Digital Public History
Noiret, Serge <Istituto Universitario Europeo, Firenze>
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The Digital Turn in history has reformulated our documentation processes, transformed the ways we archive, treat and access information and has sometimes anticipated new epistemological questions. Yet there is still no systematic methodology developed to critically approach these new digital tools, to analyze the transit of “big data” and understand the new public capacity to deal with the past. These changes deeply affect the relationship between historians and their diverse publics, their approaches to new digital sources and historical narrative globally and require a rewriting and reinterpretation of methodology. This chapter explores these issues, arguing that the digital world has deeply influenced the presence of the past in our societies and allows for the creation of new interconnections between the past, our present, and our future. What we might call “digital public history” insists, given the public dissemination of new interactive digital technologies, that we review the current relationship with the past, our memory and our history. Thanks to digital technologies, the methodological changes in the historians' craft and new interactions with the public are such that we should dedicate more time to analyze what digital (public) history now means for academic and public history and for related professions.