The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast

« This working paper explores the consequences for historians’ research practice of the twinned transnational and digital turns. The accelerating digitization of historians’ sources (scholarly, periodical, and archival) and the radical shift in the granularity of access to information within them has radically changes historians’ research practice. Yet this has incited remarkably little reflection regarding the consequences for individual projects or collective knowledge generation. What are the implications for international research in particular? This essay heralds the new kinds of historical knowledge-generation made possible by web access to digitized, text-searchable sources. It also attempts an accounting of all that we formerly, unwittingly, gained from the frictions inherent to international research in an analog world. What are the intellectual and political consequences of that which has been lost? »