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Hands Across the Sea: Irish and Scottish Battalions in the AIF and CEF

Originally posted on the Four Nations History Network Blog on 8 February 2016. In December 1915, Reverend J.S. MacPherson of Morphett Vale, South Australia, wrote to the State War Council proposing to raise battalions for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) “representing the National Societies, such as the Caledonian, Hibernian, Welsh and Cornish.”[1] A little over one year into the First World War, voluntary enlistments were tapering off … Continue reading Hands Across the Sea: Irish and Scottish Battalions in the AIF and CEF

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Hashtag Commemoration

It’s been fun to observe the centenary of the First World War through twitter and other social media. These forms of communication allow people to experience and share commemorative events in new ways. Attendees at ceremonies can broadcast their thoughts, perspectives, and reactions and people unable to attend the ceremonies in person can use social media to participate from the other side of the world. Tapping … Continue reading Hashtag Commemoration

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Mapping Patriotism (sort of)

I’m prepping some GIS workshops, so I needed some data that workshop participants could map as part of an exercise. I could just make up some random numbers but it would be much more effective to demonstrate the power of GIS if I used some actual data that could reveal how space and place should factor into historical analysis. The problem is that I haven’t … Continue reading Mapping Patriotism (sort of)

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Loggers, not Fighters

As part of Black History Month, Canada Post issued a new stamp to commemorate No 2. Construction Battalion. The battalion was formed as an all-Black labour unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in 1916 to address the persistent exclusion of African Canadian volunteers by Canadian recruiting officers. The No. 2 Construction Battalion is often celebrated as a stepping-stone toward racial equality in Canada because … Continue reading Loggers, not Fighters

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Getting into Gephi

I don’t think this counts as a New Year’s resolution, but I’ve been meaning to play around with Gephi for a while now. The biggest hurdle for me was finding sources that were conducive to network analysis. My research does not rely heavily on personal correspondence, so I turned to the Canadian Letters and Images Project, based at Vancouver Island University. The project has build a corpus of … Continue reading Getting into Gephi

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Trawling Trove

As some of my earlier posts suggest, I often supplement my archival research by drawing on repositories of digitized newspapers. The National Library of Australia’s Trove database is easily one of the largest, most innovative, and best-curated public repositories for digitized newspapers. I have finally gotten around to using the Trove API  to scrape a large corpus of newspaper articles. The API (Application Programming Interface) allows users to … Continue reading Trawling Trove

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Making Molehills of Mountains

After an extended hiatus, I’m back to blogging. I’m just settling into my postdoc in Digital History and Pedagogy with the Department of History at the University of Delaware. Over the summer, I corresponded briefly with one of my new colleagues, Barry Joyce, who inquired about the feasibility of building 3-D models from topographical maps so he could use them as a teaching aid in his … Continue reading Making Molehills of Mountains

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GIFs for Everyone

[Parts of this post have been assembled out of earlier posts from 2012 and 2013] Last month,the Associate Press and British Movietone announced they were uploading 550,000 films and videos from their archive to YouTube. These new additions will join about 85,000 films uploaded a year ago by British Pathé. This is good news to any historian of modern Britain and the empire, as these films … Continue reading GIFs for Everyone