How Can I Collect History Online?

By anneladyem

This week’s readings struck a chord with me. I have been trying to think of ways to incorporate more oral histories into my research, as most of my previous work for my thesis has been done through interviews, newspapers, and magazines. After reading through Collecting History Online, I am wondering if it wouldn’t be beneficial to myself and future researchers on video games (and, of course, those just interested in the topic!) if I were able to create a website to gather online oral histories from gamers from the past. 

To create a digital archive of these oral histories would be really interesting for me, as it would allow for contributors to explain their stories, their thoughts, and their perception of the gaming world at the time. At the same time, I also wonder how easy or difficult it could potentially be to get both contributors and the information from those contributors that is pertinent for the topic. As Collecting History Online’s section on Qualitative Concerns asks, is it easier to ask specific, colloquial questions or would it be more interesting (and also get more participation) if the question is left open ended? Would it be beneficial to ask for advertisement or news stories on popular gaming blogs such as Kotaku or Polygon to attract contributors? 

These are all interesting question to ask, and I might end up tackling these. After reading this week, I really feel that it might be a great way to get some information that I am looking for, while also creating a really cool and interesting website for other gamers. We will see! Any ideas?

Source: Anne Ladyem and Clio  

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One Response to How Can I Collect History Online?

  1. Sara says:

    Anne,

    I think this is a great idea! The questions should be open-ended- if contributors are too specific, you might not know what information they omit that will be “pertinent” later. In “Collecting History Online,” Rosenzweig and Cohen discuss building collections by using already active digital communities. Your idea is a great example of a good historical topic for online collecting. I also think you can include links to gaming blogs and other relevant gaming communities to increase the network and also to attract visitors, like you said.

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