In the readings I read, a significant change for historians regarding the increasingly digital world was the increased access to archives and primary sources. These sources are abundantly available online, often for free, to a possibly detrimental effect, since the sheer number can be overwhelming. Today, a historian could do all their research digitally, and anyone around the world with access to the Internet can also access these archives and historians’ digital projects, such as the Digital History reader, which increases accessibility to knowledge and academics. This accessibility also creates an overlap between digital history and public history, expanding the audience due to the Internet’s wide-reaching scope.
However, the digital world has also affected how historians evaluate scholarship. The AHA’s guidelines for the evaluation of digital scholarship argues that historians in digital studies should be evaluated based on their innovation in the discipline to advance scholarship, expanding the field and audience, an evolution of the expectations for historians.
Cameron Blevins also critiques digital historians for prioritizing the potential and future of digital history instead actually creating and engaging in arguments about the past. It seems that for a while, at least, historians became focused on the future of the field rather than history itself because of the dramatic changes and potential of the digital realm.