The digitization of historians’ source materials takes center stage in Perspectives on History this month, with “Material Culture in the Digital Frame: A Forum” and “The Digitization and Democratization of Oral History” in our State of the Field section. Martha Sandweiss argues that historians should take a closer look at photographs as objects; Afsaneh Najmabadi discusses the process of creating an archive from scratch to explore women’s worlds in Qajar, Iran; and the team behind the Quilt Index gives readers an enticing glimpse of the possibilities waiting in their digital archive. Reporting from the frontiers of oral history, Clifford Kuhn, the executive director of the Oral History Association, discusses the worlds beyond the transcript and the rise of “aural history.”
Turning from primary sources to undergraduate teaching, we are also featuring the Tuning project’s new iteration of the History Discipline Core, “a statement of the central habits of mind, skills, and understanding that students achieve when they major in history.” In a related vein, AHA President Kenneth Pomeranz proposes that history general education courses teach “Advanced History for Beginners,” bringing what historians value most even to those with passing interest. And Elaine Carey, vice president, Teaching Division, makes the case for “The Historian’s Craft of Teaching.”
There’s much more, including Patrick Allitt on environmental movement history in two films and a new book, background on the Eisenhower Memorial, and a discussion with four history PhDs on their careers in administration.