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W Pasafieldofhistory

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Wikipedia as a field in history

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W Pasafieldofhistory

  1. 1. Wikipedia as a field of history Analysis prepared by Tom Hammond Lehigh University September 25, 2009
  2. 2. How has the our understanding of Crispus Attucks changed over time?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Sources of knowledge about the past (or) How do we know about the past? </li></ul>textbooks teachers media historians
  4. 4. The Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks
  5. 5. Textbook Account History of the United States: Beginnings to 1877 (Mason, Jacobs, Ludlum McDougal-Littell, 1995)
  6. 6. <ul><li>Let's compare to WP article, as it was first created (History --> view earliest) http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boston_Massacre&oldid=203484 11:02, 8 September 2002...3 other edits that same day, all in about 20 minutes from the initial draft First edit just copy-editing, linking http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boston_Massacre&diff=412511&oldid=203484 </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Initial text </li></ul><ul><li>11:02, 8 September 2002   12.232.19.38  ( talk ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Boston Massacre occurred 5 March 1770AD. This was one of the events that helped spark the American Revolution. In an event much like what would happen over 200 years later at Kent State, a mob of men began taunting armed soldiers. After some of the men began throwing ice at the British soldiers, eventually the soldiers fired back. In this action, 5 Americans died, including one Crispus Attucks, the first known African-American Casualty of the American Revolution. Six more were injured. The event was immortalized by an engraver named Paul Revere. In a post-massacre trial, 6 soldiers were found non-guilty, and 2 more-- the only two proven to have fired-- were found guilty of manslaughter. John Adams acted as defense attorney. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Author = IP address 12.232.19.38 </li></ul><ul><li>In 34 minutes from one computer this author made 13 WP contributions including the initial Boston Massacre post http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/12.232.19.38 </li></ul><ul><li>ISP is CURRENTLY held by Dr. Erik N. Zeeman, MD Inc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>What has happened to the Boston Massacre entry since then? </li></ul><ul><li>Current version has been greatly expanded </li></ul><ul><li>As of Sept 25, 2009: 1686 editors http://toolserver.org/~daniel/WikiSense/Contributors.php?wikifam=.wikipedia.org&wikilang=en&order=-edit_count&page=Boston+Massacre&grouped=on&ofs=0&max=1000 </li></ul><ul><li>About 3000 edits total </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>How does the structure of Wikipedia help us understand the discipline of history </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Crispus Attucks. He gets singled out by name in both the textbook and the first version of the Wikepedia article, as well as all of the 1657 versions that followed. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Was Attucks singled out in Revere's print? </li></ul><ul><li>Text below the engraving </li></ul><ul><li>“ Unhappy Boston! see thy Sons deplore, Thy hallowed Walks besmeared with guiltless Gore.&quot; Also listed are the &quot;unhappy Sufferers&quot; Saml Gray, Saml Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr (killed) and it is noted that there were &quot;Six wounded; two of them (Christr Monk & John Clark) Mortally.” </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>How did we get to the point where Attucks is the only one of the six that gets attention? </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia article on Crispus Attucks actually gives us a lot to go on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crispus_Attucks </li></ul>
  13. 14. What are some of the highlights of the Crispus Attucks Wikipedia article?
  14. 16. <ul><li>Account for the postings (number of revisions, time range from first to last, notation of periods of activity)  </li></ul><ul><li>Describe progress or development in the article from the original post to the most recent update (use Jones' descriptions of B-17 and special effect articles as a guide) </li></ul><ul><li>Critique the quality of the article in its current state (use Rosenzweig's approach, writing quality and factual information) </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the discussion around the article </li></ul><ul><li>Background information on the most active contributors (use Boston Massacre work as an example) </li></ul>An analysis of Crispus Attucks article
  15. 17. Wikipedia as a field of history?

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