Interchange: The Promise of Digital History

This “Interchange” discussion took place online over the course of several months in the winter of 2008. We wanted the “Interchange” to be free flowing; therefore we encouraged participants not only to respond to questions posed by the JAH but also to communicate with each other directly. What follows is an edited version of the very lively online conversation that resulted. We hope JAH readers find it of interest.

The JAH is indebted to all of the participants for their willingness to enter into an online conversation:

DANIEL J. COHEN is associate professor of history and director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. He is the author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (2007) and the coauthor, with Roy Rosenzweig, of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (2005). At CHNM Cohen has overseen initiatives such as the September 11 Digital Archive and the scholarly software Zotero. He holds the Ph.D. in history from Yale University. Readers may contact Cohen at [email protected] and may read his blog at

MICHAEL FRISCH is professor of history and American studies and a senior research scholar at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His award-winning collaboration with the photographer Milton Rogovin, Portraits in Steel (1993), combines urban, public, and oral history to document the lives of Buffalo steelworkers before and after the mills closed. Frisch was president of the American Studies Association and is president-elect of the Oral History Association. Through Randforce Associates, llc, in the University at Buffalo Technology Incubator, he develops oral history applications of new media technology. He holds the Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. Readers may contact Frisch at [email protected]

PATRICK GALLAGHER is a leader in the field of exhibit design. He is principal of Gallagher & Associates, a professional design services firm. The company’s clients include the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., the Jamestown Settlement Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the American Cemetery Visitor Center in Normandy, France. Readers may contact Gallagher at [email protected]

STEVEN MINTZ is director of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Center at Columbia University. His most recent book, Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood (2004), received awards from the Association of American Publishers, the Organization of American Historians, and the Texas Institute of Letters. As president of H- Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online and creator of the Digital History Web site, Mintz pioneered the application of technology to history teaching and research. He is president-elect of the Society for the History of Children and Youth. He holds the Ph.D. in history from Yale University. Readers may contact Mintz at [email protected] . . .
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