Hidden Histories of America’s Front Lawn

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: mobile.mallhistory.us 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.

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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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