Keywords: Internet - Historiography - Digital Sources
This article deals with the interpretation of digital sources. It explores their specific characteristics, by charting their historical evolution and distinguishing between two very different processes, namely the spread of digital technology and the spread of Internet. Any historian interested into a critical analysis of digital sources is faced with the rather novel problem posed by their evanescence. This makes it particularly troublesome to pin down their coordinates in space and time. The problem is primarily the concern of scholars of contemporary history, because over the last two or three decades an increasing part of their sources have become digital in nature. Thus the methodological questions posed by the advent of digital technology and the Web entail an adequate operational knowledge of the characteristics of digital sources.