POST: Digital History and the Death of Quant

In a post on the British Library’s Digital Scholarship Blog, James Baker (Curator, Digital Research) poses the question, “What do historians need to do good digital research?”

In his answer, Baker laments the lack of basic training in statistical and quantitative methods offered to historians in undergraduate programs:

As someone who was trained during the apotheosis of cultural history and the associated agonising over post-structuralist and post-modernist theory, I was not taught to count as a historian. And I wish I had been, for when first attempting to do good digital research I would have benefited from possessing this core skill, a skill the profession still has the capacity to teach.

Baker compares several editions of an introductory history textbook, noting the shrinking number of pages devoted to quantitative methods with each successive revision between 1984 and 2012.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Leigh Bonds, Francesca Gianetti, Joe Grobelny, Lindsay Halsell, and Laura Scott (Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Zach Coble and Caro Pinto (dh+lib Review Editors).