Last month, the University of Nebraska held a symposium on "History in the Digital Age". Sounds interesting. So what is digital history?
Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Their (rather vague) mission statement is to advance "interdisciplinary research in the humanities by creating unique digital content, developing tools to assist scholars in text analysis and visualization, and encouraging the use (and refinement) of international standards for humanities computing". One of their resources is a searchable database of newspaper articles relating to the Birds of Nebraska, and another is the Early Treaties with American Indians. While the first simply presents the newspaper articles in text form, at least the second has scanned images of pages from an 1855 book as well as parallel ASCII text.
The University of Virginia's Center for Digital History was also represented at the symposium. Their mission statement is a little more focused, promoting "the teaching and learning of history using digital technologies". Again, there don't appear to be scans of original sources in their flagship Valley of the Shadow project; but the digitised text of letters, diaries and publications from the 1860s is joined by some slick animated battle plans.
In an earlier post, I asked what form digital scholarship should take. Perhaps digitising sources (ideally primary sources, as in the Virginia example) and posting them on the internet so that they can be searched is as good as it gets. But then, by that stage, hasn't the scholarship already taken place?