Public History in a Digital Context: Back to the Future or Back to Basics?


  • Fien Danniau Royal Netherlands Historical Society (editorial secretary)



digital history, e-humanities, digital humanities


This article concerns the dreams, practices and future for digital media for public history. Has the digital revolution changed the public history discipline? Thanks to characteristics such as flexibility, interactivity and capacity, digital media offer public historians new ways to present history and interact with the public. Wikipedia and the Children of the Lodz Gettho are two interesting public history cases that experiment with the potential of new media for public history.


Looking at history online in general and the role public historians play there, some problems appear: a lack of historical narratives, a lack of self-criticism and digital illiteracy to name three. Based on some online field experience we distill some hands-on lessons concerning narratives, media and the public. Public historians have a lot of work ahead if they want to understand and use the Internet as a new arena for history.


This article is part of the special issue 'Digital History'.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Public History in a Digital Context: Back to the Future or Back to Basics?. (2013). BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 128(4), 118-144.