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Layers and Links

Public historians come from a variety of backgrounds, but they share a commitment to making the study of the past accessible to members of the general public. Unlike academic historians, who might write journal articles and monographs for a very small scholarly community, public historians prize clarity and accessibility as they work to share the most up to date scholarship with others. In digital environments, this commitment to accessibility can be embodied in the form that historical work takes: digital exhibits, blog posts, collections metadata, podcasts, videos, and social networking posts. The promise of digital technologies for public history is vast: new audiences, dynamic content, increased engagement, large scale collaboration. But to achieve this promise, we need to focus on the goals of public history and adapt our working practice to the new conditions created by the digital environment. This chapter addresses the shifting methods and approaches of public historians as they have developed materials for the digital environment over the past twenty years.

Citation: Sharon M. Leon. “Layers and Links: Writing Public History in a Digital Environment.” in The Oxford Handbook of Public History, edited by Paula Hamilton and James B. Gardner (Forthcoming from Oxford University Press, January 2016).

Posted in Publications.