Eric Novotny: History Librarian

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Eric Novotny

History Subject Librarian
As the history subject librarian, Eric’s main role has been to recruit participants and serve as a liaison for the History Department. He wanted to ensure that the perspective of historians was represented. Eric was also involved with the survey design and is hoping to do analysis specifically with the historians’ survey results. He will also be involved with the follow up focus groups.

Now and Later: Digital Archiving
As an historian, Eric has unique archiving needs. The research is usually book intensive and therefore he has accumulated a large body of paper. As part of his work, he has to travel and go to archives around the world to make photocopies of materials, since until very recently most archives wouldn’t allow scholars to make digital copies. Currently, Eric’s archive is a hybrid of paper files stored in drawers and digital files on the computer. He thinks that in the future a global archive would be advantageous and, in his view, it would be very valuable if historians could somehow share all the paper information locked up in their drawers. In the future, he would also like to see a tool in digital archiving that is customized for historians.

Survivor: Technology We Can’t Live Without
Eric finds Google, Google Scholar, library databases, and LionSearch to be extremely helpful during the discovery process when he is conducting research to broaden an idea, like his current project on censorship in the libraries. Once he has identified his specific research, he uses citation tools like Mendeley or Zotero, although he believes that citation management tools are not very well integrated into the work that historians are doing. For example, there are citation issues with nonpublished materials, like diaries, that historians use.

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