Historical informatics - rubric Peer reviews
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Peer reviews
Borodkin L. - Review of the Book by Shchapova Yu.L. and Grinchenko S.N. Introduction into the Theory of the Archeological Epoch: Numerical Modeling and Logarithmic Scales of Spatiotemporal Data. M.: The History Faculty of Moscow State University, the Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences Computer
Science and Management, 2017. -236 pages. (Works of the History Faculty of MSU, Issue. 97. Series II, Historical Studies, 51).
pp. 109-112


Abstract: The author considers the main achievements and discussion points of the monograph which proposes the principles of chronology and periodization of the archaeological epoch, its generalized numerical model combining the Fibonacci's and the informatics-cybernetics models. The capabilities of inductive and deductive models are discussed. Numerical modeling is considered within the framework of the deductive approach. The universality of the mathematical model based on the Fibonacci series defining the "golden proportion" is noted. It is shown that the use of a multidisciplinary approach based on mathematical modeling of long-duration archaeological epochs allows us to consider it as a new concept of global history. The author discusses the problems of the monograph within the framework of the methodology of modeling historical processes and developing concepts of “Big history”. Consideration of the issues of periodization of long-duration processes is carried out within the context of their predictability, the relationship of regularities and randomness, mechanisms of self-organization and algorithms of "adaptive random search". The article concludes that it is important to estimate the moments of system information transformations within the framework of the Fibonacci model and emphasizes the role of this model for the formation of new hypotheses in historical and archaeological studies. 
Borodkin L. - 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. 
Hookk D. - A study in grayscale. Review of the book by Yu.Yu. Yumasheva "Digital transformation of audiovisual archives. Audiovisual archives online". pp. 127-133


Abstract: This review is devoted to the monograph by Yu.Yu.Yumasheva, published in DirectMedia publishing house in 2020. The monograph is the result of a comprehensive study, within the framework of which the author carried out a source and historiographical analysis of the problems of audiovisual documentation and its digital transformation based on open data sets over the past 15 years. The 600-page book was announced as a textbook for students, employees of government bodies and specialists in the field of archival affairs. A detailed acquaintance with the text makes it possible to come to a conclusion as to how fully the claimed research has been completed, and whether the proposed form corresponds to its purpose. Starting with the formal characteristics of the book: the cover design, the quality of the illustrations and the structure of the publication, the reviewer proceeds to discuss the content of the published materials. The monograph is devoted to the problems of digital transformation of traditional audiovisual archives, the translation of audio, photo, and film documents into digital form, the creation of electronic resources based on created copies and their presentation on the Internet. The author has accumulated a knowledge bank, which presents information resources available on the world Wide Web, based on digitized bibliographic catalogs, scientific reference apparatus of archives and museum records, as well as electronic copies of objects of historical and cultural heritage. In total, the monograph mentions more than 2.5 thousand such resources created by 29 international organizations and 68 countries. The issues of traditional source criticism of audiovisual sources, methods of their digitization and description of the received electronic copies are analyzed by the author along with computer methods of studying audiovisual documentation converted into digital format. Despite the limited circulation, the monograph should be recommended not as a textbook, but as a reference guide and to a wider range of specialties.
Garskova I.M. - The International Conference "Historical Studies in a Digital Epoch: Information Resources, Methods and Technologies" pp. 140-153


Abstract: The article aims at analyzing the reports and messages of the 15th conference of the “History and Computer” association (AIK). The comparison of conference materials with the historiography of Russian historical computer science provides for characterizing theoretical and applied problems related to the use of information technologies and mathematical methods in history as well as revealing new trends of this interdisciplinary field nowadays. The attention is primarily given to such aspects as the development and interaction of modern information technologies, professional information sources as well as analytical methods and approaches. The study employs classification analysis and comparative analysis methods of the problematic field of AIK’s conference materials in relation to research domains and schools of thought that have been formed in historical computer science for the last 25 years. The informational basis is a full-text collection and a bibliographic database of AIK’s publications. The study demonstrates that the conference topics are in line with two main domains of historical computer science: an informational one aiming at creation and employment of informational infrastructure – electronic resources, data bases, historical GIS, 3D reconstructions of historical and cultural heritage objects, and an analytical one involving historical source processing and analysis with the help of computer modeling methods, mathematical statistics, content-analysis, network analysis and spatial analysis. Interaction of these domains provides the growing number of digital on-line sources with the necessary research tools.
Vladimirov V.N. - 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.
Borodkin L., Gasanov A.A., Danilov E.V. - Historical network analysis: to the fifth anniversary of the profile international journal pp. 196-206



Abstract: This article is a review of materials published in the international journal Journal of Historical Network Research (JHNR), which has been in existence since 2017 and reflects the main approaches in the development of historical network research. This is a relatively new direction in historical science, reflecting the growing interest in the study of interactions, relationships in historical societies of various epochs and localizations. The methodological basis of historical network analysis is the methods of graph theory. A big role in these studies is given to the visualization of the results of the analysis of social networks with the help of special software actively used in the publications of the journal JHNR. Some issues of the journal are thematic for example, reflecting the experience of using network analysis methods in the study of antiquity or the history of China. JHNR magazine is an online publication with open access, which creates a number of advantages for researchers of social networks. Thus, network illustrations are not subject to restrictions on the size or nature of the visualization. The article analyzes the experience of using network methods in the study of informal communications in the elites of Ancient Rome, relationships during coastal trade in Tudor England, network communications in the opposition community of the late GDR, as well as the network structure of the conspiracy of July 20, 1944.
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