Today, and into the future, consulting archival documents increasingly means reading them on a screen.
As our societies lose paper trails and increasingly rely on digital information, historians, and their grasps of context, will become more important than ever.
Idi Amin at a press conference in Jjaja Marina, Uganda in July 1975.
Courtesy of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation
Hidden for decades in a vault at the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, the photographs depict a regime fixated on establishing order, meting out punishment and stoking nationalism.
Mukurtu is a Warumungu word meaning “dilly bag” or a safe keeping place for sacred materials.
Nina Maile Gordon/The Conversation CC-NY-BD
Mukurtu: an online dilly bag for keeping Indigenous digital archives safe.
The Conversation 71.5 MB (download)
Mukurtu - Warumungu word meaning 'dilly bag' or a safe keeping place for sacred materials - is an online system helping Indigenous people conserve photos, songs and other digital archives.
The National Library of Australia recently launched the Australian Web Archive - a historical record of Australian web content.
The National Library of Australia's web archive preserves online Australian content dating back to 1996. The next step is to archive platforms such as Facebook and Twitter - but it won't be easy.
An 1811 wood engraving depicts the coronation of King Henry.
Fine Art America
In 1811 a former slave named Henry Christophe anointed himself 'First Monarch' of the 'New World.' For 10 years, he ruled over a part of modern-day Haiti, becoming a global media sensation.
There is no clear cybersecurity governance framework geared towards detecting and preventing attacks against digital identity assets.
Digital identity assets, such as property records and Parliamentary proceedings, embody who and what Australia is as a nation. We need to do more to protect them.
Team member Felix Knight looks through archives at the Church of Espiritu Santo in Havana, Cuba.
The Slave Societies Digital Archive documents the lives of approximately 6 million free and enslaved Africans in the Americas.
For centuries, Pulter’s manuscript lay untouched at the University of Leeds’ Brotherton Library.
University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32
In a time when women were expected to be silent, no topic was off limits for Pulter, who penned verses about politics, science and loss. Her manuscript was just published in a free digital archive.
With a lot not on display, museums may not even know all that’s in their vast holdings.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
A tiny percentage of museums’ natural history holdings are on display. Very little of these vast archives is digitized and available online. But museums are working to change that.
An artist’s illustration of a black hole “eating” a star.
Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day – so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives.
A slave fortress in Cape Coast, Ghana.
AP Photo/Clement N'Taye
An online database explores the nearly 36,000 slave voyages that occurred between 1514 and 1866.
Gillian Armstrong’s 1971 student film The Roof Needs Mowing featured a bathtub full of baked beans.
VCA Film & Television School
In less than a decade, most people won't be able to play a VHS tape anymore. Let's farewell the humble tape, and celebrate the archives finding their way to digitisation and YouTube.
Social media is creating an archive that will shape the way we see our past.
Eastman Johnson’s ‘A Ride for Liberty’ (ca. 1862) depicts a family of slaves galloping for the safety of the North in the early morning light.
With Freedom on the Move, historians hope to reveal patterns of escape and capture, while giving anyone the chance to learn about the individual heroism of runaway slaves.
John Z'graggen’s tapes from Madang.
There are hundreds of different languages spoken in the Pacific region that could be lost. So it's important to safeguard what recordings we have in a digital archive available to all.
The ancient site of Palmyra, parts of which have reportedly now been destroyed by Islamic State.
Using technology to recreate heritage items can help connect nations.
Transgender is an umbrella term, encompassing a number of different identities and practices.
'Umbrella' via www.shutterstock.com
Transgender is a relatively new word. So when an academic seeks to create a transgender historical archive, complications abound.
Floppies: storage that’s about as reliable as a CD used as a frisbee.
“The internet is forever.” So goes a saying regarding the impossibility of removing material – such as stolen photographs – permanently from the web. Yet paradoxically the vast and growing digital sphere…
You never know what you’ll find when you rifle through a box of war diaries.
Digital networks and databases appear to crush historical distance. Archives of war increasingly come to us. A simple YouTube search throws up a chaotic mix of official and unauthorised, user-generated…
Kilometres of these now fit in a few cubic inches of digital storage.
From the Domesday Book to modern government papers, the National Archives’ collection of more than 11m historical government and public records is one of the world’s largest. It includes paper and parchment…