History and Electronic Artefacts


We are now entering a world of electronic communications where an increasing amount of contemporary information is created and retained only in electronic form. How will such unstable flows of information be preserved for future historians? Will the future have a past? Will the history of our contemporary world be lost to our descendants? History and Electronic Artefacts is the first publication to examine the implications of this revolution for historical research. Historians are used to handling paper and parchment record in archives. These are actual pieces of correspondence which passed between historical actors. They are also relatively stable artefacts which can be preserved easily. Two factors introduced by the electronic revolution threaten the existence of paper archives: the dissociation between information content and the media by which it is transmitted ruptures the solidity of the archival object. The ability to store electronic information anywhere and access it remotely via networks could make the central paper archive redundant. Experts from the fields of information management and technology, data archiving, library science, as well as historians, consider the issues raised in depth. The authors also place a unique emphasis on European developments.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Lynne Brindley
  • Martin Campbell-Kelly
  • Peter Doorn
  • Martin Gardner
  • Claes Gränström
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1998


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