Historical Sources as Data: Opportunities and Challenges
Challenges lie in creating digital objects and datasets that retain these complexities. Issues such as copyright, proprietary datasets, privacy, fear of being “scooped”, heterogeneous or dissimilar datasets, coding ability, and computational resources can all stand as barriers to working with sources as data. However, by working through these challenges, opportunities to ask research questions in promising new ways arise. The first half of this session will elaborate on ways that working with digital historical sources as data have enabled projects that facilitate research, discovery, and reuse of digitized historical materials. The second half will discuss ways in which historians can refine, document, organize and store their data to preserve integrity and context of the sources and the resulting research. Taken together, this panel presents the process for historians to responsibly, effectively, and transparently conduct research that takes advantage of digitized historical sources.