Roy Rosenzweig co-founded the Center for History and New Media in 1994 and directed the Center until he passed away last month. In the early years, the Center was just Roy and a few others, but in the last seven years the number of projects, size of the staff, and overall ambition of the Center has grown exponentially. Presently there are over forty people working full or part time at CHNM on over two dozen active projects, from landmark history education projects like History Matters and the new National History Education Clearinghouse, important collections like the September 11 Digital Archive, and innovative software such as Zotero and Omeka.
Although we always joked that Roy could do the work of many people, among his many legacies was his realization that CHNM was built not on servers and software but on people and their passion for history and digital technology, and that despite his boundless energy he could not do it all. Over the past five years Roy assembled a senior staff with decades of combined experience in the construction of new media, and hired what we like to think is one of the most talented groups of web designers, programmers, and researchers in academia.
Today, that team has assumed the reins of the Center and, although in mourning, continues without missing a beat to work on some of the most exciting and important projects in the digital realm. Dan Cohen, who has worked closely with Roy since 2001 and who co-authored with him Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web, has become the new director of CHNM. Other key members of the senior staff remain in place and firmly committed to the Center, including Tom Scheinfeldt (Managing Director), Kelly Schrum (Director of Education Projects), Sharon Leon (Director of Public Projects), Sean Takats (Acting Director of Research Projects), Connie Sehat (Digital Historian), and Mike O’Malley, Paula Petrik, and Mills Kelly (Associate Directors).
At every stage in the growth of CHNM, Roy liked to say that “we are just getting started.” And thanks to Roy, we will continue “getting started” for many years to come.