Reading: Problems and possibilities of digital newspaper and periodical archives

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Problems and possibilities of digital newspaper and periodical archives

Author:

Thomas Smits

Abstract

Digital newspaper archives are the most widely used resource for digital humanities research. The basic functionality of these archives – the ability to perform keyword searches across multiple titles – is unlikely to change. This means that researchers can safely develop a digital methodology without having to fear that new technology will make their efforts obsolete. On the basis of this observation, this article discusses three methodological problems of the digital newspaper archive. First, it provides unequal access to both different scholars and historical periods. Second, it tends to ignore the historical form of media landscapes. Third, the digital mediation of newspapers and periodicals results in a problematic loss of context. This article proposes that the solution to these problems lies in the assertion of agency over the digital newspaper archive and in the debates surrounding them by researchers. They should see digital newspaper archive as any other paper archive: with its own possibilities and limitations, which can be adjusted by the researcher.  

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.317
How to Cite: Smits, T., (2014). Problems and possibilities of digital newspaper and periodical archives. Tijdschrift voor Tijdschriftstudies. (36), pp.139–146. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.317
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Published on 31 Dec 2014.

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