History, Historians, the Web
16 December 2004
The World Wide
Web, as distinct from the Internet onto which it was launched, is now over ten
years old. This would hardly seem old enough to make it a subject of history,
regardless of the fact that quite a few "histories" of its
development have been written. Yet in terms of the conceits of technological
change and innovation, with their faithful adherence to Moore’s Law which
posits that computing technology doubles in speed and capability every eighteen
months, ten years might be considered several generations. If measured in terms
of the amount of writing that has been generated about the web and its impact
on society, the field is as broad as many in historical study.
As computing and information technologies, including the web, continue to expand and to change they offer new opportunities for historians to redefine how we "do" history, to examine how its development is shaped by recent historiographical trends and ideas, and to help alter the course of how these technologies develop through our own use of them. These require a critical examination informed by an understanding of computing technologies, their creation, and adoption. Due to their rapidly changing nature, such an examination must necessarily be incomplete, but it is possible to draw out some of the overarching themes and ideas to provide insight into the intersections of current historical thought and the web.
The web did not spring, Venus-like, from the mind of computer scientists. Though there is enough overlap to make exact divisions inaccurate, it is useful to divide information technology developments, at least as far as they apply to the work of historians, into several eras. These eras are marked by the discourse surrounding the technology and by the actual technologies available.
Two truisms have dominated the development of computers and their software: 1) software is developed in answer to a specific need and 2) that same software is often applied to different needs in ways that do not always work well. As their name implies, the early use of computers in history were as computing machines. In the 1960s and 1970s this function reflected and abetted the limitations of the technology and the general interests among historians with their growing interest in developing social history. This was marked by the collection and organization of enormous amounts of data, much of it in tabulated form, which seemed to fit well with the conception of computer as numerical device. Unfortunately, the limitations of computational analysis, indeed of quantitative methods in general, were quickly apparent. The mainframe and punch card generation of computers could only manipulate highly regularized data. The data available, despite the fact that it may have been collected on structured forms, was nonetheless collected using the highly editable, and massively unstructured, technology of paper and pen. Choosing the data to be analyzed and putting it into a regularized form required the kind of biased selection that postmodern, poststructuralist historians were learning to distrust.
The introduction of the personal computer in the early 1980s combined with the development of two major networks, the U.S Department of Defense-funded Internet and the primarily academic BITnet (‘Because It’s Time’ Network) allowed attitudes, conceptions and discourse about the function of computers to shift. A computer that was available on one’s desk instead of hidden behind glass walls and locked doors, moreover, one which allowed access to be mediated through one’s own keyboard instead of through a stereotypically white-coated technician, and in which one’s own data, not the data of hundreds of others, was the sole contents, had a discernible impact on the scholarly community. The focus of computing changed from numbers to words, from counting to writing and reading, from calculations to communication.
Once again the difficulties of applying a technology designed for a particular audience, in this case business, was adapted and applied to an audience with rather different needs, academia. The shift was not free from anxiety and was often framed in terms of resistance. Writers argued the relative merits of composition in longhand and that using word processing. Teachers bemoaned a perceived shift in spelling ability as students began to rely on spell checkers. Books such as “The Macintosh is Not a Typewriter” (Williams)appeared to help guide scholars through the transition from typewriter to word processor, while conversations about the use of computers in teaching filtered through academic conferences. An increasing number of these conversations were also to be found online as the numbers of colleges and universities with e-mail and network access swelled. Arguments for and against the use of technology were framed in terms of “using technology for technology’s sake.”
Several publications by and for historians published in the early 1990s made a conscious attempt to define the role of computers on the historians’ work and to legitimize that work. Janice Reiff, in her introduction to “Structuring the Past: The Use of Computers in History” places the genesis of that publication in the presentations and conversations of a 1984 conference of the American Historical Association’s Committee on Quantitative Research. The conference, titled “Quantification, Computers, and Teaching History” was ostensibly an occasion to discuss the possibilities and limitations of using quantitative techniques. Reiff notes, however, that the discussions included much broader applications of computing to the research and teaching of history, though she points out the skepticism expressed by participants that computers could and would have much of an impact on either. (Reiff, vii)
The book, published in 1991, provides an overview of the computing models that were of greatest importance to historians at that time. Analyzing quantitative data was still an important part of computing, but had become only one of several uses. Reiff gives priority of place to computers as tools of research. Given the central role of research in the academic historian’s craft, this was a wise choice: by claiming this broad central ground as a site appropriate for computing, Reiff attempted to make a case for their universal adoption by historians. Her examples, like many who write about specific computing applications, are now outdated, but she structures the book in ways that remain useful. Chapters include Collecting Information, Analyzing Information, Communicating Information, and Teaching History. The term “Information” suggests a broader role for computer use than mere number calculation, while the progression of collecting, analyzing, and communicating is one familiar to historians. (Depending on one’s beliefs, Teaching History can be seen as a culmination of the first three or as a merely one that is tacked on as an afterthought.)
In all these cases computers are seen as tools that are being adapted to the way historians work with no indication that they can be transformative. The focus is narrow and inward, with an emphasis on the ‘personal’ in personal computing. Networks are useful for accessing library catalogs, but obviously not for accessing actual materials. They may be useful for sending manuscripts from one academic to another for collaborative editing. E-mail is useful for keeping online office hours, but not for developing communities of students. Bulletin boards are usually moderated under the assumption that only academics interested in a particular field would be discussing it. Both databases and word processors are described as useful for personal note taking. Teachers might create collections of historical material that their students would use as extended readers or textbooks. For the teacher, computers are seen as a way to create Computer-Aided Learning Systems, or materials for individual or in-class use. Concommitantly, this creation is seen as too difficult for individual scholars to undertake.
Reiff, despite her object in encouraging historians to use computers, expresses another common misgiving of the time while defining historians’ work: “The analysis of information stands at the heart of the historical process. Perhaps no other step is less standardized; in fact, it is the creativity of individuals in analyzing their data that makes history as engaging as it is . . . For that reason, it is unlikely that there will ever be an expert system that is able to mimic the intricate reconstruction of the past that historians do regularly in their writing and teaching.” (Reiff, 29) The computer as a tool has been measured and found wanting. Three years later, Daniel Greenstein echoes this sentiment: “Too rarely is [the computer] treated for what it essentially is: a tool which, like many other tools, has some general utility for the historian.” (Greenstein, 1)
Greenstein begins “A Historian’s Guide to Computing” by reassuring the reader that using a computer does not mean one must become a practitioner of quantitative history, an area then in decline if not actively denigrated. He follows with an attempt to “debunk the myths which have grown up amongst historians about the computer and how it is used in history, so that it may be embraced for what it is. That is, an implement which, taken together with many other implements, is part of the historians tool-box.” (Greenstein, 6) The myths reflect the early 1990s identification of computers with quantitative methodologies and perceived efforts to “scientize” the work of historians: ‘Computers facilitate a kind of measurement which is not suited to historical questions and sources,’ ‘Computers force an unsuitably scientific outlook onto the historian,’ ‘Computers handle only highly structured information, the like of which is rarely found in historical sources,’ and ‘Computers require the cultivation of vocational skills and thus impede the historian from essential immersion in primary sources.’ The last myth, defining a dividing line between learning ‘technology for technologies’ sake’ and learning enough of the technology to be able to apply it in useful ways to historians’ work, becomes a familiar trope throughout the rest of the decade.
The myths surrounding computer use by historians were only one impediment to their adoption. Patterns of funding often determined how a country or region would implement computer use in history education. As Igartua pointed out in his introduction to the 1997 conference of the Association for History and Computing, Great Britain, by undertaking large-scale initiatives to introduce computers into university-level teaching, had been able to update their programs more easily than France, which only funded government-mandated equipment within strict frameworks. Canada, like the United States, relied much more heavily on province- or state-wide initiatives, so funding and implementation had been quite uneven. Timing also had an impact on how computers were adopted, and what was seen as their primary use. The establishment of formal programs in undergraduate and graduate training in historical computing in the Netherlands in the 1980s, when the emphasis was on use of databases, is still felt, as witnessed by the number of quantitative studies that continue to come from this area.
Like Reiff, Greenstein devoted much of the book to computers as databases. He did, however, begin to move the conversation from databases and quantitative methods to texts. As he points out, the preponderance of materials used by historians are in textual form. He called on historians to collaborate with “linguistic and literary scholars who have fruitfully exploited the computer’s text editing, managing, and analyzing facilities.” (Greenstein, 158) Word processing had, by this time, become the most used computing ‘tool’ among historians. Unfortunately its use was circumscribed by two factors: 1) the similarity of word processors to typewriters masked the differences between the two, differences which might otherwise be exploited to help the historian’s tasks, and 2) word processors were designed by business for business using the model of desktop publishing. These factors would have a profound impact on how word processing would be adopted by the historical community.
The function of a typewriter is to record human-readable text on paper. The function of a desktop publishing system is to do the same thing, with the addition of creating a more visually varied piece of paper. Word processors did add certain conveniences to the typewriter model: the ability to move and remove text, the ability to store text so that it could be easily edited, and the ability to share texts with other computer users, at least between proprietary systems. The desktop publishing model meant that the focus of those texts would remain their visual constructions, not their functional purpose. That is, the texts were created to be readable by humans, not by other computers. Developed on the heels of a five hundred year old print industry, such an implementation is perhaps understandable. Created as it was in the midst of an academic structure that privileged the consumption and creation of written documents, and those, moreover, usually authored by individuals, it would be surprising if the model was any different. Unfortunately, it was a model that severely restricted the flexibility of those documents.
There were, however, some experiments in creating a different kind of text. Called hypertext, a term created by Ted Nelson to describe non-linear text storage and retrieval, these texts deliberately tried to break with traditional narrative forms, substituting instead a system of text blocks and links. This conception of the text fits well with Barthes’ ideas of writerly and readerly texts, and even echoes Foucault’s descriptions of the book as a “network of references.” (Foucault, 23) The decentered electronic hypertext as the embodiment of the postmodernist, poststructuralist ideas of Derrida, Barthes, and Bahktin became the subject of several works. In his compelling look at the intersections between critical theory and this technology, Landow also points out that this technology challenges “our most cherished, most commonplace ideas and attitudes toward literature and literary production” making these more apparently “corollaries to a particular technology rooted in specific times and places.” (Landow, 33) Hypertext reshapes the role of author, reader, and text.
Hypertext ideas spawned a number of software programs, among them the very popular Hypercard from Apple, and created a literary sub-genre that produced some interesting work (Michael Joyce’s hypertext poetry, for example). Hypertext systems were still confined to the creation of individual objects. Though these objects could be quite large, they were still contained within one computer or one storage medium, initially computer hard disks or floppy disks, and later laserdiscs and CD-ROMs. These applications were not enough to overturn traditional narrative forms of writing or deter the adoption of word processing.
While hypertext offered an opportunity to explore how the bonds of traditional literary text might be expanded, a much more prosaic problem, one heightened by the adoption of word processors, was under discussion. In 1987 a group of humanities scholars sponsored by the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the Association for Computational Linguistics, and the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing,  established the Text Encoding Initiative. This project “sought a common encoding scheme for complex textual structures in order to reduce the diversity of existing encoding practices, simplify processing by machine, and encourage the sharing of electronic texts.” (Sperberg-McQueen, et al., v) While word processing had made the creation of electronic texts fairly easy, it also had resulted in texts that were difficult to share, and, with their focus on producing paper as an end product, not suited for analysis by machine. The model of individual scholars creating individual works was still firmly in place. The desire of literary scholars to use computers for quantitative and critical analysis of texts was difficult if not impossible when texts were created as individual, disparate files whose purpose were simply to generate print copies. The technology that the TEI adopted to achieve their purpose would turn out to align beautifully with another technological innovation that was occurring simultaneously with their work. 
In March, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), proposed a hypertext system to manage information about the projects and experiments being conducted there. CERN’s complex environment, fairly large personnel turnover, and lack of a central repository for information resulted in much of its institutional knowledge being lost or duplicated unnecessarily. Berners-Lee’s proposal sought to apply a hypertext model to the problem, with one important distinction: it would be distributed across many computers. While writing the code for this system in 1990, Berners-Lee dubbed it the WorldWideWeb. The technical development and early vicissitudes of its adoption are documented on the web itself and need not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that the impact of the web on the academic community began to be felt predominately after a sufficient number of campuses had been connected to the Internet and after the earliest platform-specific web browser programs had been superceded by the cross-platform, simple, and graphical web browsers in the mid 1990s.
Marshall McLuhan’s First Law of Media “The first content of any New Media is the Old Media” has become a staple of discussions related to computing technologies. Its applicability to historical study is no less apt. The possibilities of the web have been framed in apocalyptic terms, both positive and negative, but the actual use of the web by historians has been fairly conservative, to date. The web continues to be the site of communication among historians via listservs. The coordinators of the H-NET discussion lists report over 100 such lists, and over 100,000 subscribers from at least 90 countries. The H-NET lists are but some of many. Despite the academic focus of many of these lists, the communication that occurs appears to be predominately informal. That is, while historical topics and methodologies are discussed, the lists are not usually sites of collaborative creative work. What they do offer, however, is a subtle, but perhaps in the long run, more important function: expectation of near instant knowledge transfer. That knowledge may be incomplete or incorrect, but a subscriber to an active list can expect that any question asked will probably receive an answer. It is as yet unknown how this foreshortening of the research process will alter scholars’ expectations.
That expectation of instant knowledge is not limited to list communications. In their 2004 report to the American Historical Association on the status of history education, Bender et. al., state that “training in the conduct of original research forms the core of advanced education in history” (Bender, 19) and that “historians are among the most productive researchers in the humanities” (Bender, 7) based on number of publications per scholar. He adds, that, according to another study, “while most students enter graduate school intent on becoming teachers . . . by the third year they felt prepared only for research.” (Bender, 19) This finding is echoed by others, including Manchester who adds that “we strive to get our students to think and act as historians by helping them develop the research, critical thinking, and analytical tools to construct a usable past.” It is not surprising then, that, in addition to informal communication, a large area of historians’ use of the web has been the consumption, and to a lesser extent the production, of research-related materials, and that many perceive the web in terms of giant, instantly accessible libraries.
As McLuhan suggests, the ‘old media’ that many historians first look for in the web is access to journals. Dalton and Charnigo report that “Many characteristics of historians’ information needs and use have not changed [since their original study in 1981]: informal means of discovery like book reviews and browsing remain important, as does the need for comprehensive searches. Print continues to be the principal format. What has changed is that the advent of electronic resources has increased historians’ use of catalogs and indexes in their efforts to identify appropriate primary and secondary sources of information.” (Dalton and Charnigo, 400) Despite this increase, a 2003 study of historians at 70 U.S. universities concludes that “there appears to be a paucity of information reaching students, at least from faculty, regarding key databases that are useful in locating primary archival resources.” (Tibbo, 1)
Improved technologies coupled with rising print subscription costs are driving libraries towards increased reliance on electronic journals. However, barriers to using these journals remain. Aggregate indexers such as the Gale Group’s collections (InfoTrac, etc.) provide access to journal indices, but only sometimes to full texts. Other collections, such as JSTOR, provide access to images of print journal pages but with rudimentary search capabilities. Still other journals are available online in full text versions, but are housed in ways that make them difficult to access, for example, the contents cannot be indexed by global web search engines. Many journal publishers do not require articles to be submitted with abstracts or keywords, a glaring omission given today’s reliance on keyword and Boolean searching techniques. Strictly online peer-reviewed journals in the humanities generally, and in historical studies specifically, remain sparse.
In May of 1993 an exhibit at the Library of Congress, “Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture,” was adapted for display on the web. Though small in scope, it represented to many the possibilities the web offered for the display of digital surrogates of primary resource materials. A number of university-based humanities projects followed. Some of these, like the University of Virginia’s Electronic Text Collection, sought to build general digital libraries while others, such as the “Making of America” project built themed collections. Others, like Ed Ayers “Valley of the Shadow” brought together materials related to a specific historical event or idea. Still others combined literature and history by compiling the known works of a given author with critical, biographical and historical material related to that author. (Jerome McGann’s ‘Rossetti Project’ is an excellent example.) As the number of such projects grew, so did valiant attempts to organize that information. Some were quickly overwhelmed by the growing number of sources and slid into obscurity. Others, like The Voice of the Shuttle and The Labyrinth continue to provide links to useful collections.
Historians involved in creating digital surrogate projects realized that the web offered not only an expanded area within which to work but one that allowed for the creation of new kinds of scholarship. The Valley of the Shadow project provides a good example. The online collection is extensive. The authors have tried to be inclusive without being editorial, that is, they have tried to collect and present as much evidence as they find regardless of whether or not it fits their assumptions and preconceptions about the subject. As described in a recent article for Educause Review, they have also struggled with adapting this work to the confines of a more traditional form of scholarship, in this case the writing of an article for the American Historical Review. Their intent was to “fuse the electronic article's form with its argument, to use the medium as effectively as possible to make the presentation of our work and its navigation express and fulfill our argument.” The result is an “article” that is introduced in the AHR but fulfills its goals only in its online form. 
Providing historical materials on the web is not without problems in both creation and reception. Creation problems tend to be financial, technical, including decisions about standards, accessibility and archiving, legal, especially relating to copyright issues. The latter will continue to have an impact on the kinds of materials that are made available. Certainly historians who use pre-1900 materials will have less difficulty, legally, making those materials available than their post-1900 area colleagues. The problems related to reception of online historical materials are more elusive but very real. For example, despite the cautionary messages and accompanying narrative that frame the Eugenics Project, the documents at that site have been cited as positively supporting eugenics beliefs.
Concerns about the web and its role in, and impact on, scholarship echo throughout humanities discourse. These concerns are often expressed as fears for the scholarly well-being of students or as refutations of the overblown claims of an enamored public. Phrases like ‘the Web cannot or will not replace libraries’ and ‘there will always be books. The Web cannot replace them’ are not uncommon. Issues like critical evaluation of web sites, plagiarism, global and economic differences in accessibility, and the instability of many web sites (charmingly termed ‘link rot’) all figure in the discourse surrounding the use of the web. The web is described as a change agent, though whether that change is positive or negative is debated. It is also described as world-changing, paradigm-changing, and challenging. For example, Griffith asks how historians will “sculpt order, meaning and community from the ceaseless buzz and flow of the web.” (Griffith, 1) Non-academic historians or even non-historians contributions to the web are also an area of concern. While the web offers a unique opportunity for contributions from many sources, historians are understandably wary of uncritical adoption of some of this information by their students.
More recently, alongside this language of anxiety is a more practical effort to explore just how information technologies like the web can and will be integrated into current scholarship. In “Electronic Texts in the Humanities” Susan Hockey points out several difficulties facing creators of electronic text or resource projects. “Humanities scholars often tend to underestimate the amount of computing involved in an electronic project” and bemoans the fact that “ so much effort in computing in the humanities has been put into the creation of resources rather than into research leading towards better creation and delivery of the resources.” (Hockey, 168) Ellie Chambers finds promise in using the web for research, suggesting that, despite the challenges, the web’s easy access to a growing range of sources allows the student “more time to spend analyzing and critically evaluating their contents.” (Chambers, 249) The question of how much technical knowledge is enough for the historian occurs frequently. Several universities have instituted centers that foster work between technologists and humanities scholars while others have instituted programs that combine traditional humanities scholarship with education in humanities computing techniques. (Spaeth, 325)
There is a refreshing move to get beyond the extremes of either utopian or apocalyptic language surrounding the web to that of more thoughtful analysis, particularly in the area of literary criticism. Susan Schriebman suggests that certain theoretical modes, in this case versioning and reception theory, might find the digital environment especially rich. “Thus, the strength of an electronic edition may not be in its ability to allow users to skip from one lexia to another, but in its spatial richness to overcome the limitations of the codex . . . [T]he “edition” itself becomes a temporal artifact reflecting both the prehistory of the most contemporary instantiation of the work, and a post-history of previous instantiations.” (Schreibman, 291) Marshall Soules, Tamise van Pelt, and Geoffrey Rockwell extend the questions raised by electronic instantiated “text” even further, exploring how performance theory, ideas of posthumanism, and video game theory all reflect and shape our perceptions.
Where is it all going? It is by now standard practice among those discussing the impact of computing technology on any given field to also forecast future trends and possibilities for how that technology will develop. I will be no exception. Last month Google announced the beta version of Google Scholar, a search engine for academic resourcesl. Though limited in scope it does search and find material formerly available only through subscription. On December 14, 2004, Google announced plans to digitize the entire library of the University of Michigan, which includes seven million volumes. Books from Stanford University, the University of Oxford, Harvard University and the New York Public Library are also included in this undertaking. The scope of this project brings the concept of a global digital library that much closer. Google’s model will also, no doubt, be adopted by, and connected with, universities currently interested in beginning or expanding digital library efforts. But that is only one facet of this project. Google is not simply a search engine. It also functions as a text analysis engine. It makes connections between words, calculates the validity of those connections, and presents the searcher with related materials. In other words, “making connections” will no longer be the sole purview of the human reader. Such changes will also have an impact on our definition of scholar. While research will continue to be the primary activity, the process of research will change. Less emphasis need be placed on learning where resources are located or on the challenge of accessibility to disparate collections. The manual compilation of bibliographies should also become less onerous.
In the near term, adoption of current technologies by historians might lead to a greater use of the web for production rather than consumption. Blogs, which can act as communication space, presentation space and personal collection and organizing space are a technology that can easily be used by historians for research and teaching. Other forms of collaborative technologies, perhaps in the form of multi-person editable wikis also have the potential to alter how we do history. The pioneering work of the TEI, especially the concepts of structured texts that can be read and manipulated by computers, is based on the technology that is now driving much of the work on the web. It addition to enabling text analysis, the fact that it is machine-readable means that computer aggregation programs can now pull together disparate information. The first iteration of this is in the use of news feeds that “find” related news articles on the web and bring them together for the readers use. Combining these capabilities with an increased desire to create narratives might lead history in interesting directions.
In the longer term, several trends seem likely. First among these is digital convergence. The continuing pace of ‘faster, smaller, cheaper’ will mean that computing will find its way into smaller devices. The keyboard and screen will be only one site of mediation between the computer user and his or her data. (Wearable computing is already a well-developed idea.) Increasingly sophisticated digital representations of objects combined with ubiquitous networks mean that historians will have ways to interact with primary resources that mimic reality without doing damage to rare and fragile materials. That interaction will be augmented by the ability to manipulate, search, and study those materials in ways not now possible, creating visual representations of the frequency of ideas or words in a given text, for example, or searching across increasingly large corpora for a given idea.
Ted Nelson, whose ideas about hypertext were so instrumental in shaping the web, once said: "Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged -- people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can't. Everything is deeply intertwingled." The rise of collaborative web efforts like Flickr and del-icio.us are also indicative of the movement towards communal knowledge building. The online, all-the-time lifestyle that students are adopting at increasing rates combined with teaching models that privilege communication and collaboration should have an impact on how these students, in turn, define scholarship. It remains to be seen what the impact of increased global access to the web will have. Fuocault may have seen power as a ubiquitous and ever-changing flow. The intertwingularity of the web may well prove to be both the virtual embodiment of that flow and the mechanism by which postmodernist antihumanism becomes posthumanism. No doubt, Google will tell us.
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 Exactly when and under what circumstances Nelson first used the term is a matter of debate. An article in the VASSAR MISCELLANY NEWS, February 3, 1965, transcribed at http://faculty.vassar.edu/mijoyce/MiscNews_Feb65.html provides one example.
 Several links to Joyce’s work, including a link to his site at Eastgate, makers of a hypertext editing program, can be found at http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/joycem/
 The TEI is based on a text mark-up system known as SGML. The essential features are that the resulting file is a plain text file, the encoder determines which structures will be marked, and the content is separate from the presentation so that a single document can be presented and manipulated in a variety of ways. Sperberg-McQueen went on to be a co-creator of the subset of SGML, XML, which is becoming the language upon which much of the web is based.
 This exhibit is still available, though, ironically, given its creation by librarians, it shows how raw early web exhibits could be. There are few identifiers such as author, contributor, date, titles, etc. associated with each page. http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/vatican.exhibit/exhibit/Main_Hall.html
 The Educause article contains links to both versions of the AHR paper.
 A Google search on the terms “best practices” and “digital archiving” will turn up a number of results.
 http://www.uvm.edu/~eugenics/newindex.html, in progress
 Notably, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)
 Flickr is a group photo posting site: http://www.flickr.com/. Del.icio.us is a communal bookmarking site: http://del.icio.us/