In Spring 2015, a working group engaged in questions at the intersection of digital and public history at the annual National Council on Public History (NCPH) meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee. The vibrant discussion focused on the exciting and important ways by which public historians make digital, public history. Because a significant amount of work has centered on digitizing and augmenting historical archives, this special issue explores digital approaches to physical collections. Inflected by the contributors’ positioning in public history, the issue highlights how digital approaches are shaped by questions of access, audience, collaboration, interpretation, and materiality. From that discussion in Nashville arose another conversation to convey some of the practical challenges, decisions, applications, and opportunities as experienced by working group discussants. It seemed then, and with the collection of articles in this issue it is even more apparent that the lessons learned by working group discussants are widely applicable to practitioners of public history and digital history, and public, digital history. The articles in this collection develop and interrogate a range of issues beginning with methodology and then turning to case studies.

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2016

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2016 Rowman & Littlefield. This article first appeared in Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals 12:4 (2016), 377-380.

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