There are four main requirements:

1. Active participation in the class discussion. Leadership and positive contributions to the class discussion, wherever that takes place (during seminar, in blog comments, on Twitter). The course hashtag is #hist5702x. (I am @electricarchaeo on Twitter). We will have a course shared zotero library; add to this library!

2. Blogging. 10 posts. Each week, half the students will be designated to post a reflection on the readings prior to the discussion (by Monday night), and the other half will post a reflection on the class discussion (by Wednesday night). Blog posts will be short and pithy, ca 100-300 words. These posts may be on your own blog, or the course blog. Tweet the links using the #hist5702x hashtag. We will make the arrangements during the first week of the term.

3. Major class project: Augmented Reality & the Air Canada Collection Project. Digital history can provide a way for the ‘hidden’ materials of a museum to become accessible to the wider public. The major project in this class will be to explore the issues of digital history as evidenced through the creation of an augmented reality pop-up coffee-table book that showcases objects and stories from the Air Canada collection held at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Each student will select and research two items from the collection, digitizing them in 3d or 2d fashion (as appropriate). These digitized facsimiles will be held in an online archive-cum-exhibition system called ‘Omeka’ (possibly; exact solution TBD). Mixing media together in this way will enable students to explore the possibilities and limitations of very different ways of representing a museum collection. A pdf version of the coffee table book (and, if time permits, a bound ‘beta version’ of the book) will be presented to the curators who may then put the book into production. An online exhibition showcasing the collection might also be created via the Omeka platform. While every student will digitise and research two items, the students will need to determine who will do what, and when, in order to create the coffee table book and the online exhibition.

4. Reflective Short Unessay. This unessay reflects on the issues of digital history as experienced by the student in the course of completing the major project. It will be the equivalent to 4 – 5 single-space pages, depending on format. This unessay may be highly personal, and does not necessarily need to be written in a traditional format (although a traditional essay approach is fine, the student may wish to use Tapestry, Twine, Prezi, or some other digital platform, for instance). For more on ‘unessays’, see

It would be a good idea to bring your laptop or device to each session.


Class Participation: 30%
Blog entries: 20%
Contribution to Major Project: 30%
Final reflection: 20%

Background on Air Canada Collection:

Our major project will be in conjunction with the Canada Science and Technology Museum, who hold the Air Canada collection. This collection contains materials from Air Canada’s predecessor airlines, including uniforms, promotional materials and collectibles, models… an incredible array. For more on Air Canada’s history, I suggest you look at:

Peter Pigott, National Treasure: The History of Trans Canada Airlines

Philip Smith, It Seems Like Only Yesterday: Air Canada, The First Fifty Years

Gordon McGregor, The Adolescence of an Airline which is available in the Ottawa Public Library.

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