Archive for the ‘News’ Category

A New Look, and Improved Access and Stability for the September 11 Digital Archive

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

On this the 13th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is proud to launch a newly upgraded and redesigned site for the September 11 Digital Archive (911DA). The new site boasts improved access to the archive’s collections and, more importantly, increased stability for the materials.

A National Park Services’ Saving America’s Treasures grant has made it possible to migrate the materials from their original digital repository to the most recent version of Omeka. The result is that the materials are significantly easier to navigate, browse, and search. Additionally, a range of video collections are available that were not being served previously. The site offers range of data feeds (RSS, ATOM, XML, JSON), and eventually we will be offering API access for researchers and developers who would like to explore the collections in new applications and interfaces.

For the past three years, Jim Safley has painstakingly engineered and executed the complex work of this data migration. As a veteran of the project, no one knows the collections the way that Jim does, and his careful attention to detail has assured the integrity of this data as it has made its journey from a labyrinthine hand-coded (more…)

Virginia Child Custody Project

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

ChildCustodyProjectThe Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the launch of the Virginia Child Custody Project. This freely available website explores child custody in Virginia and nationally within a broad historical and legal context with the goal of providing an impartial, interdisciplinary resource grounded in humanities scholarship.

With funding from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University, the website presents framing essays by leading scholars and practitioners on key issues in the complex field of child custody. Essays address topics such as the history of child custody in Virginia, the definition of family and child custody issues, child custody in the media, alternative dispute resolution, and the “best interests of the child” standard.

Authors include:

Doing Digital History in August

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

RRCHNM continued its summer of institutes in early August when 23 mid-career American historians arrived in Northern Virginia for “Doing Digital History.” Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities, the institute began on August 4 and ran for two weeks. Few of the participants expected to keep up with the workload of the intensive curriculum, but everyone left with new skills, new understandings of digital methodologies, and a new appreciation for the work required to build and sustain successful digital humanities projects.


The “Doing Digital History” Cohort (Photo courtesy of Karen Kossie-Chernyshev)

Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon led the group through a course designed to introduce historians, already established in their subject areas, to digital humanities scholarship, methods, and tools relevant to their own research and teaching in American history. Readings and discussions were coupled with demonstrations and hands-on work. Our participants created their own web domain, installed WordPress, and started blogging on Day 1. Megan Brett, Stephanie Grimes, Celeste Sharpe, and Spencer Roberts assisted throughout the institute by leading tutorials and supporting the participants. For example, Roberts created the “Historian’s Spreadsheet,” a guide to using simple functions in Excel for tidying data that was then widely (more…)

Art Historians, Rebuilding their Portfolios

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

RRCNHM hosted an enthusiastic group of 22 art historians, librarians, and museum professionals for “Rebuilding the Portfolio,” a digital art history institute sponsored by the Getty Foundation. The self-identified novice participants began the institute on July 8, 2014 nervous and worried about the workload, but emerged two weeks later as confident, digital ambassadors.

During the institute, nicknamed “bootcamp” by some of the participants, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon led the cohort through an intense course designed to introduce art historians to digital humanities scholarship, methods, and tools, while also directly connecting with their own work in art history. Readings and discussions were coupled with demonstrations and hands-on work. Megan Brett, Stephanie Grimes, Celeste Sharpe, and Spencer Roberts drew on their own digital work as graduate students in the history and art history program by leading demonstrations and supporting the participants in countless ways.


Rebuilding the Portfolio cohort, annotated in ThingLink by participant, Gina Tarver

Each participant registered a new web domain of their own; installed Zotero, WordPress, and Omeka; and learned to annotate, plot maps, tidy data, and visualize that data in different forms. Personal reflections of Rebuilding the Portfolio participants were aggregated and are available on the course site, with help of (more…)

Inside Higher Ed Blog Post on Online Education

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media graduate research assistants, Nate Sleeter and Celeste Sharpe, and education division director Kelly Schrum will collaborate on a series of blog posts for Inside Higher Ed on the possibilities for student-centered online learning in the humanities. Drawing on experiences from RRCHNM-developed online courses for teachers including Hidden in Plain Sight http://edchnm.gmu.edu/hidden/, the series of three posts will explore the possibilities of online courses in the humanities.

As the authors write: “We will share lessons learned about what online learning environments can offer students. Thinking beyond the MOOC-related hype, what opportunities exist in online education? Does online education push us to rethink and re-envision our approach to teaching and learning? How do we take advantage of online classes for teaching history?”

Given that these courses are increasingly offered by universities as options for students whose schedules might not permit weekly attendance in a traditional course the authors believe it is vitally important to move beyond notions like “flipping the classroom” and the often acrimonious debate over MOOCs to serious discussions over online pedagogy in the humanities. Read the first post of the series here: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-beta/beyond-flipping-classrooms.

Come work with us! RRCHNM is hiring a Linux Systems Administrator

Friday, June 13th, 2014

RRCHNM is seeking a full-time Systems Administrator to maintain and grow the technical infrastructure of the center that includes 23 servers and a complex set of networked connections, storage, databases, software, programming languages, and operating systems. The Systems Administrator must also be able to support dozens of computers used by the center’s staff, and ensure the security and uptime of a major technical operation. Details can be found here.

Announcing the PressForward Plugin

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM), the team that brought you Zotero and Omeka, announces the release of its newest open source digital tool, the PressForward Plugin. A tool for aggregating, curating and publishing content from the web, PressForward integrates an RSS / Atom feed reader and editorial workflow directly into the WordPress dashboard. By innovating the use of both web feeds and the WordPress dashboard, PressForward will change the way individuals and online communities collect, discuss, and share open access content they discover on the web.

Available for download from WordPress.org or installation via your site’s Plugins menu, PressForward facilitates collecting content published elsewhere on the web, discussing it with collaborators, and formatting and publishing that content without ever leaving the WordPress dashboard. Through its streamlined editorial process, PressForward increases the capacity for individuals and communities to create sustainable, curated publications and develop engaged audiences for their work.

PressForward improves upon existing feed reader applications by providing a flexible and integrated editorial interface. With PressForward, web feeds bring content directly to your dashboard, where you can review an item, mark it for further consideration, and publish it for others to read. For those who want to share individual works as (more…)

Congratulations Celeste Sharpe!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Department of History and Art History at George Mason University has named Celeste Sharpe as the inaugural recipient of the Joseph and Dorothy Censer Fellowship. The fellowship was established by Drs. Jack and Jane Censer, longtime faculty members in the department, to recognize an outstanding graduate student who has made valuable contributions to the work of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

Ms. Sharpe is a third-year Ph.D. student specializing in twentieth-century U.S. cultural history. Her dissertation, which will include a digital component, is titled “They Need You!: Disability, Visual Culture, and the Poster Child, 1945-1980.” She has worked at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media as a graduate research assistant and has contributed to several projects, including the website for the Society for the History of Children and Youth and the online courses Hidden in Plain Sight and Virginia Studies.

When informed that Ms. Sharpe had been named as the recipient, Jack Censer remarked, “Believing deeply in higher education and in history, the late Joseph and Dorothy Censer would be elated to know that they are assisting a young historian in studying and producing history in the intellectually sophisticated environment of the Roy Rosenzweig Center (more…)

Register now for the RRCHNM 20th Anniversary Conference

Monday, April 28th, 2014

You can now register for the RRCHNM 20th Anniversary Conference at http://chnm.gmu.edu/20th/

The conference is a free two-day event on November 14 and 15, 2014, at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, that combines collaborative work, presentations and discussions, and unconference sessions.

The first day will be spent hacking the history of RRCHNM, working collectively to tell the story of how projects were created and what they tell us about digital history’s past.

The second day will feature short talks by invited guests, each followed by extended discussion, and unconference­-style breakout sessions. Edward Ayers, Brett Bobley, and Bethany Nowviskie will share their thoughts on the future of digital humanities centers, while Tim Hitchcock, William Thomas, Kathryn Tomasek and a collective of GMU graduate students will offer visions of the future of digital history.

Please register to reserve your spot at the RRCHNM 20th

Introducing the Proceedings of THATCamp!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

THATCamp, The Humanities and Technology Camp, is an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels meet to learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot: it is a well-known and popular global unconference. The Proceedings of THATCamp is a wholly automatic collection of and portal to blog posts from around the THATCamp website network.

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Because each THATCamp is organized independently and has an individual site on the THATCamp network, the Proceedings offers an easy way to view all the activity happening at THATCamps around the world. Posts are viewable by date, by topic, or by how often they have been “favorited” by THATCamp participants across the network. Tweets and pictures from the Flickr User Group also are aggregated in the Proceedings.

The launch of the Proceedings features the most favorited posts since April 2008. The time will be updated periodically, to feature the most favorited posts in the last quarter or trimester.

The Proceedings utilizes the features of both WordPress Multisite and a customized version of BuddyPress on the THATCamp.org site. Aggregation for the Proceedings is made possible by the WordPress MU Sitewide Tags plugin, the FeedWordPress plugin, and a custom plugin that relies on BuddyPress’s favoriting (more…)

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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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