Re-Defining the Intellectual Enterprise of History (What is Digital History, Part 2?)

Digital Public History

Digital-HistoryWhile reading this exchange over the general nature of digital history–its potentialities, its shortcomings, and its evolution on the internet and in the world of academia–I was particularly struck by Professor Amy M. Taylor’s use of the terms “medium” and “intellectual enterprise” in describing digital history. In using these terms I believe Taylor allows for us to get perhaps a few centimeters closer to answering the ever-elusive question of what, exactly, is digital history?

Before giving my intentionally broad definition of what I think digital history is for us today in January 2013, I want to explore Taylor’s terms a bit further. We should first look at “intellectual enterprise.” When we analyze the purposes of history and, by extension, the humanities, we must see them as enterprises. Merriam-Webster has four different definitions for “enterprise,” but the first one suits the study of humanities perfectly in that “enterprise” refers to “

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