Interacting with digitised historical newspapers: understanding the use of digital surrogates as primary sources

Elina Late, Sanna Kumpulainen

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The paper examines academic historians' information interactions with material from digital historical-newspaper collections as the research process unfolds.

The study employed qualitative analysis from in-depth interviews with Finnish history scholars who use digitised historical newspapers as primary sources for their research. A model for task-based information interaction guided the collection and analysis of data.

The study revealed numerous information interactions within activities related to task-planning, the search process, selecting and working with the items and synthesis and reporting. The information interactions differ with the activities involved, which call for system support mechanisms specific to each activity type. Various activities feature information search, which is an essential research method for those using digital collections in the compilation and analysis of data. Furthermore, application of quantitative methods and multidisciplinary collaboration may be shaping culture in history research toward convergence with the research culture of the natural sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-124
Number of pages19
Issue number7
Early online date15 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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