Archive for 2006

DC Area Technology & Humanities Forum returns December 5th

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Scholarship 2.0: What Web 2.0 means for Digital Humanists

Tuesday December 5th from 5-7pm, Research 1 Room 462, Center for History & New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

This fall’s Washington DC Area Forum on Technology and the Humanities focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by Web 2.0 technologies for digital humanists. Speakers will include Bryan Alexander on “Web 2.0 and Digital Humanists,” Dan Cohen on “Zotero and the Next Generation of Scholarly Research,” and Eddie Maloney on “When is an ePortfolio not an ePortfolio? Georgetown University’s Digital Notebook project.”

Bryan Alexander researches and develops programs on the advanced uses of information technology in liberal arts colleges. His specialties include digital writing, weblogs, copyright and intellectual property, information literacy, wireless culture and teaching, project management, information design, and interdisciplinary collaboration. He contributes to a series of weblogs, including NITLE Tech News, MANE IT leaders, and Smartmobs, when not creating digital learning objects (like Gormenghast). He has taught English and information technology studies at the University of Michigan and Centenary College.

Dan Cohen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the Director of Research Projects at the Center for History and New Media. His research is in European and American intellectual history, the history of science (particularly mathematics), and the intersection of history and computing. He is co-author with Roy Rosenzweig of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and has published articles and book chapters on the history of mathematics and religion, the teaching of history, and the future of history in a digital age in journals such as the Journal of American History, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Rethinking History. At the Center for History and New Media he has co-directed the September 11 Digital Archive and the Echo project, and has developed software tools for scholars, teachers, and students.

Eddie Maloney is the Managing Director of CNDLS, the Director of Research and Learning Technologies for CNDLS and the Office of Information Systems, and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English. He holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University, both in English Literature. In his various roles at the University, Eddie helps to define Georgetown’s technology strategy as it relates to teaching and scholarship. His first love, though, is teaching, which he has been doing at the university level for the past fourteen years. As a faculty member in the Department of English, he teaches 20th-century literature and narrative theory courses. He has published on James Joyce and J. D. Salinger, as well as on issues related to narrative and literary theory, film studies, and hypertext fiction. He is currently working on a book-length project on the use of artificial paratexts in fictional narratives.

The Forum will meet on Tuesday December 5, 2006 from 5:00-7:00 PM on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus in the Center for History & New Media Lab (room 462) in the Research 1 Building, directly across from the Sandy Creek Parking Deck. There will be an informal dinner after the forum, at a cost of $10 per person. You must RSVP online for dinner by November 28.

Co-sponsored by the Center for History & New Media (CHNM) at GMU and the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown, the DC Area Technology and Humanities Forum explores important issues in humanities computing and provide an opportunity for DC area scholars interested the uses of new technology in the humanities to meet and get acquainted.

Zotero: The Next-Generation Research Tool now available

Monday, October 9th, 2006

The Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the launch of Zotero: The Next-Generation Research Tool. Generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and a major grant from the the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Zotero is poised to change dramatically the way scholarly research is performed online.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use, open source research tool that runs in the Firefox web browser and helps scholars gather, annotate, organize, and share the results of their research. It includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store full reference information in author, title, and publication fields and to export that as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software such as del.icio.us or iTunes, like the ability to sort, tag, and search in advanced ways. Using its unique ability to sense when the user is viewing a book, article, or other resource on the web, Zotero will—on many major research sites—find and automatically save the full reference information in the correct fields.

The 1.0 beta release of Zotero provides advanced functionality for gathering, organizing, and scanning research, as well as basic import/export capability and bibliographic formatting tools. Automatic updates to the software in the fall and winter of 2006-2007 will provide many more citation styles, the ability for Zotero to recognize even more online resources, even better support for importing and exporting entire collections, and integration with Microsoft Word and other word processors. Later versions of Zotero will allow users to share their collections with other users, collaborate on research projects using Zotero, send their collections to other free web services (such as mapping or translation sites), and receive recommendations and feeds of new resources that might be of interest.

Zotero is free and available to the general public at www.zotero.org. Download your copy today!

Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 come to CHNM

Monday, September 25th, 2006

The Center for History and New Media and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University are pleased to announce the award of a grant from National Historical Publications and Records Commission to bring the innovative electronic archive Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 to Fairfax. Ultimately, the project will make more than 50,000 documents from the first decade and a half of the War Department’s history available to researchers, teachers, and students free of charge in a fully-searchable online database.

In the young nation’s early years, the War Department controlled more than 70 percent of the nation’s budget, was the largest consumer of fabric, clothing, food, medicine, and weapons in the country, and provided pensions to veterans, widows, and orphans. Nearly all the contact that early Americans had with their new federal government was through the War Department, making the records of the office a kind of “National Archives” of the young nation. Unfortunately, those documents were destroyed by fire in 1800; for years, scholars believed the entire collection to have been lost.

Mason’s involvement with Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 continues more than a decade of work reconstituting and archiving those records. That effort began at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania with the acquisition and digitization of copies of the War Department’s files that had been scattered across hundreds of repositories and archives. Over the course of several years, staff at ESU located copies of the files destroyed in the fire and converted them to digital images. Staff at CHNM are now in the process of entering sophisticated data about each of the documents into a database that will finally make these digital images fully searchable. The Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 are expected to make their first appearance online in 2007.

NEH awards funding for “Making the History of 1989: Sources and Narratives on the Fall of Communism”

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

The Center for History and New Media and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University are excited to announce that we have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a website on the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.

The project–Making the History of 1989–will have three main features: a database of 300 primary sources (text, images, audio, video) on the events of 1989; multimedia interviews with four historians make visible the strategies scholars use when working with primary sources and interpreting the past; six teaching modules and ten teaching case studies provide historical context, tools, and strategies for teaching the history of 1989 with primary sources.

When it is completed in early 2009, the project will debut at a meeting at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. In addition to the Wilson Center, the growing list of partners in the project includes the National Security Archive and the Cold War International History Project (Washington, D.C.), the Wende Museum (Los Angeles), and the Research Network 1989 (Berlin).

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank Collects 5,000 Objects

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Since its launch in November 2005, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank has collected over 5000 digital objects from institutional partners, such as the Louisiana State Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and from hundreds of individual contributors.

The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History and other partners, organized this project.

Generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank contributes to the ongoing effort by historians and archivists to preserve the record of these storms by collecting first-hand accounts, on-scene images, blog postings, and podcasts. We hope to foster some positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories in their own words, which as part of the historical record will remain accessible to a wide audience for generations to come.

This project builds on prior work by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, and other partners such as the Library of Congress and the Red Cross, to collect and preserve history online, especially through the ECHO project and the September 11 Digital Archive. It is part of a growing practice of using the Internet to preserve the past through “digital memory banks.”

Katrina’s Jewish Voices heard in CHNM partner site

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

To preserve the Jewish experience of Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish Women’s Archive has announced the launch of Katrina’s Jewish Voices, an online collecting project and digital archive. Employing technologies and techniques developed at CHNM and in collaboration with CHNM’s Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, Katrina’s Jewish Voices allows members of the Jewish community in New Orleans and across the country to contribute their stories and photographs. The collection currently stands at nearly 200 images, emails, documents, and other digital objects related to the Jewish experience of Hurricane Katrina and is growing daily.

Since 1995, the Jewish Women’s Archive has worked to uncover, chronicle, and transmit the rich history of American Jewish women.

CHNM announces completion of Women in World History website

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

CHNM is pleased to announce completion of the Women in World History website, an online curriculum resource center designed to help high school and college world history teachers and their students locate, analyze, and learn from primary sources dealing with women and gender in world history. Resources include more than 200 primary sources; 15 curriculum modules complete with primary sources, introductions, teaching strategies, and lesson plans; 30 scholarly website reviews; 8 guides to analyzing specific kinds of primary sources, such as oral history and religious texts; 9 teaching case studies; and 4 archived discussion forums on teaching about women in world history.

Funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities and private donations, Women in World History integrates three approaches central to current scholarship in world history and the history of women: an emphasis on comparative issues rather than civilizations in isolation; a focus on contacts among different societies; and an attentiveness to “global” forces, such as technology diffusion, migration, or trade routes, that transcend individual societies. Project materials also utilize recent advances in our understanding of how historical learning takes place, including complex interaction with sources, recursive reading, and skills used by historians.

CHNM and National Park Service Open Ellis Island Exhibition

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

CHNM is pleased to announce the opening of a virtual and physical exhibit on the Russian Gulag. CHNM has teamed with the U.S. National Park Service and the Gulag Museum in Perm, Russia, to provide a companion website for the traveling exhibit Gulag: Soviet Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom, now open at Ellis Island. Located at http://www.gulaghistory.org/exhibits/nps, the website provides a virtual tour of the traveling exhibit, information on related activities in the exhibit’s host cities, curricular materials for secondary school teachers on the history of the Gulag and a place for visitors to respond to the exhibit and share their own stories.

In addition, with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for History and New Media, the George Mason University Department of History & Art History, and Professor Steven A. Barnes are constructing a new web-only exhibit, Gulag: Many Day, Many Lives. Opening in Fall 2007, this exhibit will immerse viewers in the varied experiences of an array of Gulag prisoners. Through audio, video and visual imagery, Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives will engagingly present, in vignettes and full biographies, a range of prisoners’ lives. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Gulag Museum of Perm, Russia, this website will also offer a virtual tour of that reconstructed camp/museum.

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank gets an A+ from Education World

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

Stating that the “site is very well designed and interesting,” Education World awarded CHNM’s Hurricane Digital Memory Bank an A+ rating. It also recommended the project to students and teachers at nearly all grade levels, from early elementary to high school. Education World helps educators to integrate the Internet easily into the classroom by offering free resources and reviews through its website.

The CHNM Suspects

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

walkrun_04_2006_thumb.jpgThe Center for History and New Media participated in the annual Victims’ Rights 5k run/walk held at George Mason University on April 27, 2006. “The CHNM Suspects” included over 20 runners and walkers, all of whom took some time away from their computers to enjoy a beautiful spring day!

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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