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Historians and Digital History: Why Do Academics Shy Away from Digital History?

Paul W. Bennett

The Internet is finally beginning to penetrate historical practice.  At the recent North American Society for Sports History (NASSH) Conference, held May 24-26, 2013 at Saint Mary’s University, Douglas Booth and Gary Osmond provided a fascinating primer on the impact digital history is starting to exert on a field like the study of international sports history.  The Internet itself, Booth pointed out, is — in fact– “an infinitely expanding, partially mediated archive.” Exploring the World Wide Web, however, can be frightening, especially for recognized experts, because it “disturbs previous certainties.”