Wiki-Victims, Writing History, and AHH Only Three Weeks Left!!

by ricard | April 9th, 2012

Although we have already discussed the benefits and disadvantages of Wikipedia as a source in class, I chose to talk about in this post two articles that discuss Wikipedia because I saw something new in the analysis. Strange Facts in the History Classroom:  Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and   Love the Wiki(pedia) by Christopher Miller really got me thinking about who creates history. I mean whether the answer is who is editing the Wiki page about a subject or is it all the professional historians and anthropoligist who write articles or is it people who jsut simply share knowledge and traditions? The kind of open source knowledge that Wikipedia offers is remenscient of the kind of information that historians study later, and it begs the question how deos wikipedia not only change the study of history now, but will someone be studying the way we studied it later?
The Historian’s Craft, Popular Memory, and Wikipedia,  by Robert S. Wolff, raises the question who will be the authority on the writing of history on the web. This too is a problem oft run into with Wikipedia; because anyone can edit it, can we be assured that the information is correct?  How will people write history differently with no experiance with the analytical tools taught in the craft? Interesting questions all. But I digress.

This past week has been crazy. My group is trying to get everything on track so the site can go live by next Tuesday for Research and Creativity Day. Almost all the labels are written and I am in the final stages of editing them. I have real respect for museum curators and designers who write labels now. Try reading 114 labels once a day every day for a week and then tell me labeling is not an art. I am attempting to create a few narratives for the mini-exhibits based on the labels so that if when we open the exhibit builder there is a section or intro label that needs text I will have something. We should have the mini-exhibits up by the end of the week as well as the timeline. I haven’t heard from Heather whether or not she made any headway with it but here’s to hoping all is well.

Taking out the Ancestry account today and here’s to hoping it works and we can track down some information on the infamous Andrew K. Reynolds. Wish me luck!

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