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Historical informatics

The Future of Historians in the Digital Turn Circumstances

Nasevich Vyachaslau

PhD in History

historian, archivist

220141, Belarus, Minskaya oblast', g. Dzerzhinsk, ul. Raduzhnaya, 17, kv. 68




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Abstract: The article focuses on plausible consequences of mass digitization of historical sources and the emergence of new types of sources such as integrated information resources, archives of online publications and big data. It also gives examples of new research methods application which correspond to digital information specifics. The author evaluates the impact of these factors on three groups of persons related to historical science. These are professional historians, specialists who prepare sources for publication and history popularizers. The possible impact of the "digital turn" on the mass audience is addressed as well. To evaluate plausible consequences of ongoing transformations in history the author uses experience of similar changes which characterized transition to mass archaeographic publications of sources. The main conclusion is the inevitable change of emphasis in history that is the reduced role of professional historians and popularizers and the growing importance of specialists who criticize sources and prepare them for publication. Another conclusion is the advent of discussion communities in social networks where members consider direct historical facts and offer their own interpretations ignoring conclusions of professional historians. 

Keywords: online publication, big data, information resource, digitization, archeography, source study, historical source, paleo-DNA, digital forensics, artificial intelligence
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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