Published on Cairn International Edition.
This essay provides a view from the US, but it aims to show how international historians in every country could achieve much more: establishing a true global community of scholars engaged in the study of world politics. But they must also work together to develop new methods to cope with an emerging challenge: the era of “big data.” Whereas in the past historians travelled the world in search of sources, in the future we will instead find it ever more difficult to cope with the avalanche of digitized and “born-digital” archives that are crashing down on top of us. This essay will conclude with some concrete suggestions. But it first requires surveying the struggles that have brought us to this point.