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The Internet Revolution in the Sciences and Humanities$
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Alan G. Gross and Joseph E. Harmon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190465926.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

Archival Websites in the Humanities and Sciences

Archival Websites in the Humanities and Sciences

Chapter:
(p.88) 4 Archival Websites in the Humanities and Sciences
Source:
The Internet Revolution in the Sciences and Humanities
Author(s):

Alan G. Gross

Joseph E. Harmon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190465926.003.0009

A South African by birth, white, of German ancestry, fluent in Afrikaans, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick spent six months in her native country in 1993 and a full year in 1994 studying the Soweto uprising. During that time, she assiduously examined the relevant archives but was unable to find any of the posters she knew the marching students carried: … From the transcripts and correspondence of the Cillié Commission I knew that the Commission had received, from the police, many posters and banners that had been confiscated during various student marches in 1976. None of them would have fit into a traditional archive document box and, though mentioned on the list of evidence associated with the Cillié Commission, they were initially not to be found. I continued to request that archivists search the repositories—without success. Until, one day, perhaps exasperated by my persistence or wanting to finally prove to me that there was nothing to be found in the space associated with K345, the archival designator of my Soweto materials, one of the archivists relented and asked me to accompany her into the vaults in order to help her search for these artifacts of the uprising! To be sure, there were no posters to be found in the shelf space that housed the roughly nine hundred boxes of evidence associated with the Cillié Commission. But then, as my disappointed eyes swept the simultaneously ominous and tantalizing interior of the vault, I saw a piece of board protruding over the topmost edge of the shelf. There, almost 9 feet into the air, in the shadowy space on top of the document shelves, lay a pile of posters and banners… . We can understand Pohlandt-McCormick’s mounting sense of excitement. It is not just the discovery itself; it is the sense of being in touch with the past—literally in touch. It is the knowledge that no photograph can do justice to any 3D object, whether it is a collection of posters, a cache of cold fusion memorabilia, or Enrico Fermi’s Nobel medal.

Keywords:   Archival websites, ChemSpider, Digital humanities, Folger Digital Texts, Fractal tree diagram, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online, Perseus Digital Library, Rome Reborn, Search engines, Victorian Web, William Blake Archive

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