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Big Data and Australian history


Maxwell-Stewart, H, Big Data and Australian history, Australian Historical Studies, 47, (3) pp. 359-364. ISSN 1031-461X (2016) [Letter or Note in Journal]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Routledge

DOI: doi:10.1080/1031461X.2016.1208728


Big History is a term that has particular resonance for historians of Australia – a continent with a 60,000-year record of human occupation and a geological history that extends a further 3,070 million years. Recently historians have also begun to engage with the concept of big data. It is not surprising that these two terms are often linked. Any attempt to unite natural and human history in ‘a single, grand and intelligible narrative’ will necessarily result in the engagement with a lot of data. While few historians have access to sources of information that are so large and complex that they defy traditional means of processing and handling, much research that engages with what might genuinely be described as big data has a historical dimension. Climate science, analysis of criminal justice statistics and life course and intergenerational health research are all good examples. This forum in Australian Historical Studies on big data is thus most timely. It explores some of the ways that the increased availability of digital data is impacting on Australian historical research and focuses on digital research that connects Australia’s history to wider international and transnational developments.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Keywords:digital humanities, big data, Australian history
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Maxwell-Stewart, H (Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart)
ID Code:111474
Year Published:2016
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP140102231)
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-09-14
Last Modified:2017-09-06
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