Histories of the National Mall Wins Outstanding Public History Award

The National Council on Public History selected Histories of the National Mall as the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Public History Award. The award is presented each year for work that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice.

The selection committee commended Histories for its clean design, and concluded “the site stands as an excellent destination for anyone interested in our nation’s Front Yard and as an outstanding example of how public historians can harness mobile technology to forge place-based historical connections.”

map_sliceHistories  is a place-based public history mobile website developed by RRCHNM with support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Designed primarily for tourists in Washington, DC,  mallhistory.org reveals that the National Mall has a history of its own that is invisible when walking along its paths and lawns.  There are four different entry points– place-based, thematic, chronological, and biographical–allowing users to connect the physical space and its development, together with the social, cultural, and political events that have transpired there.

The project’s co-directors, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon will accept the award at the NCPH conference in April on behalf of the Center and the project team. Read about all of the NCPH award winners and their achievements. (PDF)

The Histories project is successful because of the exemplary contributions from an enthusiastic team of faculty, staff, and graduate students who have been collaborating since 2012.

  • Co-Director (PI): Sharon M. Leon
  • Co-Director: Sheila A. Brennan
  • Project Manager: Megan Brett (2013-present)
  • Project Manager: Lee Ann Ghajar (2012-13)
  • Project Associates: Janelle Legg (2014-present), Anne McDivett (2014), Spencer Roberts (2014), Lindsey Bestebreurtje (2012-14), Megan Brett (2012-13), James Halabuk (2012-13)
  • Software Developer: Jim Safley
  • Web Design: Kim Nguyen
  • Advisers, GMU History Department: Spencer Crew, Michael O’Malley, Zachary Schrag

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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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