Clio Wired

An Introduction to History & New Media

Week 3



  1. Dan Cohen & Roy Rosenzweig, “Chapter 3: Becoming Digital,” Digital History (2006)
  2. Simon Tanner, “Deciding whether Optical Character Recognition is feasible” (2004)
  3. Ian Milligan, “Illusionary Order: Online Databases, Optical Character Recognition, and Canadian History, 1997–2010,” Canadian Historical Review 94, 4, December 2013, pp. 540-569 (focus on 558-569)
  4. Paul Conway, “Building Meaning in Digitized Photographs.” Journal of the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science 1, 1 (2009)

Digital and Material

  1. Marlene Manoff, “The Materiality of Digital Collections: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives,” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 6, 3 (2006): 311-325
  2. Sarah Werner, “When Material Book Culture Meets Digital Humanities,” Journal of Digital Humanities 1, 3 (2012)
Discussion Leader: Andrew Salamone


  • Google Drive OCR
    (use on the file provided; manipulate the image to see if you can improve the OCR accuracy; compare it with the results of the other student with this file – include your file in your blog post)
  • Chronicling America
    (examine three pages; how accurate is the OCR; what features of the image seem to produce inaccurate text; are the problems similar or different to those that make Google Drive OCR inaccurate)
  • Assess the OCR of a digital resource in your research field
    (look at a primary source that has had OCR applied to it; how accurate is it)

1 comment for “Week 3

  1. Stephen Robertson
    September 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Andrew’s Discussion Questions:
    1. To what extent do we agree with the assertion found in these articles concerning the dangers of remediation?
    2. What are your thoughts on Milligan’s article, particularly his concern with authority by numbers, exclusion of nondigital sources, and inappropriate place?
    3. Aside from the analytic tools we have at our disposal, the quantity of sources we have available, and the speed at which we can conduct textual analysis, how is historical research today different from what historians did 50 years ago?
    4. What role do you believe historians should play in the digitization process? Do you believe this presents a potential for analytic bias? Why or why not?

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