At the Forest History Association of BC conference in September, UBC Geography doctoral candidate Emily Jane Davis spoke to the challenges of “Preserving History in a Digital Age”. Her comments will interest all those engaged in historical work, and you can find a recording of her talk right here.
Summary. Though we are inundated daily with information through the internet and digital networks like the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE), the very abundance challenges the historical practice of close readings, offering instead a constant stream of new sources and new ways of conducting research. Comprehensiveness, then, threatens to replace expertise in the face of an essentially unknown audience. Despite these challenges and ever shifting measures, however, Ms. Davis argues that we should continue to save and collect, ultimately using the digital world as but one of many tools for communication. People and the relationships between them thus become the most important resources in the preservation and maintenance of vitality in forest history.