A Field Study of Subject Gateways on "Zeitgeschichte".
Applied Historical Information Science

In the German speaking language area, three major web-based subject gateways focusing on Contemporary History have been built up during the last ten years. This paper provides a comparative analysis of www.zeitgeschichte-online.de, www.vl-zeitgeschichte.de and zis.uibk.ac.at as three major examples of German-speaking web-based subject gateways on Contemporary History embedded in the context of applied Historical Information Science. Following basic information about the three web-based subject gateways at issue, generic technical web-page evaluation methods are discussed. Subsequently, a framework for specific analyses of web-pages and subject gateways is introduced and applied to the three subject gateways along several analysis vectors. It can be shown that approaching historical content by analyzing its “secondary”, i.e. formal aspects, can prepare the grounds for new insights about the content itself, and that such analysis can enrich the discussion about the current status and prospects of a whole discipline.

A dump of the analysis database is available upon request.