By Martin Kristoffer Hamre
The digital revolution has, without doubt, changed the way that young people research history. Previously, students pored over books and printed encyclopedias; today, with Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, access to a broad range of historical source materials – including multimedia files – is only a mouse click away. On the one hand, this makes it easier for students to research topics that would have been difficult to investigate only twenty years ago; on the other hand, it also raises completely new questions.
During my internship at the German Historical Institute Washington DC (GHI), I conducted work relating to the review and expansion of the digital volume Nazi Germany, 1933-1945, which is the seventh volume in the website German History in Documents and Images (known as GHDI). Presently, the volume includes transcriptions of German historical documents (with English translations), images, and maps. As part of the GHDI relaunch, document facsimiles will be added to the Nazi Germany volume for the first time, along with audio and video clips. Adding facsimiles and recordings to the existing document transcriptions will ultimately make the site livelier and more attractive to users, particularly for younger researchers like myself.