Digital History Site Reviews

Evaluate sites for how they represent transformative historical practice.

The Sport of Life and Death: The Mesoamerican Ballgame-

The “Sport of Life and Death” does a great job providing information about an ancient sport that little is know.  Although it can appear aesthetically juvenile, the looks do not take away from its purpose, which is to teach viewers about the ancient mesoamerican ballgame.  The site is configured in a logical fashion that separates the game into its various parts.  It encourages viewer participation via activites like playing the actual ballgame.  Becuase of the scarcity of mesoamerican sources about the game there aren’t any links to primary documents, however, the few iconographic representations of the game depicted on stone are displayed on the site.  The topic of the site is quite specific, but it successfully accomplishes its goal of teaching people about the mesoamerican ball game.

Perseus Digital Library-

The purpose of the “Perseus Digital Library” is to “make the full record for humanity as intellectually accessible as possible to every human being, . . .”  Making the full record of humanity available for all may be a tall order, yet, the Perseus project has made a significant contribution to the digital humanities.  The site itself is not flashy by any means, but the utility of it is not its appearance.  There are seven different collections comprised of poetry, classical, Rich. Times, Arabic, Germanic, 19th c. American, and Renaissance texts.  There are both original and translated works and sometimes if the user runs a search for a particular topic, if there are images related to their search, they will appear next to the text.  Keywords can also be searched for within any given text.  The site itself is extremely helpful, especially for those interested in the classics since the bulk of the texts in the collection are Latin and Greek.

Best of History Websites- 

This particular site is not dedicated to one particular subject.  Instead, it is a resource for anyone looking for digital history sites.  The site was created by Tom Daccord, a history teacher who also specializes in educational technologies.  The site is easy to use, just pick a time period and a number of related historical sites are displayed.  Although the site itself is not revolutionary in the way it represents history, it serves as a great starting point for those seeking new digital humanities resources.      







2 thoughts on “Digital History Site Reviews

  1. I enjoyed the sites you chose for your post. They are very distinct from one another and highlight the different ways to approach history online. The Mesoamerican Ballgame site was particularly interesting. I learned quite a bit and the entertaining aspects of the site design probably kept me engaged on the site longer than just a page full of text would have. At the other end, the Perseus Digital Library is less flashy but provides an overwhelming amount of information for the visitor. Thanks for the last link…it’s nice to have a list of history websites that have been “vetted” by an actual historian!

  2. So how do you rate each of these, especially in comparison to each other? I was a bit disappointed by the Ballgame site because it did not enlarge to fit my screen – I wonder if that is a factor of when it was created or a problem with my own technology, but that should be something developers consider when designing a site. I would like to see more of your thoughts about how these, together and separately, transform the way we do history.

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