Hi, I’m Shawn Graham, associate prof in the history department at Carleton University. What you are looking at is a fork of Jason Heppler’s open notebook. I’ve been looking for some sort of open notebook solution for a while; I like Jason’s version. I’ve added the ability for readers to leave annotations on any part of this notebook using the hypothesis web annotation architecture. See that strip down the right hand side of the page? Click on there to get started!

What is Open Notebook History?

Like Jason, the example of historian Caleb McDaniel is a prime motivation for wanting to do this; in my archaeological life, the example of archaeologist Mark Madsen also figures prominently! Why do this? Well, as Caleb writes, the appeal of open notebooks lies in our

“scholarly values of open intellectual exchange, integrity, and honesty. . . . Sharing is something that tends to make scholars, qua scholars, happy; presumably it’s why we are in the business of writing, speaking, and teaching in the first place…. trash (and treasure) are in the eyes of the beholder: The truth is that we often don’t realize the value of what we have until someone else sees it. By inviting others to see our work in progress, we also open new avenues of interpretation, uncover new linkages between things we would otherwise have persisted in seeing as unconnected, and create new opportunities for collaboration with fellow travelers.” - Caleb McDaniel

I’m going on sabbatical in 2016; it is my intention to use this notebook to keep track of what I get up to this year.

How ‘open’ is this, really?

Pretty open. I’m pretty good about letting it all just be, warts and all. Electric Archaeology has been my main vector for writing up what works and what hasn’t and where my thinking is at any particular moment - I’ve been at that for ten years now. I’m told that, of a topic model of academic bloggers, I’m one of the most diverse… which probably could also be read as a negative, I suppose. Not everything I write ends up on the blog; not everything I write notes on will necessarily end up in this site (although my aim is indeed to get everything online in due course). I work across a number of different machines, depending on the project, so that’s one reason why things might not appear here. Other things I’m working on are sensitive, and so what might appear here would be more reflective rather than ur-source, if you see what I mean. So, caveat lector, caveat utilitor.