10.0510 software for history

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 10 Dec 1996 20:03:00 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 510.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Pamela Cohen <pac@rci.rutgers.edu> (170)
Subject: CAAH Digest - 6 Dec 1996 to 7 Dec 1996

<CAAH@PUCC.BITNET>, Kelly Woestman <kwoestma@clandjop.com>,
originally from James B. Schick <jschick@mail.pittstate.edu>
_History Computer>Review_ (xpost H-Survey)]

>For the Spring 1997 issue of _History Computer Review_,
>I'd like to gather the advice of as many teachers of
>history as possible on two questions:
>1) What *software* still needs to be invented,
>developed, or made available, so you can do a more
>effective job of teaching college history?
>2) What *websites* need to be developed to help you
>as a teacher of history?
>Be as specific as you can be about what this software
>or website would do and how you think they should
>operate. If I get a sufficient number of good
>responses, I will collect the best ones to appear in the
>Spring issue.
>My hope is to stimulate the creative juices of any
>programmers looking for a new assignment or
>software gurus (are you reading this Bill Gates?)
>desiring to make a positive impact on higher
>Just to get the subject going, I'd like to offer a
>half-dozen of my own musings in each category.
>While I will focus on the first course in American history,
>you should understand that any history, any time is
>acceptable and that the target audience could be
>any level from undergraduate non-majors to graduate
>history students.
>1) The papers of all the Founders in one source, in
>searchable form so that a teacher or student
>requesting responses to the Boston Tea Party could
>find out what all of them thought quickly and easily.
>This would be useful for research papers as well as
>classroom use.
>2) A world map (with subsets of regions, nations) which
>you could: a) animate by either tracing a route or
>entering reference points for a journey, as for an
>explorer's route of march; b) establish new lines of
>demarcation to show the shifting political boundaries
>through time; c) zoom to modern terrain maps and/or
>satellite photos showing ground features and
>superimpose either those routes or boundaries upon
>3) 3D renderings of James Fort, Martin's Hundred,
>Plimoth Plantation, Williamsburg, and other excavated
>sites or reconstructions of early American settlements,
>plus individual houses/buildings still remaining from
>those times, so that students could virtually "walk
>through" the past. I would also like to be able to call
>up various historic events which took place at those
>places: the Massacre of 1622, the peace conference
>with Massasoit, the meeting of the House of Burgesses
>when Patrick Henry proposed his seven resolutions
>regarding the Stamp Act, accusations in Salem,
>Massachusetts, and other such events.
>4) Collections of colonial/early national artifacts from
>the Smithsonian, Winterthur, Metropolitan Museum of
>Art, and regional/local historical museums, so I could
>"furnish" a typical Virginia planter's mansion, Puritan
>saltbox home, trapper's cabin, teepee, wigwam,
>Conestoga wagon, and other habitations. After I
>selected the location of these things (selecting from a
>list), I could click and drag to "place" them where I
>5) Helicopter overviews of battle scenes and routes
>(Oregon Trail, Paul Revere's ride, the National Road,
>Burgoyne's army marching down from Canada, and
>Gettysburg, for instance), so I could show my students
>the route as it is today. This could be connected to
>battle re-enactments viewed from above -- mirroring
>analytical maps found in accounts of the battle -- and
>ground level.
>6) All state census returns (population and agricultural
>census, plus special tallies) in a format similar to that of
>_The Great American History Machine_ and fully as
>useful as that software. Probably should be in a
>format which could be read and cross- referenced by
>1) Maps: any map, any time -- historical by date,
>region, country.
>2) Conversion: you would simply enter the date,
>country, currency, and amount, and you'd get two
>types of results -- the approximate value in today's
>dollars and a comparison to wages and goods of the
>time and in nearby countries.
>3) Interpretations: select from dozens of key events and
>display videoclips of historians briefly explaining their
>interpretation of the event, plus full citations,
>mini-historiographical essay.
>4) Music: enter the date, country, and listen to music
>currently in vogue, together with a brief analysis of the
>history of music of that time.
>5) Faces: enter a name and if it's in the database, you
>will have a selection of paintings, drawings,
>photographs, and/or videoclips showing this
>6) Places: provide the time period and country, and
>get a display of the best places to see the material
>culture of that time: historic sites, museums,
>recreations, plus still photographs and motion video,
>paintings from the time, and the like. Plus links to the
>sites for times, location, and so forth, plus books giving
>similar information.
>What would *you* like? I must have your responses by
>*January 20th* at the very latest. Send them directly to
>me at jschick@pittstate.edu. And thank you for your
>Feel free to cross-post this.
>-- Dr. James B. M. Schick - History Computer Review
>Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas 66762
>jschick@pittstate.edu - fax: 316-232-7515 - phone:
>End of CAAH Digest - 6 Dec 1996 to 7 Dec 1996
Pamela Cohen
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities
169 College Avenue, New Brunswick NJ 08903
phone: (908) 932-1384 / fax: (908) 932-1386