Archive for 2012

Summer Intern — Web Developer

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University is seeking a creative, energetic, and well-organized student for a 2012 summer internship (8 to 12 weeks) at a leading digital humanities center. Strong grades and ability to work in a team are essential. Preference given to applicants with a working knowledge of one or more of the following: PHP, MySQL, WordPress, JavaScript, or Drupal. Please send resume and cover letter to *protected email*. This will be a paid internship. We will begin considering applications on 5/25/2012.

About CHNM: Since 1994, CHNM has used digital media and technology to preserve and present history online, transform scholarship across the humanities, and advance historical education and understanding. Each year CHNM’s projects receive over 20 million visitors.

CHNM partners with NCPH on new History@Work site

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce a new partnership with the National Council on Public History (NCPH) to develop and host the organization’s new “History@Work” website at History@Work is a group blog designed to expand on the long-running work of H-Public, to serve as an online “commons” where people from a variety of areas of the public history field could share ideas and news, and to create a bridge to future digital and other publication efforts. Like the field of public history itself, the blog is designed to blend scholarly, professional, and civic discourse arising from the practice of presenting history in public. Several members of the CHNM staff will be in attendance at this week’s NCPH annual meeting and available to discuss the new website and CHNM’s many other public history efforts.

History@Work aims to cover as wide a range of perspectives and venues in public history as possible, including:

  • Annual Conference: serves as the central conference blog during our annual spring conference
  • Consulting in Public History: news and discussion of interest to those working as consultants in the field
  • Exhibits & Projects: announcements of new public history projects, plus critical reviews of conventional and unconventional exhibitry in our “Off the Wall” section
  • Grad Students/New Professionals: issues of particular interest to those who are training to be public historians or who have just entered the field
  • In the Academy: issues of interest to those who teach in public history programs and/or others in the academy whose work relates to public history
  • International Perspectives: cross-cultural or comparative discussions of public history practice around the world; transnational dimensions of the field
  • NCPH: a space for news and updates relating to the National Council on Public History
  • Social/Environmental Issues: pulls together postings on the wide range of public history questions that touch on social justice and the environment

History@Work is also an experiment in new modes of scholarly communication, in keeping with the goals of CHNM’s PressForward project. History@Work is “lightly peer-edited”—that is, volunteer editorial teams with interests in specific sub-topics in public history invite and recruit postings, which may then be edited and revised for relevance and focus.

With its commitment to using digital technologies to foster new kinds of scholarship and with its strong roots in public history, CHNM is delighted to be a part of NCPH’s latest foray into the digital realm.

Hidden Histories of America’s Front Lawn

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce that it has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Public Programs over three years to create a mobile-optimized website that provides visitors to the National Mall with access to a rigorous interpretation of the history and culture of the space as a place where national identity is built, negotiated, celebrated, protested, and remembered.

Using geospatial and thematic points of entry, Hidden Histories of America’s Front Lawn: intends to make visible the rich past of the National Mall for its millions of on-site visitors through a website easily accessible by mobile phones that provides content and interpretation far superior to static guidebooks and existing mobile tours and applications.

Each year, over 25,000,000 people come to the National Mall. Many of those visitors—-parents with school-aged children, students and teachers, senior citizens, travelers from other nations—-make their visit to the green expanses wandering between the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol prepared to learn about the nation’s past and the many people and events commemorated within that space. Unfortunately, they are unlikely to find much in the way of interpretive content as they wander from monument to museum. If they do find content, it is basic visitor information, not stories that bring to life the hidden history of this public place. Hidden Histories will offer these visitors a portable way to explore the Mall’s rich history while they experience the physical space.

Matthew Battles set to Visit the Center

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Matthew Battles, author of the book Library: An Unquiet History, and Producer + Editor for Digital Humanities Projects for metaLAB at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, will be coming to visit on 4/18 at 3pm in the Science Showcase (Research Hall 101 in the tower). Matthew will talk about various new-model publishing projects he’s involved with and will give a reading from his new collection of short stories, The Sovereignties of Invention, a work released by new-model publisher Red Lemonade.

See and for more information about those projects. Should be a great event for anyone interested in experiments with publishing and technology.

RRCHNM Shapes WebWise 2012

Friday, March 16th, 2012

WebWise 2012 was not your average professional conference with a StarTrek actor and a punk rocker in the lineup as keynote speakers. The attendees of WebWise 2012, a conference sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for their grantees and other library, archives, and museum professionals, were inspired by LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek, & Reading Rainbow) and were impressed with musician Ian MacKaye’s work to self publish a digital archive of concerts recorded for his band Fugazi.

Sheila Brennan, Sharon Leon, and Tom Scheinfeldt of RRCHNM co-organized the conference with fellow IMLS cooperators, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC). They planned an intense and invigorating 3-day program that included a THATCamp-like unconference, workshop sessions on 21st Century Skills and gaming, five plenary panels, and four keynote speakers.

Following the theme of “Tradition and Innovation,” Sharon, Sheila, and Tom worked to integrate the unique contributions of history museums, public libraries, and other local organizations into panels throughout WebWise 2012.

Sharon summarized the highlights of the conference on the ProfHacker blog, published by the Chronicle for Higher Education.

Don’t be too disappointed if you missed WebWise, because IMLS recorded each session and the webcasts are now available for viewing.

RRCHNM and BPOC will be working with IMLS again next year to plan WebWise 2013.

The Chronicle features 12 Tech Innovators

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Dan Cohen, the director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and
New Media was featured as one of the 12 Tech Innovators in the
Chronicle of Higher Ed this week. At a university where “Innovation is
Tradition” Dr. Cohen seeks to “find new ways to do humanities research
using digital tools, and give even non-techy scholars the ability to
use them.” The article goes back to the center’s humble beginnings
when Dr. Cohen first began to dive into the world of digital
humanities. It also discusses the need to bring history to life using
effective digital tools. In a recent project, Dr. Cohen along side
colleague Dr. Fred Gibbs “examined whether one scholar’s famous
assertions about Victorian thought, made on the basis of close reading
of classic literature, held up against an analysis of Google’s
collection of over million Victorian books.” To read the full article
and the see the other 11 innovators please visit

Digital History Games at the AHA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

History games were on the agenda at the American Historical Association conference in January. Led by CHNM’s Director of Educational Projects Kelly Schrum, the session, entitled “Playing the Past: Learning Through Digital History Games” was another step in the increased presence of digital history at this year’s conference.

The session featured a knowledgeable panel that included Dan Norton, founding partner and Creative Director of Filament Games (a Madison, WI, company that designs learning-based games); Jeremiah McCall, a high school history teacher at Cincinnati Country Day School and author of the book Gaming the Past: Using Video Games to Teach Secondary History and blog by the same name; and Leah Potter, Media Producer at the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at CUNY.

The panel explored the use of games to teach and learn history, discussing how games can teach subject matter as well as critical thinking and analysis. The panelists talked about the ways in which games could be valuable tools for engaging students through simulated time travel and role playing, presenting historical concepts and scenarios, and showing the varied outcomes that historical events can have.

Games also have limitations and in addition to playing games, students and teachers can and should analyze them when used in the classroom. Panelists made the point that games may not be the best platform for showing the breath of history, for example, or for teaching about specific events.

To illustrate their point, the panel looked at several games, including Mission US, a web-based game that features free, interactive adventures set in different eras of U.S. History. The group explored Flight to Freedom that simulates the experience of a runaway slave with decisions and consequences for each action. Other games discussed included Do I Have A Right? and several simulation games.

The panel provided new information about the use of games in the teaching of history, as well as a hands-on exploration of several games. Participants actively engaged in the conversation about the usefulness and limitations of games in the classroom and beyond.

Digital Humanities Workshop at the AHA

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

From the unusual room set up to the cutting edge content, the morning session at the American Historical Association conference entitled “Digital Humanities: A Hands-On Workshop” was a unique opportunity for attendees to explore how new technology can enhance the study of history.

Dan Cohen Digital Humanities Workshop

Designed as a digital poster session and facilitated by Director of Educational Projects Kelly Schrum, participants were able (and encouraged) to wander through the room and interact with presenters. The large crowd did just that, and were treated to a plethora of new information and ideas about how to use technology in both their scholarly work and their teaching. In addition to academics, the session also attracted teachers, museum administrators, archivists, and other history-related professionals.

The attendees were treated to presentations from several CHNM staff members and affiliated scholars. CHNM Director Dan Cohen presented on the state of scholarly publishing and how new digital methods and venues might alter that landscape. In particular, Cohen discussed PressForward, an effort to aggregate the best scholarship from blogs, institutional sites, and other outlets. Fred Gibbs, Director of Digital Scholarship, spoke about text mining by dispelling myths and soothing fears about its complexity, showing simple but powerful tools for searching and reformatting data for historical research. Patrick Murray-John, Assistant Research Professor, discussed content management systems, including Omeka, and provided tips on building online research projects.

On the teaching front, Jennifer Rosenfeld, Outreach Director for, and Research Associate Debra Kathman, demonstrated history education features and resources designed to enhance teaching at all levels. Research Associate Rwany Sibaja discussed digital storytelling, explaining how to incorporate online tools into teaching and student projects.

Jeffrey McClurken CHNM Digital Humanities Workshop

Jeffrey McClurken from the University of Mary Washington presented tools for teaching with social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the benefits of blogging as a class assignment.

Additional information:

Dan Cohen, Digital Storytelling
Fred Gibbs, Text Mining
Patrick Murry-John, Content Management Systems
Jennifer Rosenfeld,
Rwany Sibaja, Digital Storytelling
Jeff McClurken, Teaching with Social Media

Archives by Year:


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.