From Voss to New York: Norwegian transmigration to America and the use of virtual worlds in historical research

Linn, A. 2015. From Voss to New York: Norwegian transmigration to America and the use of virtual worlds in historical research. Historisk tidsskrift. 94 (2), pp. 229-255.

TitleFrom Voss to New York: Norwegian transmigration to America and the use of virtual worlds in historical research
TypeJournal article
AuthorsLinn, A.
Abstract

The discipline of history has embraced the research opportunities offered by the rapid development in digital humanities over the past decade or so. Computer technology has enabled text mining and the analysis of large bodies of data to an extent that would have been impossible a generation earlier. The latest generation of interactive applications and user-generated content (‘Digital History 2.0’), however, allows for a different approach to presenting and researching the past. In the research project which underpins this article we use an online 3D virtual world not only to portray emigration from Norway to America but also to pioneer a new approach to historical research.
Freely available virtual world software (Open Sim) was used to recreate the journey of an emigrant travelling from Voss to New York in the early 1880s. The Voss farm and the port of Bergen are included in the virtual world, as is New York. A particular emphasis, however, is the lesser-studied ‘England leg’ of the journey, via Hull and Liverpool, which had become the standard emigration route by the 1870s, and we describe this journey in some detail. We also describe the experience of creating a historical virtual world to guide others interested in this means of historiography.
Aside from official records, there is frustratingly little evidence of the experience of Norwegian migration, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of individuals were involved. Just as fictional accounts have gained credibility as valuable sources of information ‘from below’, we make the case that the “indirect personal stories” of descendants and their contribution to microhistory need to be given proper consideration as potential sources. Given how widely dispersed the informants are, we argue that online interactive spaces are an essential tool for historians, and we should not be put off by current technological limitations and challenges.

KeywordsEmigration, Norway, England, Virtual Worlds
JournalHistorisk tidsskrift
Journal citation94 (2), pp. 229-255
ISSN0018-263X
Year2015
PublisherUniversitetsforlaget AS
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Web address (URL)https://www.idunn.no/ht/2015/02/from_voss_to_new_york_norwegian_transmigration_to_america_
Publication dates
Published18 Jun 2015

Related outputs

Tolerance and Control. Developing a language policy for an EMI university in Uzbekistan
Linn, A. and Bezborodova, A. 2020. Tolerance and Control. Developing a language policy for an EMI university in Uzbekistan. Sociolinguistica. 34.

The significance of a historical perspective on language planning and language policy making – Listening to past voices to inform future policy: the voice of Johan Storm
Linn, A. 2018. The significance of a historical perspective on language planning and language policy making – Listening to past voices to inform future policy: the voice of Johan Storm. in: Jahr, E.H. (ed.) Perspectives on Two Centuries of Norwegian Language Planning and Policy Uppsala Academia Regia Gustavi Adolphi. pp. 103-114

Modern Foreign Languages Get a Voice: The Role of Journals in the Reform Movement
Linn, A. 2018. Modern Foreign Languages Get a Voice: The Role of Journals in the Reform Movement. in: McLelland, N. and Smith, R.C. (ed.) The History of Language Learning and Teaching: volume II: 19th-20th Century Europe Oxford Legenda. pp. 145-160

Language standardization in sociolinguistics and international business: Theory and practice across the table
Linn, A., Sanden, G.R., Piekkari, R. and Refsum Sanden Guro 2018. Language standardization in sociolinguistics and international business: Theory and practice across the table. in: Sherman, T. and Nekvapil, J. (ed.) English in Business and Commerce Berlin de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 19-45

Investigating English in Europe: Contexts and Agendas
Linn, A. 2016. Investigating English in Europe: Contexts and Agendas. Berlin de Gruyter Mouton.

Nordic migration to the New World
Linn, A. 2015. Nordic migration to the New World. Marlborough

English in Europe: rethinking international English
Linn, A. 2015. English in Europe: rethinking international English. emagazine. 68 (11), p. 12.

English in the language ecology of "high proficiency" European countries
Linn, A. and Hadjidemetriou, C. 2014. English in the language ecology of "high proficiency" European countries. 33 (3-4). https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2014-0012

Parallel languages in the history of language ideology in Norway and the lesson for Nordic higher education
Linn, A. 2014. Parallel languages in the history of language ideology in Norway and the lesson for Nordic higher education. in: Hultgren, A.K., Gregersen, F. and Thøgersen, J. (ed.) English in Nordic Universities. Ideologies and practices Amsterdam John Benjamins. pp. 27-52

Vernaculars and the idea of a standard language
Linn, A. 2013. Vernaculars and the idea of a standard language. in: Allan, K. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics Oxford Oxford University Press. pp. 359-374

Impact: Linguistics in the real world
Linn, A. 2011. Impact: Linguistics in the real world. Histoire Epistemologie Langage. 33 (1), pp. 15-27. https://doi.org/10.3406/hel.2011.3203

Can parallelingualism save Norwegian from extinction?
Linn, A. 2010. Can parallelingualism save Norwegian from extinction? Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication. 29 (3-4), pp. 289-305. https://doi.org/10.1515/mult.2010.014

Voices from above—voices from below. Who’s talking and who’s listening in Norwegian language politics?
Linn, A. 2010. Voices from above—voices from below. Who’s talking and who’s listening in Norwegian language politics? Current Issues in Language Planning. 11 (2), pp. 114-129. https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2010.505070

Johan Storm: dhi grétest pràktikal liNgwist in dhi werld
Linn, A. 2004. Johan Storm: dhi grétest pràktikal liNgwist in dhi werld. Oxford Blackwell Publishers.

Constructing the Grammars of a Language: Ivar Aasen and nineteenth-century Norwegian linguistics
Linn, A. 1997. Constructing the Grammars of a Language: Ivar Aasen and nineteenth-century Norwegian linguistics. Munster Nodus Publikationen.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/9vv82/from-voss-to-new-york-norwegian-transmigration-to-america-and-the-use-of-virtual-worlds-in-historical-research


Share this
Tweet
Email

Usage statistics

23 total views
28 total downloads
0 views this month
0 downloads this month
These values are for the period from September 2nd 2018, when this repository was created

Export as