Ian Milligan and the Internet Archive

9 09 2013


The ActiveHistory.ca blog published a piece in which Ian Milligan of the University of Waterloo discusses the uses of the Internet Archive in historical teaching and research. He has blogged about the Internet Archive before and has talked about how it is the basis of his current major research project. Today’s blog post includes an admirably concise account of what the various options for using the Internet Archive’s massive collection of digitized historical images.

Ian mentions that it is his first day of classes today. I wish everyone who is starting their academic year right now good luck. Milligan’s post reminds me of just how good the average standard of teaching in Canadian universities is. In many ways, Canada is blessed among nations.

Digital Books and the Future of Historical Studies in HE

10 05 2011

Like many historians, I found online books to be a great innovation. Google Books is the most famous digitizer of books, but for historians perhaps the most useful provider is the Internet Archive.The internet archive contains some wonderful gems, including several editions of Pehr Kalm’s journal of his travels in North America in the late 1740s. Kalm was a Finnish naturalist whose account of life in New France has been drawn upon by many of historians of early North America. One of the assignments in the pre-Confederation history class I taught in Canada involved reading the description of Montreal contained in the edition of the journal printed in London in 1770-1. This assigment gave students to read an actual primary source and is always quite popular.

Back in November, Digital Campus, the podcast of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, broadcast an interesting discussion of digital books. I just discovered this podcast now and find it fascinating. It gets me thinking about what sort of assignments I might be giving in a decade. You can hear the podcast by clicking here.

If you haven’t already explored the rich holdings of the Internet Archive, I recommend that you do so right away!

Appearance of the Internet Archive Main Page