The Internet is creating a vast new archive of historical sources. Huge numbers of digitized artifacts–including pictures, films, sounds, words, as well numerical and spatial data–appear online everyday. Anyone interested in history would want to use them.
Yet there’s a catch. All too often, we don’t know anything about these sources, not even their names. Who made them? When? Where? How much of the original survives today? What portion is digitized here? Faced by these and numerous other questions, students and researchers are placed in a bind. We can either ignore the Internet’s riches, or use them blind, without really knowing what we’re working with.
SourceLab exists to help solve this problem. Our students are developing classroom-based publishing practices and technologies that will help people interested in history take advantage of newly-digitized materials more knowledgably and efficiently. Starting in Fall 2016, we will have our own SourceLab Series, a set of online editions of historical materials developed in response to the needs of teachers and researchers. Both this series, and its associated digital publishing technologies and curricular materials, will be offered to the public as Open Educational Resources.