• Old Stories and New Visualizations: Digital Timelines as Public History Projects

      Bruggeman, Seth C., 1975-; Lowe, Hilary Iris; Dorman, Dana (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      This thesis explores the use and potential of digital timelines in public history projects. Digital timelines have become a popular and accessible ways for institutions and individuals to write history. The history of timelines indicates that people understand timelines as authoritative information visualizations because they represent concrete events in absolute time. The goals of public history often conflict with the linear, progressive nature of most timelines. This thesis reviews various digital timeline tools and uses The Print Center's Centennial Timeline as an in-depth case study that takes into account the multifaceted factors involved in creating a digital timeline. Digital history advocates support digital scholarship as an alternative to traditional narrative writing. This thesis illustrates that digital timelines can enable people to visualize history in unexpected ways, fostering new arguments and creative storytelling. Despite their potential, digital timelines often replicate the conventions of their paper counterparts because of the authoritative nature of the timeline form.