Digital research methods roundup

2011 March 8
by Shane Landrum

Tenured Radical offers some research tips based on her work at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, including some tips for digital photography. Rather than fill up the comment section there, a few notes:

A plea for some shameless self-promotion

Apropos of Jean’s work: one of the most interesting things I’m seeing come out of other early-career historians’ work is that we’re putting our research materials online, sometimes in great volume, alongside whatever other publications we may do. The more of us do it, the more we lower the perceived career risk of doing similarly.

The same is true about these blog posts we make on research methods. Just because there isn’t a journal publishing articles about this stuff doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be talking about it.

If you have a web-based research-materials project (or a friend’s project), or digital-methods-related blog post you want to show off, please say something about it below so others can find it.

6 Responses
  1. March 9, 2011

    Shane– thanks for the link. I completely agree with you that the more people who write about their workflow, methods, and materials, the better off we are. I’ve changed quite a few things in my own workflow since 2008, including using version control for certain files, a text editor for most of my research work, DEVONthink as an indexer but not as residence for my materials, dropbox for syncing research materials between computers, batch processing of photos, notational velocity for short notes and ideas, and a bit more. Been meaning to write a post on the new workflow, and maybe now I will.

  2. March 12, 2011

    Dunno if this is digital research methods exactly, since I’m at a teaching college and my research time is basically zilch, but I’m blogging about teaching the methods class and we’re using digital sources a lot. I’m also hoping to write more about how I use technology, digital resources, and techie tools in my history pedagogy. This post is a good nudge, thanks Shane.

  3. March 12, 2011

    Thanks so much for your helpful blog. Like many of us I have stumbled into this area in the quest to get more out of trips to archives. Blogs are the only place where I can find out more about how to do this better. In fact blogs are the journal on research methods in digital history.

    My blog posts on method? My blog aims to include people interested in history but not trained as well as trained historians. I am also a beginner at digital methods. For these reasons my posts on digital history are basic. But I figure that there are many historians who have been working for years who have only started to consider digital methods so there is an audience for my basic articles!

  4. March 13, 2011

    Thanks for the links, Shane. I learned about DevonThink by reading Chad’s posts, and will blog about how I am using DT in the next week or two. I’m really looking forward to seeing his new workflow. Re: photos, I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I’m using the Eye-Fi card to send images directly from my digital camera to various places on my computer and online. Really speeds things up. Also, no post on digital methods is complete without a mention of Lisa Spiro’s excellent DiRT (Digital Research Tools) Wiki

  5. Lisa permalink
    April 20, 2011

    Not completely related but I have a work-in-progess wiki compiling digitized resources in the Genealogical sense


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