The digital age opens up a new politics of visually representing the past. When entire archives and libraries can be easily digitized and made accessible to the public, what to digitize and how to do it should become matters of careful deliberation and critical reflection. Because once made publicly accessible, digital artifacts take on lives of their own beyond the control of their creators and curators. Just as the unknown and unanticipated consequences of modernization call for a reflexive modernity, so the same difficulties of anticipating the effects of digitization require reflexive digitization. The university plays an especially important role as an institutional anchor for practicing reflexive digitization.

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