Produced by undergraduate students at the University of Illinois and reviewed by scholars, SourceLab editions unite pedagogy and scholarship to promote the preservation and contextualization of digital historical primary sources.
The Internet is creating a vast new archive of historical sources. Huge numbers of digitized artifacts–including pictures, films, sounds, words, as well numerical and spatial data–appear online everyday. These sources represent a new, often untapped source for historical analysis, teaching, and research. Best yet, they are available to a wider range of people than any historical archive ever before. Anyone interested in history would want to use them.
Yet all too often, we don’t know anything about these sources. Who made them? When? Where? How much of the original survives today? What portion is digitized here? Faced by these and numerous other questions, students and researchers are placed in a bind. How do we substantially and sustainably engage and preserve the artifacts that are added, and sometimes disappear from, the internet daily?
SourceLab, founded in 2014, is a digital humanities collective based at the University of Illinois that seeks to develop answers to these and other questions about the future of the historical record, and how humanities education can help shape it. Since Fall 2016, we have produced our SourceLab Series, a set of online digital documentary editions of historical materials developed in response to the needs of teachers and researchers. Both this series, and its associated digital publishing technologies and curricular materials, are offered to the public as Open Educational Resources.
Find out more at our website.