How does it work?
Scholars always keep lists – in one form or another. Whether it's a bibliographic list, using tools like Zotero, or lists of places, or authors, our ultimate aim is to either put them in an order, and / or outline and interpret the connections between them. NanoHistory can't and won't do any interpreting, but it can help organize those connections much better by allowing users to organize how items on those lists we all have are interlinked with one another.
Even a bibliography is a network – it has authors and editors, places of publication and production, and the items themselves, along with the publishers. Right off the bat, we can add those to NanoHistory and see what kinds of works authors and presses produce.
But NanoHistory allows you to document people, places, and things independently of one another, and assign interactions to them. This means you can upload a list of people, say readers of a particular work, or a list of places, or organizations. Want to build a readership network? Simply note that someone read a specific book, or group of works. Want to documenting a print network in a specific place? Simply note who printed and published which works, and the organizations which produced them. And add business owners and apprentices to the organization. What about time? Each interaction or event can be temporally limited – saying that it started at a specific moment, and ended at another. This allows for NanoHistory to build flexible representations of cultural networks over time – reflecting how such networks are in a constant state of flux at every given moment.