As historians begin tackling the work of analyzing the 1990s and early 21st century, they are learning that the traditional paper trail — the memos, records, and correspondences that make up so much of the historian’s craft — peters out, and that a world of born-digital sources takes its place. Few historians have been trained to tackle these new archives; even locating emails, videos, and websites remains a monumental task. Nicole Hemmer, a historian of the near-past, will talk about her experiences working with born-digital sources and the challenges the profession must overcome as it reaches the end of the paper-trail era.
Nicole Hemmer is director of the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Center for the American Presidency and associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University. She is author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics and Partisan: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s. She co-hosts the podcasts Past Present and This Day in Esoteric Political History, and is a columnist at CNN.
Event Timeslots (1)
Day One – June 13
Beyond the Paper Trail: Doing History in Digital Archives