Digital Public History

History is a public good: In the public sphere of a democratic historical culture, different interpretations of the past lay claim to truthfulness and recognition. In addition to public institutions, civil society interest organizations, social and political groups, and individuals are also active here, seeking to establish interpretive sovereignty for their respective historical images and memories. Digital media present both possibilities and pitfalls. On the one hand, online media offer interested laypersons ("citizen scholars") the opportunity to research and write history(s), on the other, inaccurate or even false "alternative histories" are increasingly being disseminated online. Digital History addresses the challenges for historical method and historical source criticism that accompany these changes and aims at their improvement to meet these new challenges.

International History at Trier University is involved in research and teaching in this area: Ursula Lehmkuhl, for example, has headed the German Emigrant Letters Collection (DABS) since 2003, where she repeatedly works closely with "citizen scholars" from all over the world. In addition, she is deeply involved in the NFDI4Memory initiative that aims the creation of a long-term and sustainable research data infrastructure, especially in its task area 4 on data literacy. Eva Bischoff regularly offers research-led seminars in which students reconstruct different aspects of the global history of Trier and publish their results in the research blog "Beziehungsweise Trier". Both scholars take key responsibilities in developing the new M.A. Digital Public History degree program at the University of Trier. The program will combine teaching skills in publicly presenting historical facts (Public History) with training digital data criticism and research data management, digital communication and digital research methods (Digital History).

Partner Institutions

  • Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), Public History