We investigate the motives to practice history, and the role that history could play for a scientific discipline. We consider these questions successively from three interrelated points of view: “history: why?” (§ 1), “history: for whom?” (§ 2), and “history: how?” (§ 3). Only the second of these sections is specific to the field of computing; the two other ones are more general, and could probably be applied to other fields as well. Needless to say, the responses that we propose are elements rather than definitive answers; the author also apologizes in advance if these reflections turn out to be nothing but platitudes: he was not trained as a historian, and it is very well possible that these three questions have already received more convincing answers elsewhere.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Computing, Historical and ahistorical disciplines, History
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-41650-7_6
Conference Making the History of Computing Relevant
van den Hove d'Ertsenryck, G.M.C. (2013). Making history relevant: The case of computing. In IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology (pp. 67–78). doi:10.1007/978-3-642-41650-7_6