Digital History and Digital Preservation Projects: Challenges and Opportunities
This panel examines a range of digital history and digital preservation projects, most focused on issues surrounding slavery in Africa and the Americas and on the trade in slaves. The panelists are particularly concerned with what changes in technology have meant for such projects over the past couple of decades. From punch cards to CDROMs to the internet, our approaches have come a long way. The panelists are also concerned with the challenges digital history presents. These include technical hurdles, the joys and discomforts of teamwork, the need to think about reaching a variety of audiences, ethnical considerations, and the quest for funding. Database projects require standardization, which can serve to obfuscate more than clarify. And all digital projects should (but too often don’t) include a long-term preservation element. What will become of digital history projects in the future? Who should take responsibility for insuring they remain accessible after startup funds are depleted?