Altchives, Archigraphs, and the Future of Digital History

Saturday, January 7, 2017: 3:50 PM
Mile High Ballroom 2C (Colorado Convention Center)
Stephen Berry, University of Georgia
In February 2016, Stephen Berry launched CSI:Dixie, a web project that collects coroners’ reports from the nineteenth-century South and examines them variously from the perspectives of a historian, demographer, statistician, social worker, psychologist, documentarian, criminologist, activist, and artist in a constant reworking and re-seeing of the same material. Intended as an experiment in form, CSI:D might be called an "archigraph" -- a set of records (an archive) married to a set of judgments about those records (a monograph). Behind it all is a desperate urge to draw from the past something useful for the present. Presentism -- turning the dead into political sock puppets that spout a party line -- is a historical sin. But present-value? Our work should better have that. In this roundtable, Berry discusses the highs, lows, and future of the project while also surveying the hotly-contested DH landscape.