Archive for 2011

Digital History Research Awards for New PhD Students at Mason

Monday, December 19th, 2011

George Mason University and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media are pleased to announce Digital History Research Awards for students entering the History and Art History doctoral program in fall 2012. Students receiving these awards will get five years of fully funded studies, as follows: $20,000 research stipends in years 1 and 2; research assistantships at RRCHNM in years 3, 4, and 5. Awards include fulltime tuition waivers and student health insurance. For more information, contact Professor Cynthia A. Kierner (Director of the Ph.D. Program) at ude.u1417036722mg@re1417036722nreik1417036722c1417036722 or Professor Dan Cohen (Director, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media) at ude.u1417036722mg@ne1417036722hocd1417036722. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2012.

CHNM Co-Organizing 2012 WebWise Conference

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a contract to CHNM, in partnership with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), to help organize the 2012 WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital Age to be held February 29-March 2 at the Renaissance Harbor Place in Baltimore, MD.

The theme for the two-day WebWise conference will be “Tradition and Innovation,” as panelists and presenters investigate the use of digital technologies especially in the field of history. Recognizing that history museums, historical societies, and other history-focused institutions are poorly represented in national discussions of digital libraries and museums, WebWise 2012 will make a concerted effort to surface the challenges historical organizations have faced in doing digital work and the under-appreciated contributions they have made in this area. Prior to the conference, CHNM and BPOC will organize a day-long unconference, similar to THATCamp.

“We are pleased to be working with these two national leaders in the field of technology integration into the services of libraries, museums, archives, and living collections,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. “George Mason University and Balboa Park have been at the forefront of some of the very issues that we hope to explore further during our conference.”

Since 2000, the WebWise conference has brought together representatives of museums, libraries, archives, systems science, education, and other fields interested in the future of high-quality online content for inquiry and learning. A signature initiative of IMLS, this annual conference highlights recent research and innovations in digital technology, explores their potential impacts on library and museum services, and promotes effective museum and library practices in the digital environment. It also provides recipients of technology-based grants from the Institute with an opportunity to showcase their exemplary projects.


Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University is pleased to announce the launch of #OccupyArchive, an effort to collect, preserve, and share the stories and born-digital materials of Occupy Wall Street and the associated Occupy movements around the world. Visit the “Share” page to offer your reflections on the occupations, or contribute a document, an image, a video, or an audio recording.

Currently, the archive includes a growing set of collections of webpage screenshots, movement documents, and digital images. These collections were built with a combination of individual contributions and automated feed importing. Now, with the launch of the website, individuals can contribute and geolocate their stories and files from the movement. Together, these materials will provide an historical record of the 2011 Occupy protests.

The #OccupyArchive is a result of the efforts of volunteers from CHNM and the George Mason University History and Art History Department. It build upon the experiences and techniques developed in CHNM’s previous digital archive projects, such as the September 11th Digital Archive, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, the Bracero History Archive, and the Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800. #OccupyArchive is proudly powered with Omeka.

For more information on the #OccupyArchive, please contact us:

Come develop with the Omeka team!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is looking for a new contract developer to join our innovative, energetic, and hilarious team of developers. With guidance from our Lead Developer and Omeka Dev Team Manager, and in collaboration with other developers and members of CHNM, the new team member will work primarily on various aspects of our Omeka content management system. Duties may include helping to resolve issues, building new sites with Omeka, developing plugins and themes, and helping to design and implement future versions of the core Omeka codebase, as well as contributing to other ad-hoc projects within the CHNM ecosystem.

You can see the code at Some other CHNM projects are at


  • Proficiency in PHP and Javascript
  • Strong Object-Oriented programming skills
  • Familiarity with the MVC design pattern
  • Familiarity with Zend Framework
  • Excellent communication skills with others at all levels of programming skill, from “Hello World!” novice to seasoned guru
  • Ability to balance competing needs and priorities in designing code
  • Creativity in problem-solving, and openness to experimenting with unfamiliar approaches


  • Experience working on open source software projects
  • Familiarity with HTML5, CSS3, and graphic design principles
  • Experience with Amazon Web Services and other cloud services
  • Experience with PHPUnit testing framework
  • Background or experience in the Humanities

CHNM is the leading producer of open source tools for humanists and of award-winning history content on the Web (for example: Zotero, Omeka, and the Bracero History Archive). Each year CHNM’s many project Web sites receive over 16 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn and conduct research.

Our preference is for a freelance developer who can join us onsite at George Mason University, which is located 15 miles from Washington DC, and is accessible by public transportation.

Please send a resume and cover letter to ude.u1417036722mg.mn1417036722hc@sb1417036722oj1417036722. We will begin reviewing materials immediately and will close the position on November 15.

New Civil War Poster from

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

What can a quilt, a map, photographs, a haversack, and a receipt tell you about the past? Thanks to’s new FREE poster, “How Do You Piece Together the History of the Civil War?,” these objects can teach a lot about the Civil War and about how historians piece together the past.

Explore the interactive version with links to teaching materials and websites related to the Civil War. Topics include children’s voices during the Civil War, African American perspectives, women’s roles, Civil War era music, and emancipation, as well as military history and life on the battlefield.

Civil War Poster

Learn more on the blog.

Request your copy today.

Next Steps for September 11 Digital Archive

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Many of us still find it difficult to believe that ten years have passed since the September 11 attacks. Every person who lost a loved one or who lived through the aftermath of the events experienced something unique. It was in the wake of 9/11, we at CHNM together with our friends at the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center built the September 11 Digital Archive to preserve some of those responses to the traumatic events in the months and years that followed.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks, we at CHNM are directing our efforts towards preservation and are collecting once again.

We are re-opening the collecting portal and want to hear how your life has changed since September 11, 2001. By collecting reflections at this commemorative moment, we hope to further the life of the Archive as one that not only includes the most immediate reactions to the attacks, but also shows change over time as individuals reflect at different points in the post-9/11 world.

Simultaneously, a Saving America’s Treasures grant, jointly-administered by the National Park Service and National Endowment for the Humanities, will help pay for our preservation efforts as we transfer the aging collection to the Omeka platform, a more stable and standardized archival system. This is an essential step to making the contents of the Archive more accessible to scholars, students, policy makers, and the general public in the coming years.

Finally, we added a blog to the Archive to update you on our progress and detail some of the work required to transfer a large digital collection using one data model to another system with different one. We also plan to highlight some of the collections and items that have intrigued us as we sort through the Archive.

We invite you to share your reflections and follow our progress as we move forward with preserving the history of September 11.

Introducing PressForward

Friday, June 24th, 2011

For some time here at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media we have been thinking about the state of scholarly publishing, and its increasing disconnect with how we have come to communicate online. Among our concerns:

• A variety of scholarly work is flourishing online, ranging from long-form writing on blogs, to “gray literature” such as conference papers, to well-curated corpora or data sets, to entirely novel formats enabled by the web

• This scholarship is decentralized, thriving on personal and institutional sites, as well as the open web, but could use some way to receive attention from scholarly communities so works can receive credit and influence others

• The existing scholarly publishing infrastructure has been slow-moving in accounting for this growing and multifaceted realm of online scholarship

• Too much academic publishing remains inert—publication-as-broadcast rather than taking advantage of the web’s peer-to-peer interactivity

• Too much scholarship remains gated when it could be open

Legacy formats like the journal of course have considerable merit, and they are rightly valued: they act as critical, if sometimes imperfect, arbiters of the good and important. At the same time, the web has found ways to filter the abundance of online work, ranging from the tech world (Techmeme) to long-form posts (The Browser), which act as screening agents for those interested in an area of thought or practice.

What if we could combine the best of the scholarly review process with the best of open-web filters? What if we had a scholarly communication system that was digital first?

Today we’re announcing a new initiative to do just that: PressForward, generously supported by a $862,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation‘s Digital Information Technology program.

PressForward will bring together the best scholarship from across the web, producing vital, open publications scholarly communities can gather around. PressForward will:

Develop effective methods for collecting, screening, and drawing attention to the best online scholarship, including scholarly blogs, digital projects, and other web genres that don’t fit into traditional articles or books, as well as conference papers, white papers, and reports

Encourage the proliferation of open access scholarship through active new forms of publication, concentrating the attention of scholarly communities around high-quality, digital-first scholarship

Create a new platform that will make it simple for any organization or community of scholars to launch similar publications and give guidance to institutions, scholarly societies, and academic publishers who wish to supplement their current journals with online outlets

We hope you’ll join us making this new form of scholarly communication a reality. You may be a researcher in a field that is underserved by traditional outlets, because it is new, interdisciplinary, or involves non-textual media. Perhaps you have a digital project that can only be “published” if you describe it in an article. You may be an editor of a journal who would like to supplement standard articles with digital content from across the web, or a scholarly society that wants to find and feature online work. As PressForward evolves, we hope to serve all of these constituencies, as well as a broad audience currently locked out of gated scholarship.

Learn more about PressForward on our new site, or by sending us an email. You can also follow us on Twitter or via RSS.


Roy Rosenzweig Prize

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

The deadline for submitting digital history projects for the Roy Rosenzweig Prize is less than two weeks away. The Prize is 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.


The Prize will be awarded to a project that is either in its late stages of development or has been launched with in the past year but still in need of additional improvements. The prize recipient(s) will be expected to apply awarded funds toward the advancement of the project goals.

How to Apply:

The following must be submitted to *protected email* by May 16, 2011.

A 1-2 page narrative that includes:

  • A method of access to the project (e.g, website address, software download)
  • The institutions and individuals involved with the project
  • The project’s goals, functionality, intended audience, and significance
  • A short budget statement on how the funds will be used

Note: Projects may only be submitted once for the Rosenzweig Prize.


All submissions must be entered by May 16, 2011. Recipients of the Prize will be announced at the 2012 AHA Annual Meeting in San Diego.


For more details please visit:

Newly named Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

Monday, April 25th, 2011

On April 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm, donors, friends and staff gathered at the Research 1 building on George Mason University (GMU)campus to rename the Center for History and New Media in memory of its founder, Roy Rosenzweig.  Through the generous support of donors, more than a million dollars was raised to rename the Center.  Daniel Cohen, Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History & New Media, welcomed guests to the dedication ceremony.  Acknowledgments were given by: Jack Censer, Dean of the GMU College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Alan Merten, President of GMU; Gary Kornblith, Professor of History from Oberlin College; Stephen Brier, Senior Academic Technology Officer Professor, CUNY; Brian Platt, Chair of the History Dept., GMU.

In 1994 Roy Rosenzweig founded the Center for History and New Media at GMU to use 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.  Roy Rosenzweig passed away after a battle with cancer in 2007.

What time is it? THATCamp time!

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

All year has been THATCamp time, seems like, but we’re now talking about that THATCamp, which will take place
June 3-5, 2011.

We’ve instituted some changes this year:

  • THATCamp 2011 will be larger: we’re planning on having 125 people who do all kinds of work related to the humanities and technology;
  • THATCamp 2011 will be truly open to all: instead of having an application process, we’ll be accepting all registrations up to 125 people;
  • THATCamp 2011 will have a BootCamp: the unconference will happen as usual on the weekend over a day and a half, but the Friday beforehand will be devoted to a series of workshops dedicated to improving technical skills; and
  • THATCamp 2011 is planning on at least two virtual sessions in which we get to talk to campers at THATCamp Liberal Arts Colleges and to Jon Voss about the outcome of his Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit.

Remember, registration is first come, first served, so grab your spot today!

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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

Featured Project 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.