Archive for 2010

Special Campaign to name CHNM after Roy Rosenzweig

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Many of those who follow the work of the Center for History and New Media know that we are in the middle of a special fundraising campaign in which the National Endowment for the Humanities will match donations to the CHNM endowment. Some of you have already given to this campaign, and we are tremendously grateful for your generosity. The endowment helps us to sustain dozens of educational, archival, and software projects, all of which have been and will be freely available to the millions of people who take advantage of them every year.

The NEH challenge grant is now entering the home stretch, and we have decided to do something very special with the remaining effort: raise enough funds to name the Center for History and New Media after Roy Rosenzweig, the founding director of CHNM, who tragically passed away in 2007.

Roy was—and remains—the animating spirit of CHNM. (Learn more about Roy.) We can’t tell you how important Roy is any better than Julie Meloni, who spent a week at the Center working on a new project:

The reason CHNM is uniquely positioned as instigator (more…)

Free Historical Thinking Poster from

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Are you looking for ways to promote thoughtful, critical reading of primary and secondary sources? now offers a free Historical Thinking poster to help you out!

This double-sided, color poster features definitions of primary and secondary sources and guides students through the process of historical inquiry. What questions should you ask when examining a primary source? Where should you look for reliable secondary sources? How do you use the evidence you’ve gathered to make an argument?

Bright illustrations and snappy captions present history as a mystery for younger students, while the flip side asks how historians know what they know about the past. Both sides feature clear visual examples of primary sources.

Request your copy here.

CHNM Contract Services

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Folks at CHNM spend most of their time working on cutting edge, grant-funded research projects like Zotero, the National History Education Clearinghouse, and the Papers of the War Department. However, as a leader in the growing fields of digital history and digital humanities, CHNM is also eager to assist other historical, educational, cultural, and governmental organizations meet the challenges of the digital age. Whether your institution is looking to manage its research activities more effectively, build a new teaching website or its next online exhibition, or improve its overall web and social media strategy, CHNM can help with a range of custom contract development, consulting, and support services, including:

  • Zotero Custom Development
  • Zotero Deployment Consultations
  • Omeka Custom Design and Development
  • Omeka Custom Data Import
  • Web Design and Development (including Omeka, WordPress, Drupal)
  • Web Presence and Social Media Strategy Consulting and Assessment

Please contact Tom to learn about the work CHNM has done for partners ranging from the Smithsonian Institution to Emory University to the National Museum of American Jewish History to the National Science Foundation and what CHNM can do for you.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission Awards Two Grants to CHNM

Monday, June 7th, 2010

CHNM is pleased to announce two grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), during the May 2010 funding cycle.

First, NHPRC has awarded continued funding to the Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800. This groundbreaking digital editorial project presents high resolution images of some 55,000 documents from the early War Department, which burned down in 1800. The collection has been carefully reconstructed through painstaking research in more than 200 repositories and more than 3,000 collections. This funding will allow the editorial team to dramatically improve the depth and quality of the metadata associated with the documents.

Second, NHPRC awarded its only grant in the “Strategies and Tools for Archives and Historical Publishing Projects” category to support the implementation, evaluation, and adaptation of CHNM’s crowdsourcing documentary transcription tool. Designed to allow members of the online public to contribute transcriptions to documentary edition projects, the tool’s initial development is being funded by an National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-up Grant. The NHPRC funding will provide for expanded user interface research and evaluation, as well as the creation of a set of connector scripts that will enable the tool to plug into common open source (more…)

NEH awards a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to CHNM for Crowdsourcing Transcription Tool

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

CHNM is pleased to announce an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities to support the design and development of a tool for crowdsourcing documentary transcription. The $49,215 award will enable CHNM’s dev team to to build an open source tool to enable researchers to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects, thus harnessing the power of the community of users to improve the discoverability and usefulness of the archive.

Digital archives and documentary projects need a viable solution that lowers both the cost and the investment of staff time involved with transcribing of large numbers of historical documents. There will be significant benefits for both the editorial staff and for interested users, whether they are scholarly researchers, students and teachers, or members of the general public. This tool will help to address some of the long-term resource challenges facing many digital documentary editing projects.

We will use the Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800 as a test case for the tool development. The end result of the project will be a generalized tool that can be modified to work with a host of different content management systems, such as Omeka, (more…)

Mellon Foundation Awards Grant to Support Regional THATCamps

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

CHNM is pleased to announce a major award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the growing regional THATCamp network. The $264,000 award will provide new supports for training in digital methods and make it easier for regional THATCamps to be established and run. A regional coordinator will help prospective THATCamp organizers set up and run each conference; a compilation of open source software (“THATCamp-in-a-box”) will help support the proceedings from registration to session management; and a new curriculum for scholars inexperienced in digital methods (“BootCamp”) will be created and disseminated. In addition, a micro-fellowship program will assist aspiring digital humanists to attend a regional THATCamp.

THATCamp—The Humanities and Technology Camp—is a yearly user-generated unconference established by CHNM in 2008. During the past nine months, a network of locally conceived and organized regional THATCamps has taken root around the world. Recent regional THATCamps include events in Austin, TX, Pullman, WA, Columbus OH, Los Angeles, CA, and East Lansing, MI. Additional events are currently being planned for Paris, Toronto, London, Seattle, and other cities. CHNM’s home THATCamp is scheduled for May 22–23, 2010 in Fairfax, VA.

Bracero History Archive Wins NCHP Outstanding Public History Project Award

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

On Saturday, March 13, 2010, the CHNM’s Bracero History Archive <> received the National Council on Public History’s award for “Outstanding Public History Project.”

The award recognizes excellence in work completed within the previous two calendar years that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice. Sharon Leon and other project staff, including Peter Liebhold (NMAH), Kristine Navaro (UTEP), Mireya Loza (Brown), and Alma Carillo (Brown), were on hand to accept the honor from NCPH President Marianne Babal at the annual awards luncheon.

The Bracero History Archive is a landmark venture in collaborative documentation. With major partners at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, the Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University, and dozens of other small cultural heritage and community organizations around the country, the project has worked to collect and make available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under (more…) Be First in Line

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

CHNM’s Omeka team is reaching for the clouds. After more than a year of planning and development, we are very pleased to announce the impending arrival of, a hosted web service that will bring standards-based online collections and exhibitions to the internet cloud. Be first in line for an invitation to try the free Alpha, including a special bundle of plugins, themes, and storage, when it launches in April. will expand Omeka’s current offerings with a completely web-based service. No server or programming experience required. Similar to services offered by WordPress, the popular open-source blogging software, with the launch of users will be able to sign up for a free hosted Omeka site. Just create a username and password, and your online collection or exhibition is up and running.

This new hosted web service will further the Omeka project’s mission to make collections-based online publishing more accessible to small cultural heritage institutions, individual scholars, enthusiasts, educators, and students.

With, your online exhibit is one click away.

Sign up today.

Cross-posted at

Rosenzweig Forum Returns – Negotiating the Cultural Turn(s): Subjectivity, Sustainability, and Authority in the Digital Humanities

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The Rosenzweig Forum for Digital Humanities returns this month with a program entitled “Negotiating the Cultural Turn(s): Subjectivity, Sustainability, and Authority in the Digital Humanities.” On Wednesday, February 17, 2010 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Murray Room of Lauinger Library at Georgetown University, Tim Powell and Bethany Nowviskie will address and open a conversation about issues of cultural authority, intellectual property, innovation vs. sustainability, objectivity, and the need to think outside the academy’s walls.

Tim Powell directs digital archive projects for the Ojibwe Indian bands of northern Minnesota, the American Philosophical Society, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Tim will speak about a project entitled Gibagadinamaagoom (Ojibwe: “To Bring to Life, to Sanction, to Give Authority”) and how the focus on Ojibwe culture affects issues of intellectual property, open access, and the design of the interface, metadata, and database.

Bethany Nowviskie directs the University of Virginia Library’s efforts in digital research and scholarship, and is also associate director of the Mellon-funded Scholarly Communication Institute. She will discuss a number of projects from UVA’s SpecLab, Scholars’ Lab, and NINES research groups related to the expression of subjectivity and perspective in interpretive digital environments.

Together (and as digital (more…)

CHNM AHA Panel: Humanities in the Digital Age

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

On Friday, January 5th, the Center for History and New Media presented a highly successful panel and poster session at the American Historical Association’s 2010 Conference.

The CHNM-hosted session aimed to provide participants with an overview of different digital tools and services now available and how historians are using them for research, teaching, and collaboration. After brief introductions to the various posters, participants were able to walk around the room, spend time at the various stations, and talk with the presenters and other participants.

A number of CHNM staff were on-hand, including CHNM Creative Lead Jeremy Boggs to discuss WordPress, CHNM Director Dan Cohen to further explain text-mining tools, Jeffrey McClurken from the University of Mary Washington to present on Omeka and student web projects, CHNM Community Lead Trevor Owens to answer questions about Zotero, and CHNM Director of Education Kelly Schrum to speak about the National History Education Clearinghouse.

This was followed in the afternoon by a hands-on workshop where participants could learn to use some of the specific tools displayed at the morning session, including  how to set-up a blog, create a course website, try some basic text-mining, or build a model student website. The CHNM AHA poster session was co-sponsored by (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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