The Future is really good for the Past

It has been a few months since Dan Cohen offered a convincing YES to the question
Is Google Good for History?

Here are several more examples of ways in which Google, YouTube, and digital libraries are good for history and historians:

  • YouTube: The Cradle of Classic Rock Mythology: “YouTube not only serves as a repository of the footage that documents the iconic events that comprise contemporary pop music mythology, it also keeps the memory of bands’ most vital performances alive.”
  • Saving Texts from Oblivion: “70 percent of the undergraduates had cited a book published in 1900, even though it had not been on any reading list and had long been overlooked in the world of classics scholarship. Why so many of the students had suddenly discovered a 109-year-old work and dragged it out of obscurity in preference to the excellent modern works on their reading lists is simple: The full text of the 1900 work is online, available on Google Book Search; the modern works are not.”
  • New Music from a Dead Composer: “here’s a discovery worth reporting: the engineer Paul Green, Jr., and his nephew, the pianist Frederick Moyer, have uncovered a fragment of a Fourth Piano Sonata by Robert Schumann.”
  • Life Magazine now Available on Google Books: The entire archive of Life Magazine is now available on Google Books. Archives of Spin, Ebony, Popular Mechanics, Sporting News, The Advocate and many other great magazines are also available.

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