Archive for 2013 Wins 2013 AASLH Award of Merit

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 is honored to receive an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).

AASLHThe AASLH Leadership in History Award, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. is a free online resource for K-12 teachers that has been called “a ‘non-negotiable’ — a tool so valuable no history teacher should try teaching without it” (History Tech Blog). Originally funded by a 2007 U.S. Department of Education contract, the website welcomes over 1.7 million visitors annually from all 50 states and more than 150 countries. While the majority of users are K-12 teachers, the site is also a favorite of librarians, social studies methods instructors, homeschoolers, and public historians.

Presentation of the awards will be made during the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 20.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and
local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena.

Post-Doc Opportunity with PressForward

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The PressForward project at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) now invites applications for a one-year position (with the possibility of renewal) at the rank of Research Assistant Professor. The successful candidate will work with the project directors to manage the publication of Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities, as well as to perform project outreach and to experiment with new forms of open-access digital publishing.

A Ph.D. in history or a closely related field is required. The ideal candidate will also possess some or all of the following qualities:

  • Experience in digital humanities, digital libraries, or digital publishing;
  • Strong technical background in new technology and new media, especially web publishing;
  • Familiarity with scholarly communication or publication;
  • Experience teaching digital tools and leading workshops;
  • Project management, administrative and/or organizational experience; and
  • Experience with fostering and sustaining scholarly communities.

Applications must be submitted via the George Mason University employment site (position number F8860z) by July 12, and the successful candidate is expected to begin work by September 1, 2013. Please direct all questions regarding the position to *protected email*.

RRCHNM Announces Stephen Robertson As Its New Director

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University is delighted to announce that Stephen Robertson will become the new director of the center. Robertson joins RRCHNM and Mason from the History Department at the University of Sydney, where he has been since 2000.

Prior to the University of Sydney, Robertson completed his PhD at Rutgers University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago (1997-98). He also taught for a semester at Massey University in New Zealand. Stephen has won a number of teaching awards, including a Carrick Australian Award for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in 2006 and a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008. At Sydney, he also served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Matters, and coordinator of the American Studies Program.

Robertson is well known in digital history for his work on Digital Harlem, which he created with his collaborators in the Black Metropolis project. Digital Harlem won the American Historical Association’s Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History and the ABC-CLIO Online History Award of the American Library Association in 2010. Robertson’s personal history with George Mason University and Roy Rosenzweig go further back: from 1998-99, he was the JNG Finley Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History and Art History at Mason.

“It is wonderful to be able to pass the baton to Stephen, who shares with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media a profound interest in the democratization of history through digital media and technology, and whose scholarship and digital work aligns so well with that vision,” said Dan Cohen, the outgoing director of RRCHNM. Department Chair Brian Platt added, “Stephen brings an impressive set of strengths to this position. He is perfectly suited to work with the staff at the center to push it in new directions while remaining true to its founding principles and goals.”

“My introduction to digital history came during my fellowship at George Mason and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to return and help the Center continue to pursue the vision, so powerfully elaborated by Roy and Dan, of working with educators, libraries and museums, and scholars to develop new ways to preserve and present history online, to reach broad audiences, and to encourage popular participation in efforts to understand the past,” Robertson said.

Stephen Robertson will join the center and the department in July.

Wikimédia France Research Award 2013

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The first winner of the Wikimedia France Research Award is…

Can history be open source ? Wikipedia and the future of the past by Roy Rosenzweig, published in The Journal of American History in 2006.

This choice was made from thirty scientific publications on Wikimedia projects and free knowledge, directly submitted by the Wikimedia community. Among these publications, a jury of researchers working on these topics selected 5 finalists. Each Wikimedian, along with the jury members, was encouraged to give their opinion and vote among these five finalists to determine the most relevant.

Jury members and wikimedians for this publication described Roy’s article as  a “very stimulating read” and Roy as ” a pioneer in digital history, incorporating new digital media and technology with history to explore new possibilities to reach a larger and diverse public audience.”, with significant impact in the field of digital history, almost 160 citations in other scientific publications, according to Google Scholar.

You can view the full publication here :
and the dedicated website :

Wikimédia France has decided to award the price of € 2,500 to the Center for History and New Media, founded in 1994 by Roy Rosenzweig.

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is honored to receive the award on behalf of Roy Rosenzweig.

THATCamp CHNM 2013

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

The Humanities and Technology Camp is a free, open unconference where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot. Since its founding at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in 2008, more than 105 THATCamps have been held in places all around the world, helping more than 6000 students, scholars, and professionals improve their skills in the digital humanities while meeting terrific, smart people from all kinds of fields and professions.

The sixth annual THATCamp CHNM will take place June 7-8, 2013 at the Roy Center for History and New Media in Fairfax, VA. Spots are still available, and the whole event is free. At an unconference, the program is mostly created on the first day by the participants themselves, but pre-scheduled events include a Wikipedia “editathon” where participants edit Wikipedia, a manuscript “transcribathon” where participants transcribe and tag digital historical documents, and workshops on topics such as how to use JSTOR Data for Research to analyze a massive archive of scholarly journal articles. A “Maker Challenge” will offer THATCamp CHNM participants prizes such as an iPad Mini for any original project begun that weekend.

Register now while space is still available. Everyone is welcome, and THATCamp is notoriously fun, productive, and collegial.

Popular Romance Project Receives NEH Funding

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce that the Popular Romance Project has received an America’s Media Makers Production Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Public Programs.

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 1.32.36 PM

This collaborative, multimedia, cross-platform project—including a documentary film, a symposium, and a national library program—is designed to explore popular romance broadly, examining change over time in the content, art, business, and reception of romance novels. Taking love and its stories seriously, wherever they may be found, the Popular Romance Project will spark a lively, thoughtful conversation between fans, authors, scholars, and the general public about the writing, production, and consumption of popular romance, including its history and transformation in the digital age.

The project blog, launched in February 2012, receives more than 125,000 visitors and 500,000 page views annually from across the U.S. and from more than 140 countries. The blog features video interviews and essays by scholars, authors, readers, librarians, and industry insiders. With this funding, we will develop an expanded website—including hundreds of new video interviews and blog posts, games that explore branding and marketing, and archival materials—as well as a mobile version.

The project aims to bring relevant scholarship from a wide range of disciplines, including English, history, popular culture, folklore, digital humanities, communication, media studies, business, marketing, psychology, anthropology, and sociology to a mass audience in an engaging, accessible way and to bring new audiences into the conversation about the nature of love, romance, and their expression in novels and popular culture more broadly.

medieval romance

In partnership with filmmaker Laurie Kahn (Blueberry Hill Productions), the Library of Congress Center for the Book, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, the project has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mass Humanities, Romance Writers of America, and the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University as well as donations from individuals around the world. Learn more.

Another Successful WebWise Conference

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Once again this year, RRCHNM collaborated with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to plan and produce the agency’s signature WebWise conference,, held March 6-8, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Due to the Center’s experience with unconference formats, RRCHNM’s WebWise team— Sheila Brennan, Sharon Leon, Lisa Rhody, and Tom Scheinfeldt— was asked to reorient WebWise toward a more participatory format, one that allowed conference participants more opportunities to ask questions, to engage with potential collaborators, to learn new skills, and to develop more fully early-stage project ideas.

To meet the challenge, WebWise2013 modeled in its format the conference’s theme: “Putting the Learner at the Center” by engaging conference participants at every planning stage. The WebWise 2013 committee eliminated traditional plenary sessions in favor of more workshops; expanded upon the exchange of new ideas through project demonstrations; and facilitated working groups where participants could develop new collaborations and initiatives, and revise existing ones. To bring the conference theme full circle, RRCHNM recruited keynote speaker Audrey Watters, who asked the crowd: “Whose learning is it anyway?”

The more hands-on format of WebWise 2013 is most evident in the number of opportunities this year’s participants had to learn a new skill, to connect with other IMLS grantees, to share their ongoing work, and to receive feedback and constructive comments on new project ideas. For example, WebWise offered:

  • 10 workshops (one was canceled due to storm-related travel) covering topics that participants identified as most desirable. Through online social idea polling, the WebWise committee ascertained topics that conference goers felt were most desirable, and recruited leaders for workshops on topics such as: designing maker spaces, STEM in video game design, engaging visitors with social project evaluation, project management, and digital preservation.
  • 9 project demonstrations that offered more time for questions and answers. Converting the project demonstrations from short, coffee break presentations to longer sessions afforded participants more opportunities to listen, to ask questions, and to learn from the challenges and successes from current and exemplary IMLS-funded projects.
  • 25 lunchtime lightning talks offered attendees time to present their projects to new audiences. By signing up in advance and by submitting three slides for a three-minute presentation, participants were able to spread the news of their project’s successes, challenges, and innovations.
  • 26 project incubator working groups, facilitated by leaders from libraries, museums, and historical societies. Sharing their experience developing and implementing projects, the incubation group facilitators guided conference participants through the process of developing an emerging project idea into an actionable project plan, which could later be shared with the rest of the conference’s participants.

Building on the WebWise 2013 theme, Friday’s keynote speaker, Hack Education’s Audrey Watters, asked participants to think carefully about who controls data that is collected about our daily activity and how institutions collect and store education-related data. Watters insists that if students truly are at the “center” of today’s learning, they should also be the primary curators of their own learning data. As more education technologies are built that capture and store and analyze learners’ data, Watters asks, how do we preserve that data in such a way that it is not simply extracted from the learner or from the community, trapped in a technological silo, and mined simply for corporate profit. How do we keep the learner at the center of his or her own learning?

If you missed her talk, you may read Ms. Watters’s notes and slides.

WebWise2013 may have ended, but the conference’s web site, will extend the learning beyond Baltimore. In the coming weeks, we will post project incubator materials, audio recordings of the small group reporting, photographs from the conference, while also seeking detailed feedback about this year’s conference. We will analyze all of that data, and use it to plan for next year.

Catch up on #WebWise in Tweets:

Director Call for Applications Now Open

Monday, March 11th, 2013

The official job ad for our new director is now up on our university’s HR site. Please encourage great people to apply!

George Mason University invites applications for the Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) is approaching its 20th anniversary as a leading digital humanities institution that seeks to democratize access to history, educate using digital media and technology, and transform research methods for 21st century.

The Director’s responsibilities include: providing an overall vision of innovation for RRCHNM; articulating this vision to multiple audiences; raising substantial project funds and for RRCHNM’s endowment; handling administrative duties related to budgeting and personnel; and launching major new initiatives. The Director will work closely with RRCHNM senior staff in three divisions: Education, Public Projects, and Research.

Candidates should have a strong record of digital innovation, managerial experience, and grant-getting. It is expected that this hire will be made at the senior-level (i.e., full or advanced associate). This position will start in the fall of 2013.

George Mason University is a public research university located approximately 14 miles from Washington, D.C., with over 30,000 students. Global education and research are a fundamental part of the university’s mission to serve its diverse and international student body. RRCHNM is part of the Department of History and Art History, which has the largest M.A. program in the country and a nationally ranked Ph.D. program.

Dan Cohen Selected as Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

For over twelve years, with the last five as director, Dan Cohen has offered the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) the benefit of his vision, strong leadership, and dedication. Now Dan will be departing to bring his energy and creativity to the Digital Public Library of America. Congratulations, Dan!

George Mason University’s Department of History and Art History and RRCHNM are preparing to launch a comprehensive search to fill Dan’s position, and we will post the job ad here shortly.

As always, the work of RRCHNM continues under the guidance of its senior directors and drawing on the rich experience of the staff who have sustained its innovation for nearly twenty years. We look forward to advancing our mission to use technology to preserve and present history digitally, transform scholarship across the humanities, and improve historical education and understanding.

There are many exciting ventures to come, and we are eager to share them with the digital humanities communities, as well as to continue our collaborations with Dan even if it’s across institutions!



Online U.S. History Course: Hidden in Plain Sight (Sp 2013)

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University is pleased to announce Hidden in Plain Sight, an online U.S. history course created for teachers with funding from the Virginia Department of Education. This Spring 2013 course may be taken for recertification points or for graduate credit.

45 Recertification Points
Participants work through eight modules. In each module, requirements include writing a hypothesis, exploring historical context, completing a quiz, and reflecting on classroom applications. The cost is $40. Register by January 16, 2013.

3 Graduate Credits
For graduate credit, teachers participate in a related course with eight modules. In each module, requirements include writing a hypothesis, exploring historical context, reading scholarly articles, completing a quiz, and reflecting on classroom applications. Participants will design and produce a lesson on the hidden history of a historical object as the final project. The cost is $800 for Virginia residents ($875 out-of-state). Pre-register by January 16, 2013.

Visit the course website for more information.

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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.