An Idea Regarding a Digital Resource for Historians!

This may be a wee bit early to consider this assignment, but today became an inspiration day for me. I’ll see what you all think about this. 

There is a website called Quora. This website is essentially a tool where people can ask questions and get answers. Here is more information regarding how it works if you do not know.

Essentially, my thought is to create a historian version of this tool. Some historians have become fans of crowdsourcing, and I thought that this might be an interesting way to utilize that concept. If a historian is associated with some sort of institution-museums, university, etc- they could register (in my head, it would be free) for this tool. From there, they could ask fellow historians questions regarding sources, ideas, or even try to break through when they hit walls. (This happens. You and I know this!) It would sort of be like a fusion of H-Net and a traditional message board, but for historians by historians. I think it could not only help with research, but it could help with teaching, traveling, funding, and other concerns that historians have. 

If there is already something out there like this, then I am late to the game. Otherwise, I believe that this might be a potentially interesting tool for historians to utilize, and I would certainly like to have it! Also, if that is the case, I will need to begin rethinking my idea.


4 thoughts on “An Idea Regarding a Digital Resource for Historians!

  1. Very interesting and useful idea indeed. Defining the parameters of that group might get a little fuzzy though; would it include only professional historians? in other words, would those looking for information as well as those posting responses have to be affiliated with some university/ research institution/ museum/ etc? What about the independent history researcher? or my neighbor Bob with an obsessive research hobby? Bleeds into the open access question, I suppose…
    With that being said, sign me up.

  2. There is a site called Stack Exchange Area 51 ( that tries to set up sites for communities based on subject and interest. It seems that it hasn’t really taken off, a certain number of people have to commit before a site is built, so there are a number of proposed sites that aren’t active yet, but there are a couple history sites on it, such as Genealogy and Family History – and a general History one –

  3. Interesting idea. The Army’s museum system has something similar in place. Although it’s really just an e-mail list, it functions much like your project would. Some really great ideas and detailed information flow through it. If you do decide to start this up, I would say that, for professional purposes, it would be beneficial for it to be “gated” (ie registration required).

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