In the fall of 1991, someone appointed me, a historian, to a committee that oversaw computing at my university. I had long been underfoot in the computer labs, consuming valuable time in front of UNIX workstations, making computerized maps, and running statistical tests for a history of the New South. Now it was time for payback.

Yet despite my years of working with computers, I had little idea at that time of the revolutionary promise that computing held for scholarship in disciplines like my own. More than a decade of living on the Web later, I recognize the potential of electronic media for the humanities. I'm just unsure whether we'll meet it.

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Copyright © 2004 The Chronicle of Higher Education. This article first appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education 50:21 (2004), B24.

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