There must be something in the air.

With a range of ideas and dotted with many fine links and teasers, William J. Turkel of the great white north has posted, in a piece called Methodology for the Infinite Archive, comments on some of the challenges in the r/evolution that may be Digital History.

“… So does this mean that we have to throw out everything we hold dear? Of course not. There’s still no substitute for being able to read closely and critically … Given the low average quality of online information and the read/write nature of the web, we need the work of archivists, librarians and curators more than ever.”

“We also need some new skills. We need to be able to digitize and digitally archive existing sources; to create useful metadata; to find and interpret sources that were “born digital”; to expose repositories through APIs; to write programs that search, spider, scrape and mine; to create bots, agents and mechanical turks that interact seamlessly with one another and with human analysts.”

Extracted here, these are questions without answers. But go see his post. The links in the questions push toward solutions.

This is a complex topic, and I’m not doing it justice in all its facets. Fortunately, I don’t have to. I’m a minor node on the web of people like Professor Turkel who, collectively, probably can.

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