Edited By Frédéric Clavert and Serge Noiret
Digital practices in the field of history have become more and more widespread in recent decades, but contemporary historians have often tended to remain on the sidelines of this trend. This book, which covers a wide range of digital practices, tools and methods, will serve both as a solid grounding for historians keen to learn how information technology can be applied to contemporary history, and as a useful tool for researchers and lecturers who already have a degree of experience in this area. It will enable scholars to compare and further their practices in the area of digital humanities, providing a comprehensive vision of the emerging field of digital history.
Preface (Marianne BACKES & René LEBOUTTE)
11 Preface Marianne BACKES Director, Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe, Senior Adviser to the Government René LEBOUTTE Tenured Professor, Jean Monnet Chair of the History of European Integration (University of Luxembourg) In his speech opening the symposium of which the proceedings are recorded in this book, Rolf Tarrach, Rector of the University of Luxem- bourg, said that most scientific disciplines are based on data, which they turn into information, from which, with a little intelligence, they derive knowledge. In the hard sciences, that knowledge can be converted into laws. The other disciplines, however, cannot lay down laws, because they study the human element. Thus the human and social sciences are complex disciplines in which computer and digital technology will become a determining factor, since they relate to the process of trans- forming information into knowledge of the human condition. So, right from the start of the symposium, Rolf Tarrach pinpointed the basic theme underlying this event on ‘Contemporary History in the Digital Age’, held in the European Commission’s Jean Monnet building on the Kirchberg Plateau in Luxembourg City on 15 and 16 October 2009. This is to become a regular event under the heading of ‘Digital Humanities Luxembourg’ (DHLU). It results from a joint initiative by the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (CVCE) and the University of Luxembourg Master’s in Contemporary European History. The two institutions have been looking at the role of digital technologies in contemporary history research and teaching. In developing a ‘digital library’...
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