And another resource you’ll want to have close at hand if you’re planning any kind of digital history project (large or small) is Jeremy Boggs’ new series on Digital Humanities design and development process:
Part 1: figure out what you’re building
Part 2: information architecture and organization
The important thing I want to highlight about both of these resources is that they’re about making digital history, not just using the resources and tools that someone else already made. A lot of discussion of digital resources focuses on the finished products and what they can do for your research as an end-user (eg, this recent post). But if you can get involved in the creation of digital resources, you have the opportunity to influence what actually gets digitised, to get the resources you want.
Similarly, I’ve been coming to the view that it’s just not enough to champion blogging or writing on wikis, even though these activities are useful and stimulating in their own right (and people who dismiss them as worthless are big fat idiots who need a good slap). What you really need to be doing is learning how blogs/wikis work: how to install and maintain blog or wiki software and then tailor it to fit your own needs – and what it’s possible to do with these tools once you have them. The skills you learn in the process, to use the educationalists’ occasionally useful jargon, are highly transferable.
And there are going to be real job opportunities for those who take the initiative now and acquire the practical skills and understanding of what creating digital history needs. The generation of historians (and humanities academics more generally) in charge of hiring mostly doesn’t care about (or for) blogging. Wikipedia brings it out in a collective rash. But it’s well aware that there is quite a lot of grant money becoming available for digital history/humanities. And that’s something it does care about.
The technical skills needed aren’t taught in more than a handful of history departments (I don’t know of any in the UK): students and junior academics who want to exploit these new opportunities are largely going to have to teach themselves, with the help of resources like The Programming Historian. Get in ahead of the crowd now. Your career might depend on it.