First Things First

Taught by Shawn Graham, this course introduces method and theory for digital history. This site acts as the course handbook and syllabus. READ EVERYTHING.

The workbook may be found at the workbook site. Contact info for Dr. Graham is here.

How do we find, analyze, and visualize the patterns in historical data? Is the internet a historical source? How do people talk about history online? Is Google changing our historical consciousness? What happens when people off-load their historical memory to Wikipedia? How do we regain control over our digital identity as historians? What does open access research mean for me? What happens when digital memory is under assault?

Through a series of skill-building exercises and collaborative work, we will build our way towards some answers.

Oh, that tool bar on the right of the screen? That lets you annotate this site with questions and observations (it’s called ‘’). The idea with this tool is that as you read the syllabus, you can annotate those parts that excite you, or puzzle you - and see where others are interested as well. Respond to others’ posts. You’ll need to create a userid and login for More on this further on in this manual.

Across the top of the screen are buttons that allow you to change the site theme, to ease readability; also, there are download buttons for a PDF and Epub version of this manual, for printing out or reading offline if you desire. Finally, there is an edit button that allows you (once you have a Github account) to take a copy of this site for your own remixing.