Posts Tagged ‘NEH’

One Week, One Tool: A Digital Humanities Barn Raising

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

We are very happy to report that CHNM has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under its Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities program to do for the summer scholarly institute what THATCamp is doing for the scholarly conference. Under the banner of “better, faster, lighter”—as well as more pragmatic, more collaborative, and more fun—CHNM will host a diverse group of twelve digital humanists for a busy week of tool-building in Summer 2010. Welcome to One Week, One Tool, a digital humanities barn raising.

With a decade of successful digital tool-building experience under its belt, we at CHNM have come to the conclusion that effective digital tools are forged mostly in practice rather than theory. Although inspirational ideas and disciplinary training are necessary, the creative process succeeds or fails due to pragmatic, often hidden or ignored fundamentals such as good user interface design, thorough code commenting and documentation, community engagement, dissemination and “marketing,” and effective project management. We may have a vision for an ideal end product, but frequently a tool is made or broken in seemingly more mundane aspects of software development.

Too often these practical aspects get lost in our conferences and workshops, only to be encountered by inexperienced tool builders at later stages of development and release. We thus believe a useful digital humanities institute should involve a great deal of doing in addition to basic instruction. There is no reason that a week long institute can’t both teach and produce something useful to the community—an actual digital humanities tool—while also laying the foundation and skills for future endeavors by the participants. Indeed, the act of doing, of building the tool, should be the best way for participants to learn what digital humanities really is and how it really happens.

We therefore propose a unique kind of institute: One Week, One Tool will teach participants how to build a digital tool for humanities scholarship by actually building a tool, from inception to launch, in a week—a digital humanities barn raising.

One Week, One Tool won’t be for the faint of heart. For one week in June 2010, from early mornings to late nights, we will bring together a group of twelve digital humanists of diverse disciplinary backgrounds and practical experience to build something useful and useable. A short course of training in principles of open source software development will be followed by an intense five days of doing and a year of continued community engagement, development, testing, dissemination, and evaluation. Comprising designers and programmers as well as project managers and outreach specialists, the group will conceive a tool, outline a roadmap, develop and disseminate a modest prototype, lay the ground work for building an open source community, and make first steps toward securing the project’s long-term sustainability.

One Week, One Tool is inspired by both longstanding and cutting edge models of rapid community development. For centuries rural communities throughout the United States have come together for “barn raisings” when one of their number required the diverse set of skills and enormous effort required to build a barn—skills and effort no one member of the community alone could possess. In recent years, Internet entrepreneurs have likewise joined forces for crash “startup” or “blitz weekends” that bring diverse groups of developers, designers, marketers, and financiers together to launch a new technology company in the span of just two days. One Week, One Tool will build on these old and new traditions of community development and the natural collaborative strengths of the digital humanities community to produce something useful for digital humanities work and to help reset the balance between learning and doing in digital humanities training.

Are you ready to rumble?

Help the Center for History and New Media Innovate – Updated!

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (http://chnm.gmu.edu) is celebrating fifteen years of providing high-quality, free educational resources and tools to an audience that grows exponentially each year. Last year, sixteen million people visited CHNM’s websites and over two million people used our software.

The historians and technologists at CHNM feel lucky to serve this vast audience, but although all of our tools and resources are free, they are not without cost. With your help we hope to continue our service and innovation for another fifteen years and beyond. The National Endowment for the Humanities has given CHNM a rare challenge grant, which will match donations to CHNM’s endowment for a limited time.

Whether you use CHNM’s popular Zotero software for your research, get your daily fix from the History News Network, learn from award-winning sites such as Historical Thinking Matters and Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives, or scan through unique digital archives such as the Papers of the War Department, we hope you will make a contribution today. Your tax-deductible gift will help us to reach even more students, teachers, and scholars worldwide.

To make your donation right now, please visit:

http://chnm.gmu.edu/donate/

From all of us at the Center for History and New Media, we thank you in advance for helping us, as our motto says, “Build a Better Yesterday, Bit by Bit.”

UPDATE: An anonymous donor has stepped forward who will match the NEH’s match for the month of June, up to $15,000. So now is a terrific time to contribute and stretch your donation even further!

Children and Youth in History Site Launches

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, together with the University of Missouri–Kansas City, is pleased to announce the launch of a new website focusing on notions of childhood and the experiences of children and youth throughout history and around the world.

The site, Children and Youth in History (http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh), offers history instructors and students access to hundreds of primary sources and a variety of resources for teachers at both the high school and college level.

As with all CHNM projects, the resources contained in Children and Youth in History are and will remain free and open access.

Funding for Children and Youth in History was made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Making the History of 1989 Site Launches

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University is pleased to announce the launch of a new website on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.

The site, Making the History of 1989 (http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/), offers students, teachers, and scholars access to hundreds of primary sources on or related to the events of 1989 and the end of the Cold War in Europe, interviews with prominent historians, and a series of resources for teachers at both the high school and college level.

As with all resources created by our Center, all the resources contained in Making the History of 1989 are and will remain free and open access.

This project has been made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the German Historical Institute (Washington, D.C.).

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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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Teachinghistory.org 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.