History 3816G / Digital Humanities 3902G:

Introduction to Digital History

Tuesdays, 6pm

Room UC-222

Contact me

Devon Elliott


Office Hours: Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:00pm, Lawson Hall Room 1208 or by appointment

Upcoming CAS Talk

  • Jesse Walker
    Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 4:00pm, SEB 2202
    The United States of Paranoia: Conspiracy Theories in U.S. History



Presentation: Next week


Annotating and Referring: Bibliographic Databases


Annotating and Referring: Bibliographic Databases



  • On Mac -- CMD + Shift + 3 or CMD + Shift + 4
  • On PC:
    PrtScn (PrintScreen) -- saves it to Clipboard
    Windows + PrtScn -- saves to file
    Windows + Alt + PrtScn -- saves the active window
    ** on laptops, you might need to use a fn(function) key as well

Major Essay Assignment

Choose a topic for which primary sources are available. Apply one or more of the tools in the class to those sources. Write a history of your topic that uses secondary literature to introduce and set the context for your paper, and then explain and describe your digital work with the sources. Does your work complement and reinforce arguments made in the secondary literature? Does it contradict or indicate alternative ideas about the topic? Sample topics and resources will be provided, but you're also welcome to find and choose your own. Check with me -- I can help.

Possible Topics

  • Media/Entertainment -- Vaudeville, radio, television, film. Popular photography, from film to digital. Publishing books, newspapers. Music.
  • Popular religion -- Spiritualism, evangelists, New Thought, etc.
  • Sports
  • Advertising and consumer culture
  • Fads -- toys, ideas, movements (sci. fi., the future, homesteading, car culture, etc.)

Possible Sources

  • Internet Archive
  • Google Books
  • Project Gutenberg
  • Western Library resources -- ie., Chronicling America
  • Digital Public Library of America
  • Other databases and repositories -- comic books, sheet music, lyrics, tablature, images, etc.

Getting Started

  • What's your topic?
  • What are you going to ask about it?
  • What secondary sources are availble?
  • What digital primary source(s) can you introduce to your analysis?
  • What tools will you apply or try with the source(s)?
  • Contact me for assistance!


  • Vaudeville
  • UFOs
  • National monuments
  • Roadside Attractions
  • Historical / Commemorative plaques
  • Sports events
  • Map events or make a timeline
  • Text analysis -- gendered pronouns, Google Ngrams, Voyant
  • Make an online exhibit
  • Virtually reconstruct something from the past
  • Create a network graph or other visualization




See you next Tuesday!

Have a great week!

Contact me at delliot8@uwo.ca or stop by Lawson Hall Room 1208 on Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00. I'm also available before and after class on Tuesdays, or by appointment.