Review of History in the Age of Abundance in the Literary Review of Canada

One way to have your day made is to read a good, thoughtful review of your book. In the Literary Review of Canada, one of my favourite periodicals, Lisa Betel reviews History in the Age of Abundance? How the Web is Transforming Historical Research in her essay “For the Record: Preserving Today for Tomorrow.”

Betel describes the book here:

Never has recorded history been so vast and the sources – from governments, organizations, and individuals – so varied. These records can both illuminate and obscure. No one is sure how big the web is, but it is too big to be saved in its entirety or to be closely read, one document at a time. So Milligan offers historians something of a handbook, showing how they might change their techniques and, perhaps, ask new questions of the record.

I’m glad that she highlighted the “handbook” element of it. Despite my hesitation around providing too much “hands-on” guidance to historians – it tends to date too quickly – one of the peer reviewers pushed me on this and the book is far stronger for it.

Check it out, and if you’re looking to pick up your own copy of History in the Age of Abundance?, you can buy it from the publisher (or, of course, your book seller of choice).

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Ian Milligan
Associate Professor of History

My primary research focus is on how historians can use web archives.