Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

A World-Historical Archive: A means to link humanities and social-science disciplines

Manning, Patrick (2014) A World-Historical Archive: A means to link humanities and social-science disciplines. In: Interdisciplinarity in History: An Old Method in a New World Context, 06 March 2014 - 06 March 2014, Qatar University. (Unpublished)

[img] Microsoft Word
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (70kB)
[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


This paper begins by asserting the need for a world-historical Archive. In order to make plans for the future of human society at the global level, it is necessary to have coherent information on the global past of human society. To meet this need, the Collaborative for Historical Information and Analysis (CHIA, has been at work since 2011 on creating a world-historical Archive, addressing social, cultural, health, and climate issues worldwide for the past 400 years. The construction of this Archive, interestingly, requires the linkage and even unification of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Further, the project requires conceptualizing human society as a great system composed of many interlocking sub-systems. Creating a world-historical archive requires collecting huge amounts of historical data. The data must be combined to yield a comprehensive picture in space, time, and topic. Further, the data must be documented to identify their source and character, they must be transformed to become consistent, and they must be aggregated to yield totals for regions. The creation of comprehensive, global data requires that the different types of knowledge become linked to one another. In this age of globalization, however, the disciplines in humanities and social sciences have done more to specialize and differentiate than to nurture links. Within any given discipline, such as economics or psychology, macro-studies and micro-studies rely on quite different theories. Statistical analysis in social sciences and the study of unique cases in the humanities have become increasingly divergent. The discipline of history, at the boundary of the humanities and the social sciences, is well placed to nurture closer ties among the disciplines. In practice, the work of building a world-historical Archive is developing concepts and practices for linking disciplines. Since people are the basis of every social theory, the linkage of population data in every discipline provides a step toward linking the disciplines more generally. The CHIA project is working to create a world-historical gazetteer to establish a worldwide set of place names, and in parallel work is developing ontologies for the complexities of temporal data and for a wide range of historical topics. This large project, designed to expand through world-wide collaboration, may be able to document the past of humanity as a whole and may also strengthen the links and the interplay among various disciplines.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Manning, Patrickpmanning@pitt.eduPMANNING
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > World History Center
Date: 6 March 2014
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Event Title: Interdisciplinarity in History: An Old Method in a New World Context
Event Dates: 06 March 2014 - 06 March 2014
Event Type: Conference
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: history, world-historical, archive, world, history, historical, database, Patrick, Manning, Professor, Manning, Qatar, University, Interdisciplinarity, in, History, CHIA, humanities, social, science, interdisciplinarity, Collaborative, for, Historical, Information, Analysis, archive, globalizing, history, linking, disciplines, historical, archive, linking, history, combining, historical, data, global, history, human, history, combining, different, aspects, of, history, historical, data, worldwide, information, solving, global, issues, solving, global, problems, organizing, knowledge, about, human, past, organizing, knowledge, about, global, society, world, historical, human, community, social, universe, global, data, global, patterns, understanding, global, patterns, combining, different, historical, perspectives, creating, one, human, history, historical, perspectives, interlocking, subsystems, human, society, as, a, system, unification, of, disciplines
Date Deposited: 08 May 2014 11:49
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:02


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item