Historians: As obsolete as the VCR?

How will the role of a historian change with the abundance of information in our digital world? As hard as it will be for historians to share the growing pool of information with non-historian people, I think that the role of a historian will ultimately always be valued. Historians will still continue to publish in reputable peer reviewed, academic journals; something that would be hard for non-historians to do. Historians will also possess the academic training that amateurs lack, and most importantly, let’s not forget about all the things civilization has amassed over the centuries. We still need specially trained people to take care of artifacts and interpret old documents and letters, among countless other things.

Museums certainly can’t run themselves; institutes like these will be here for years to come, and working in a place like this isn’t something that anyone can do. It’s the same for archives; there will always be the need for professionally trained people to safeguard the past. It seems like museums, archives, and other means of preserving the past will be around for many years to come, and for most historians, public or otherwise, this is very good news. We as historians will not become obsolete, our roles will just continue to change and evolve, much like history itself continues to do.


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