Ian Milligan is an associate professor of history at the University of Waterloo. His primary research focus is on how historians can use web archives, as well as the impact of digital sources on historical practice more generally. He is author of two monographs: History in the Age of Abundance (2019) and Rebel Youth (2014). Milligan also co-authored Exploring Big Historical Data (2015, with Shawn Graham and Scott Weingart) and edited the SAGE Handbook of Web History (2018, with Niels Brügger).
Milligan is principal investigator of the Archives Unleashed project. In 2016, he was awarded the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities Outstanding Early Career Award and in 2019 he received the Arts Excellence in Research award from the University of Waterloo. Milligan held an Ontario Early Researcher Award between 2015 and 2020.
He lives in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with his partner, son, and daughter.
You can read his full CV here.
PhD in History, 2012
MA in History, 2007
BA (Hon) in History, 2006
Archived blog posts pre-dating November 10th, 2019 can be found at http://ianmilli.wordpress.com.
Believe it or not, the 1990s are history. As historians turn to study this period and beyond, they will encounter a historical record that is radically different from what has ever existed before. Old websites, social media, blogs, photographs, and videos are all part of the massive quantities of digital information that technologists, librarians, archivists, and organizations such as the Internet Archive have been collecting for the past three decades.
The SAGE Handbook of Web History marks the first comprehensive review of this subject to date. Its editors emphasise the two different forms of its study: the use of the web as an historical resource, and the web as an object of study in its own right. Bringing together all the existing knowledge of the field, with an interdisciplinary focus and an international scope, this is an incomparable resource for historians and students alike.
The Digital Humanities have flourished at a moment when digital big data is becoming easily available. Yet there is a gap in the scholarly literature on the ways these data can be explored to construct cultural heritage knowledge, for both research and in our teaching and learning. We are on the cusp of needing to grasp big data approaches to do our work, whether it’s understanding the underlying algorithms at work in our search engines, or needing to design and use our own tools to process comparatively large amounts of information. This book fills that gap, and in its live-writing approach, will set the direction for the conversation into the future.
While university-based activists combined youth culture with a new brand of radicalism to form the New Left, young workers were pressing for wildcat strikes and defying their aging union leaders in a wave of renewed militancy that swept the country. In Rebel Youth, Ian Milligan looks at these converging currents, demonstrating convincingly how they were part of a single youth phenomenon. With no fewer than seventy interviews complementing the extensive use of archival records, this book reveals a youth current that, despite regional differences, spanned an intellectual network from Halifax to Victoria that read the same publications, consulted the same thinkers, and found inspiration in the same shared ideas.
Archives Unleashed aims to make petabytes of historical internet content accessible to scholars and others interested in researching the recent past. Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are developing web archive search and data analysis tools to enable scholars, librarians and archivists to access, share, and investigate recent history since the early days of the World Wide Web. Please visit our website for more information. Principal Investigator (w/ Nick Ruest and Jimmy Lin)
Supported by the IMLS LB21 program, the CEDWARC project develops a continuing education curriculum and teaches library and archive professionals advanced web archiving and analysis techniques. We will offer one in-person training workshop and multiple online training workshops throughout the project period. Details about the project. Co-Investigator (grant led by Zhiwu Xie at Virginia Tech)
This project will help train highly-qualified personnel (HQP) in the humanities to prepare for the digital deluge that is already affecting our profession. It was among the first attempts to harness data in ways that will enable present and future historians to usefully access, interpret, and curate masses of born-digital primary sources. Principal Investigator (w/ Nick Ruest and William J. Turkel)
Note: I have been teaching at a reduced rate over the last three years, due to two parental leaves (July-October 2017 and August-December 2019) and course reductions due to the Archives Unleashed project.
For a full list of talks and presentations, please see my CV.