DOI link for Digital Narratives
Digital Narratives book
Even for historians who choose to present their work in the traditional format of the journal article or printed monograph, the fragmentary and eclectic nature of digital sources challenges us to think more creatively about the historical narratives. Digitisation, and digitally enabled research, lifts the curtain on a whole new cast of characters and perspectives for our medical histories. Historians of medicine have benefited from some of the most generously funded and institutionally supported programmes of digitisation. In what follows, the author use four online 'hits' from the history of migraine to reflect on how digitised methods affect our research, and to argue that digital sources have an important role to play in de-centring 'standard' medical historical narratives. In 1985, Roy Porter called for historians to take account of sufferers in their histories of medicine and healing, of how 'ordinary people in the past have actually regarded health and sickness, and managed their encounters with medical men'.