The Public Use of History in the Digital Society
In recent times, digital approaches have been applied in many different branches of the humanities and have led to the creation of a major new cross-sector area which brings together disparate expertise and necessitates interdisciplinary cooperation. The digital approach is a common denominator in specialised research and teaching as well as in archival practices, dissemination and publishing. Above all, though, it links people with a specific forma mentis.
Looking at this cross sector from an academic point of view one can see that it stimulates a new kind of cooperation among traditional disciplines. Today's researchers, indeed, much more than just making use of digital tools, are seeking a new digital perspective: what in this approach is the common element capable of creating shared knowledge?
This is ongoing change requiring an open-minded point of view which can really foster profound innovation, both in culture and in society, and researchers and academics have a crucial role to play to achieve this.
Digital History, as part of Digital Humanities, also includes new approaches in research and in dissemination. Our task is to discuss and to publish how historians are using digital potential in "making history".
This approach could also prove very effective in fostering both a culture of history and one of participation in society. The result expected, however, goes beyond simple access to historical information, with the creation of a cultural condition for public access to historical knowledge. It should ultimately shape new interactions in the construction of the collective memory, and, as such, it can be a fillip to social and cultural development at large.
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