Archive for 2008

Gulag History Site Launches

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

The Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the launch of Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives http://gulaghistory.org, a new online resource exploring the history of the Soviet Gulag.The project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities; Title VIII, The U.S. Department of State; Kennan Institute; and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University; and was produced in association with the Gulag Museum at Perm 36, Perm, Russia and the International Memorial Society, Moscow, Russia.

Many Days, Many Lives draws visitors into the Gulag’s history through bilingual exhibits (English and Russian), a rich archive, a series of podcasts, and other resources. Exhibits are presented with a thematic approach that illustrates the diversity of the Gulag experience through original mini-documentaries, images, and the words of individual prisoners. A searchable archive includes archival documents, photographs, paintings, drawings, and oral histories that give visitors the opportunity to explore the subject in much greater depth. Later this summer, Many Days, Many Lives will also feature a virtual visit to the Gulag Museum at Perm 36.

In addition, this site offers a variety of resources related to the study of the Gulag. Episodes in Gulag History is a new podcast series featuring scholars, survivors, public historians, and others in conversation with historian George Mason University historian Steven A. Barnes. Each podcast will be followed by an online conversation in which the featured guest will answer questions from listeners.The inaugural episode features Lynne Viola discussing The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements. Other resources include a select bibliography for further reading, and a teaching unit prepared at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies intended for use in middle and high school classrooms.

Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives is the first online exhibition produced by CHNM for general audiences under the Division of Public Projects. Others will follow in the months and years ahead, including a major exhibit in partnership with Mount Vernon on the life of Martha Washington and the women of the Revolutionary generation.

CHNM Launches National History Education Clearinghouse

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

The National History Education Clearinghouse, an online project that brings U.S. history teachers high-quality support and resources, has been launched by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and project partner Stanford University. The clearinghouse is now available to the public at http://teachinghistory.org.

In October 2007, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $7 million contract, if fully funded over five years, to CHNM, in partnership with Stanford University, the American Historical Association, and the National History Center. The online project focuses on historical thinking and learning and is designed to help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators, thereby expanding student knowledge of U.S. history and its relevance to their daily lives and future. The clearinghouse provides links to the most informative and comprehensive history content on the Internet. It also provides teaching tools and resources such as lesson plan reviews, guides to working with primary sources and models of exemplary classroom teaching. The clearinghouse will link to a number of national history education organizations and associations. The website is interactive, allowing teachers to ask questions, comment on topical issues and share information on what and how they teach.

“The National History Education Clearinghouse will put into the hands of any teacher with an Internet connection the highest quality materials for teaching U.S. history,” says Sam Wineburg, professor and chair of curriculum and teacher education at Stanford and executive producer and senior scholar of the clearinghouse. “We are honored to be part of the digital revolution that is changing history teaching.”

The clearinghouse is funded under Teaching American History (TAH), a federally funded program created to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge and understanding of traditional U.S. history. TAH has funded more than 800 projects across the country since 2001.

“We are thrilled to play such a prominent role in helping K-12 U.S. history teachers and in bringing together the many communities involved in history education,” says Kelly Schrum, director of educational projects at CHNM and clearinghouse project co-director. “The Teaching American History program and the clearinghouse demonstrate the federal government’s dedication to improving history education, and we know that the clearinghouse will continue to improve and educate as it develops.”

The website, co-directed by Schrum and Sharon Leon at CHNM, and Daisy Martin at Stanford, is organized around seven features: history education news, history content, teaching materials, best practices, issues and research, professional development and Teaching American History grants. The clearinghouse uses the latest advances in digital technology to explore history teaching through interactive images as well as audio clips and videos of classroom teaching and historians discussing primary sources.

Offline support will include a yearly conference, a newsletter and an annual report on the state of history education in the United States.

About the Center for History and New Media

Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) 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. CHNM combines cutting edge digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as broad historical literacy. CHNM’s work has been recognized with major awards and grants from the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Library of Congress, and the Sloan, Mellon, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Gould, Delmas and Kellogg foundations.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 40 law schools in the United States.

CHNM to host inaugural THATCamp, May 31 – June 1, 2008

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

CHNM is pleased to announce its latest initiative, THATCamp.

Short for “The Humanities and Technology Camp”, THATCamp is a BarCamp-style, user-generated “unconference” on digital humanities. THATCamp is organized and hosted by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Digital Campus, and THATPodcast.

What is an “unconference”?

According to Wikipedia, an unconference is “a conference where the content of the sessions is created and managed by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by one or more organizers in advance of the event.” An unconference is not a spectator event. Participants in an unconference are expected to present their work, share their knowledge, and actively collaborate with fellow participants rather than simply attend. There are many styles of unconferences. The most famous is probably BarCamp, an international network of unconference events focused largely on open source web development.

What should I present?

That’s up to you. Sessions at THATCamp will range from full-blown papers (not many of those, we hope) to software demos to training sessions to debates to discussions of research findings to half-baked rants. You should come to THATCamp with something in mind, and on the first day find a time, a place, and people to share it with. Once you’re at THATCamp, you may also find people with similar topics and interests to team up with for a joint session.

How do I sign up?

Unfortunately, we only have space for about 40-45 participants, so we’ll have to do some vetting. To apply for a spot, simply send us an email saying who you are, what you’re thinking about presenting, and what you think you will get out of the experience. Please don’t send full proposals. We’re talking about an informal email of maybe 200 or 300 words, max. If you want to attach a C.V., that’s OK too. Send your email to moc.l1406798860iamg@1406798860ofni.1406798860pmact1406798860aht1406798860.

Where?

The Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MSN 1E7 Fairfax, Virginia.

When?

May 31 – June 1, 2008.

Who?

Anyone with energy and an interest in digital humanities.

How much?

As with most BarCamps, THATCamp will be free to all attendees. But a $25 donation towards snacks and diet coke will be much appreciated by the organizers.

How do I sponsor THATCamp?

A limited number of sponsorships are available to corporations and non-profits. Please send an email to moc.l1406798860iamg@1406798860ofni.1406798860pmact1406798860aht1406798860.

New ECHO Gateway for the History of Science, Technology, and Industry

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

The Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the relaunch of the ECHO (Exploring and Collecting History Online) website. ECHO is a portal to over 5,000 websites concerning the history of science, technology, and industry. In addition to better helping researchers find the exact information they need and granting curious browsers a forum for exploration, the new site also provides access to the latest in blogging on the topics of digital history and histories of science, technology and industry.

The project is based at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. ECHO has been funded by two generous grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

CHNM and American Historical Association Announce New Prize

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Roy Rosenzweig Prize in History and New Media Established in Professor’s Memory

The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and the American Historical Association (AHA) have agreed to institute a joint “Roy Rosenzweig Prize in History and New Media.” The Rosenzweig Prize will be awarded annually for an innovative and freely available new media project that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history.

Roy Rosenzweig died from cancer on 11 October 2007. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and lectured as a Fulbright professor. As the AHA’s Vice President for Research, he urged the Association to open all book prizes to publications in new media form. The Rosenzweig Prize will be the first to specifically recognize contributions developed in digital form to the profession at large.

In 2005, Rosenzweig’s Web-based project, History Matters earned him and CHNM the James Harvey Robinson Prize of the American Historical Association. In 2003, he was awarded the second Richard W. Lyman Award for his work with CHNM, particularly History Matters and the September 11 Digital Archive.

The AHA and the CHNM together will select members of the prize selection committee and develop prize guidelines. The award winners will be announced at the AHA’s Annual Meeting.

The George Mason University Foundation, Inc. will manage the funds for the Rosenzweig Prize. Contributions may be tax deductible to the full extent allowable by the law.

Gifts for the AHA/CHNM Rosenzweig Pize may be mailed to:

GMU Foundation, Inc.
4400 University Drive, MS 1A3
Fairfax, VA 22030

Checks should be made payable to the GMU Foundation, Inc. and indicate that the gift is for the AHA/CHNM Rosenzweig Prize. Gifts may also be made online at give.gmu.edu, but funds must be specified for the AHA/CHNM Rosenzweig Prize in the comments section.

For questions or information on alternate methods of giving, individuals should contact:

Heidi A. Bruce, Director of Development, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Phone: 703.993.9319, e-mail: *protected email*

Contributions may also count toward the Center’s National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) matching grant in accordance with NEH guidelines.

About the Center for History and New Media

Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) 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. CHNM combines cutting edge digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as a broad historical literacy. CHNM’s work has been recognized with major awards and grants from the American Historical Association, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Library of Congress, and the Sloan, Mellon, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Gould, Delmas and Kellogg foundations.

About the American Historical Association

The American Historical Association (AHA) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research. As the largest historical society in the United States, the AHA provides leadership and advocacy for the profession, fights to ensure academic freedom, monitors professional standards, spearheads essential research in the field, and provides resources and services to help its members succeed. The AHA serves more than 14,000 history professionals, representing every historical period and geographical area. As the only national association for historians studying all areas and fields of history, the AHA currently confers 25 prizes and awards, recognizing a wide variety of distinguished historical work in the form of books, distinguished teaching, and even film. Since 1896 the Association has conferred 1,276 awards that represent a catalogue of the best work of the historical profession over the past 111 years.

Washington Times on Omeka

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

CHNM and its new platform for publishing collections and exhibits online, Omeka, were featured this week in the Washington Times.

Describing CHNM as being “at the forefront of the new wave of collecting history,” the article went on to highlight the September 11 Digital Archive, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, and History Matters. Virginia Tech’s April 16 Archive, which runs on the Omeka platform, was also mentioned.

Cohen, Zotero appear in Washington Post

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

CHNM’s Zotero project and CHNM’s Director, Dan Cohen both appeared on Page A1 in Sunday’s Washington Post over the weekend. Entitled “Internet Access Is Only Prerequisite For More and More College Classes,” the front page article examined new trends in online education at institutions of higher learning across the country. Commenting on Zotero in particular and new campus technology initiatives in general, Cohen was quoted as saying “It’s part of this movement in higher education to open up … to share the products of our research, to be here for the public good.”

Zotero joins forces with Internet Archive, wins major grant

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Although libraries have dedicated much of their time to scanning and cataloguing their materials for online access, both the expense and time of such projects have prevented many documents from being readily available.

Yet, in many cases, these documents have been scanned, copied or photographed by someone, somewhere. Virtually every professor, graduate student and author maintains major private caches of these materials from their own research. Biographers have scores of letters, pictures and ephemera. Architects and architectural historians have photographs of buildings from around the world. Scholars of literature have scanned diaries and manuscripts for insights into the writing process of those they study.

“This ‘hidden archive’ likely rivals existing online collections,” says Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM). “We asked: What if there was a way to expose and share this tremendous hidden archive with scholars from around the globe?”

And now there is. CHNM has joined forces with the Internet Archive on a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to provide what could potentially be the world’s largest structured archival and access environment for scholarly material.

Introduced last year as open-source software that works within the popular Firefox web browser, the CHNM’s Zotero stores references and notes in the same way that other citation managers do. However, what makes Zotero unique from similar tools is its intuitive, iTunes-like interface and the fact that it runs in the web browser, allowing it to sense, record and share scholarly information on the web.

Now Zotero is teaming up with the Internet Archive to provide a seamless system for archiving, public sharing and collaborating within the scholarly community.

Under the new partnership, scholars will be able to easily drag and drop documents into the “Zotero Commons” and, after filling out legal information that ensures the document is in public domain, have the document uploaded to be searchable and accessible to anyone in the world.

A major incentive for scholars to participate in this project is that the Internet Archive will provide them with free optical character recognition (OCR) — that is, a transcription of the words on each scan — for documents that are donated, a tremendous benefit that will allow them to search and organize their own collection.

“Most scholars have not yet figured out how to take full advantage of the digitized riches suddenly available on their computers,” says Cohen. “The abundance of digital documents is actually overwhelming to some. Moreover, the major advantage of digital research – the ability to scan large masses of text quickly – is often unavailable to scholars who’ve done their own scanning or copying of texts. Yet after uploading to Zotero Commons, they will be able to search their own library very easily.”

Another function of the project will be the availability for scholars to share documents with a smaller, defined and secure community, allowing for easier collaboration across long distances.

The initial functionality of Zotero Commons will be rolled out in 2008.

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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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Teachinghistory.org is the central online location for accessing high-quality resources in K-12 U.S. history education. Explore the highlighted content on our homepage or visit individual sections for additional materials.