. - Personal History, Historical Immortality and Digital History pp. 1-25


Abstract: The article studies personal history of each (any, specific) person which addresses ways to achieve person’s “historical immortality” by creating and preserving the history of one’s life. The article aims at informing the scientific community and developing the concepts, the main issues and the subject matter of personal history. The author pays special attention to the relationship of personal history with digital history, historical information science and other humanities and technical sciences. The aim of the article is attained by systematizing the interdisciplinary interaction of personal history with humanities and technical sciences. The author defines such concepts as “personal history”, “historical immortality”, poses specific problems and provides their solutions, finds the relationship of personal history with mass culture, specifies the motives, forms and ways to create person’s life history, finds the relationship of person’s “historical immortality” with information technologies and develops special software. The author concludes that person’s life history is digital history. The technical task of preserving the history of life is analyzed as well. The author shows that the philosophical foundation of personal history is the concepts of “horizon”, “life world”, and “cultural-historical horizon” and introduces such a concept as “historical death”. He demonstrates that “historical immortality» of a person is a probabilistic process which is described mathematically. The article addresses the prospects of personal history development as well. The author concludes that personal history is a system of knowledge, methods and digital technologies based on the recognition of the value of personality and aimed at achieving “historical immortality”.
New methods and techniques of processing historical sources
Rinchinov O.S. - The Diachronic Corpus of the Buryat Language as a Digital Tool for Historical Research: Approaches, Solutions and Experiments pp. 26-34


Abstract: The article studies the diachronic corpus of the Buryat language compiled on the basis of annals written in old Mongolian used to reconstruct the history and historical geography of the Buryat people. In this regard, the article discusses the main problems of semantic markup of corpus data. The size of the corpus currently exceeds 82,000 words. The research novelty is that classical Mongolian texts presented in Latin transliteration are addressed by computer linguistics methods for the first time. The author describes approaches to develop the ontological outline of the historical and cultural subject area as well identifies the kinship and geographical context elements. The MS Access and SQL simulation experiment demonstrates the advantages of the authority control methodology, in particular the “family” and “place” categories, for the initial analysis of corpus data and the formation of semantic clusters. The use of authoritative records has significantly accelerated the accumulation of empirical data for automation of the substantive analysis of texts in the corpus. These experiments allowed the author to see further steps to create and improve the Buryat language diachronic corpus semantic markup tools and transform this language into a convenient tool for historical research.
Digital resources
Akimov A.V. - Information Base of Economic History Statistical Sources: Digital Source and Its Verification pp. 35-53


Abstract: The article describes the creation and the structure of the information base covering statistical sources related to the history of Russian pipe industry in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, reviews the sources used, justifies topicality of the study and briefly characterizes pipe industry in this period. The author names four stages characterized in terms of their content and interrelation of elements, the presence of quantitative values and their analysis. The article gives examples of schemes for creating different tables that make up the basis of the resource as well as specific examples of their structure. The research novelty is the goals set and the way they are achieved. These have not been addressed by historians before as far as the industry, the chronological and territorial framework and some other parameters are concerned. Moreover, the use of mass statistical material in such a form is clearly individual and unique. In particular, the thematic digital information resource created which demonstrates operating rates of individual plants and the branch as a whole does not have analogs and can be further developed in accordance with the parameters introduced. In total, this resource consists of 25 Excel files containing 181 917 numerical values of which 73 591 are the values of sources the resource is based on. The methodology suggested for the creation of such an information base and analysis of its data can be considered a new approach to the source study of digitized mass statistical sources. 
Kashchenko S.G. - New Approaches to Study 1861 Peasant Reform by Means of Digital Data of the Russian State Historical Archive pp. 54-60


Abstract: The article studies the problem of the source base used to study the 1861 peasant reform in Russia in the context of mass digitization of documents of historical archives, in particular, the Russian State Historical Archive in St. Petersburg. The work informs about a significant expansion of the source base used to study economic consequences of the 1861 peasant reform. This expansion is caused by digitization of 577 fund materials (the main redemption institution of the Ministry of Finance) done by the staff of the Presidential Library in St. Petersburg and the Russian State Historical Archive. Because of its size, this fund has been studied incompletely and very unevenly as far as separate regions of the country are concerned. To date nearly 90000 files have been digitized which contain redemption materials of 49 provinces and regions of the Russian Empire characterized by the landlord property. Most of these archival files are categorized as “particularly valuable”. The article informs about the scanned documents, the prospects for their study and accessibility in scientific and educational centers of the Russian Federation and foreign countries. It also describes the information potential of some documents such as ustavnye gramoty, mirskie prigovory, etc. All materials are available for researchers both in the electronic reading room of the library and in remote access points to information resources.
Quantitative history
Kuzmin Y.V. - The Ratio of Output and R&D Effectiveness in Aircraft Industry in the 20th Century. Database Statistical Analysis pp. 61-82


Abstract: The article proposes to estimate the effectiveness of R&D in aircraft industry by new modifications of aircrafts emerging each year. This method is compared with other ones such as those by financial costs, labor costs and bibliometric methods. The advantages and disadvantages of this method are described. The author suggests a technique to check the completeness of raw data based on the use of an independent statistical sampling from the same general set. The author is the first to describe the dynamics of new aircraft modifications creation in the 20th century and compares this graph with that of aircraft manufacture constructed earlier by him. The research method is the statistical analysis of data on the R&D and aircraft manufacture collected by the author within a relational database. It was found that the correlation of R&D and production graphs was disrupted as early as 1910 and completely disappeared after 1930, that the huge increase in aircraft manufacture during the Second World War did not lead to an increase of new modifications and that the R&D graph is more rigid than the manufacture one responding weakly both to economic growth and recession.
Muraveva A. - Statistical Analysis of Saint-Petersburg Exchange Rate Dynamics in Relation to the Leading European Financial Centers in 1801-1839 pp. 83-94


Abstract: The article studies the monetary policy of the Russian state in the second half of the 18th - the first half of the 19th centuries, in particular, the dynamics of exchange rates. The exchange rate is actually the currency rate and demonstrates the purchasing power of a country’s money in relation to that in another country. On the basis of primary data of the Russian press, the author has collected data on quotes for the subsequent statistical analysis and used correlation matrices and regression models to identify factors that influenced the analysis as well as internal dependencies. The main research method is the statistical one accompanied by the inductive approach. The issue of the Russian exchange rate dynamics in the early 19th century has not been properly studies in historiography. The article demonstrates that exchange rates do not depend much on the volume of international trade or, more precisely, on the balance of foreign trade. Exchange rates have weak correlation with the foreign trade balance and statistically insignificant one with the balance of trade with particular countries. The explanatory power of regression models with economical characteristics being independent factors has R² not more than 20-25 %. It must be noted that no reliable dependence of exchange rates on wheat export from Russia has been found while their dependence on gold import was statistically significant as far as Amsterdam and Hamburg are concerned (at the same time the correlation of gold import with wheat export is significant and positive).
Geographic information systems and 3D reconstruction
Kim O., Moor V., Zherebyatyev D.I. - Virtual Reconstruction of Dominant Historical Buildings in Moscows Bely Gorod (16th-18th Centuries) pp. 95-116


Abstract: The history of medieval Moscow has been attracting attention of researchers for many years. Huge bulk of data accumulated needs to be systematized and summarized. These can be done by means of digital technologies. A method of this study is the creation of virtual reconstructions of the urban landscape: 3D-models of the historical relief, the urban environment and particular buildings. The article describes the source base of the visual reconstruction of historical buildings of Moscow Bely Gorod in the 16th-18th centuries, characterizes different types of sources both written and visual (graphic, pictorial ones as well as photographs). The authors analyze the relationship between the type of sources and the 3D model reliability. A separate part of the article describes a method for obtaining full-scale data on partially preserved objects that is 3D scanning and aerial photography technology which uses modern technical means (a laser scanner and a copter). As examples of 3D models created by different methods, the article reconstructs three objects that were the architectural dominants of the eastern part of Bely Gorod. These are the Church of Vladimir in Starykh Sadekh (the 17th-18th centuries), the old cathedral of the Moscow Ivanovskiy Monastery (the 16th-18th centuries) and the Palaty of Princess N.S. Shcherbatova with the individual church named after the Kazan Holy Mother in Podkolokolnyi Bystreet (the late 17th-middle 18th centuries).
Chernov S.Z., Boitsov I.A. - Archeological Sources to Visually Reconstruct the Landscape of the Eastern Part of Moscow Bely Gorod (14th-16th Centuries). Ivanovskaya Gorka pp. 117-159


Abstract: New digital technologies of the 21st century have sparked the interest in preserving the historical and cultural heritage through the use of three-dimensional modeling methods, in particular, virtual reconstruction of urban historical landscapes. The most important stage in the implementation of such projects is the formation of a source base with sufficient completeness and reliability of information about the topography of the studied area and its evolution under the influence of natural and anthropogenic factors. When forming a complex of sources in such studies, the emphasis is mainly laid on archaeological data. The creation of such a source complex and its justification is a new interdisciplinary task.The article discusses an approach to solve such a problem addressing a research project virtually reconstructing the historical landscape of Bely Gorod - the territory in the center of Moscow in the 14th-16th centuries. The research object is one of the most interesting areas of Bely Gorod known as Ivanovskaya Gorka which is characterized by a rare variety of original natural landscapes. At the authors’ disposal there are detailed descriptions of this area made in the 17th and 18th centuries and materials of archaeological explorations carried out in the late 1980s early 1990s which focused on the study of this historical landscape. The materials presented in the article are used to virtually reconstruct the Ivanovskaya Gorka relief.
Abramova K.D. - Virtual Reconstruction of Troitskiy Cathedral in Stavropol-on-Volga (18th-19th Centuries): Sources, Research Technologies and Visualization of Results pp. 160-177


Abstract: This article discusses historical 3D-reconstruction of Troitsky Cathedral – a cultural heritage object of the 18th-20th centuries in Stavropol (present day Tolyatti, Samarskaya Oblast of the Russian Federation). This cathedral was rebuilt four times, relocated two times and finally was blown up and submerged when Zhigulevskaya HPP was constructed in 1955. The study aims at reconstructing the initial appearance of the stone cathedral in 1750 to trace its further changes when it was rebuilt many times. The article tells about the history of the cathedral, the area where it was located as well as describes the process of virtual reconstruction and related problems. There is a special part characterizing the sources used to create three-dimensional models of the temple and the historical urban surroundings. The author names descriptive, visual and cartographic sources. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the relief (which has a complex shape in the given area) is of particular importance. The study is the first to address these sources. The topicality of the issue is determined by the idea to build a new cathedral with the old name in Tolyatti as well as the great importance of the temple in Stavropol’s history. The study is supported by the Tolyatti Museum of Local History. The result of this study (virtual reconstruction of the cathedral) is to be presented in the museum exposition.
New methods and techniques of processing historical sources
Kuznetsov A. - Computer Analysis of Latin Texts: Latent Semantic Analysis of Historia de regibus Gothorum, Wandalorum et Sueborum by Isidoro de Sevilla pp. 178-191


Abstract: The article attempts to study the Latin text of the chronicle “Historia de regibus Gothorum, Wandalorum et Sueborum” written by the famous 17th c. theologist and scholar Isidoro de Sevilla by means of advanced methods of intellectual text analysis. The main goal is to verify the hypothesis that the author had ideas about the hierarchy of barbarians. The main focus is to clarify the implicit semantic relationship between different parts of the chronicle in order to find out the author’s attitude to these three barbaric groups. The analysis of the text was performed with the R programming language. The specific method is that of latent semantic analysis providing for comparing clustering of texts on the basis of semantic space designed through the singular decomposition of term-document matrix. The research novelty of the study is that it is the first time when a full cycle latent semantic analysis of a Medieval Latin text has been performed which covered the text preprocessing, the creation of the semantic space and the calculation of the semantic similarity of texts on the basis of cosine similarity measure. The analysis results suggest that Isidoro de Sevilla really built the hierarchy of three barbarian groups providing greater similarity to the description of the Visigoths and the Suebi and putting the Vandals apart.
Frolov A. - Tools of Geoinformatics to Study Pistsovye Knigi pp. 192-207


Abstract: The article discusses methods of systematization and visualization of codicological observations on an archival manuscript by means geoinformatics. This solution provides for summarizing the information of a historical source and its maximum accessibility for a wide range of Internet users. The web project created can be used not only for research but educational purposes as well. The paper grounds on the results of 1542 Semen Klushin’s codicological study of Novgorod pistsovaya kniga covering Vodskaya Pyatina (The work is stored in the Russian State Archive of Ancient Manuscripts, RGADA). The physical medium of a historical text, i.e. a manuscript, is considered as a special space in its own reference system. This makes geoinformatics methods applicable to determine the topology (i.e. the mutual relationship) of its objects. The approach proposed is tested for the first time that's why the main attention is paid to the description of the most important stages followed when processing the source codicological materials to turn them into a GIS project based on a relational database. The web resource created provides for visualizing a significant bulk of manuscript data. However, it should not be considered a map or a spatial model. It may be determined as a manuscript codiological GIS scheme published as a web resource but without a map. The scheme is adjusted and controlled by tools which are used when working with databases and are not limited to the cartographic interface.
Chronicles of scientific life
Borodkin L., Vladimirov V. - Historical Information Science in the Context of Data Science (Round Table Materials) pp. 208-219


Abstract: The article focused on problems and prospects caused by the rapid development of data science and discusses the opinions and remarks made by the participants of the round table called "Methods and Technologies of Data Science: Its Prospects in Historical Research" held by the editorial board of the "Historical Information Science” journal " and the Association "History and Computer" on July 3, 2020. The round table was attended by over 60 teachers, researchers, as well as students from 5 countries. Online discussions and talks were assisted by Zoom video conferencing service. The participants addressed issues related to the term "data science" itself, artificial intelligence and big data issues. All these were discussed in the light of problems that arise and are solved in the framework of historical research. The speakers addressed the problem of historical sources digitization and text recognition, the opportunities of programming languages (R and Python) use as well as many other issues. The very fact of the round table and its results have demonstrated the undeniable usefulness of the dialogue and the need to develop this form of scientific contacts. It is emphasized that that the development of such a field as "digital historical source studies" is becoming more and more urgent.
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