Digital History Games at the AHA

History games were on the agenda at the American Historical Association conference in January. Led by CHNM’s Director of Educational Projects Kelly Schrum, the session, entitled “Playing the Past: Learning Through Digital History Games” was another step in the increased presence of digital history at this year’s conference.

The session featured a knowledgeable panel that included Dan Norton, founding partner and Creative Director of Filament Games (a Madison, WI, company that designs learning-based games); Jeremiah McCall, a high school history teacher at Cincinnati Country Day School and author of the book Gaming the Past: Using Video Games to Teach Secondary History and blog by the same name; and Leah Potter, Media Producer at the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at CUNY.

The panel explored the use of games to teach and learn history, discussing how games can teach subject matter as well as critical thinking and analysis. The panelists talked about the ways in which games could be valuable tools for engaging students through simulated time travel and role playing, presenting historical concepts and scenarios, and showing the varied outcomes that historical events can have.

Games also have limitations and in addition to playing games, students (more…)

Digital Humanities Workshop at the AHA

From the unusual room set up to the cutting edge content, the morning session at the American Historical Association conference entitled “Digital Humanities: A Hands-On Workshop” was a unique opportunity for attendees to explore how new technology can enhance the study of history.

Dan Cohen Digital Humanities Workshop

Designed as a digital poster session and facilitated by Director of Educational Projects Kelly Schrum, participants were able (and encouraged) to wander through the room and interact with presenters. The large crowd did just that, and were treated to a plethora of new information and ideas about how to use technology in both their scholarly work and their teaching. In addition to academics, the session also attracted teachers, museum administrators, archivists, and other history-related professionals.

The attendees were treated to presentations from several CHNM staff members and affiliated scholars. CHNM Director Dan Cohen presented on the state of scholarly publishing and how new digital methods and venues might alter that landscape. In particular, Cohen discussed PressForward, an effort to aggregate the best scholarship from blogs, institutional sites, and other outlets. Fred Gibbs, Director of Digital Scholarship, spoke about text mining by dispelling myths and soothing fears about its complexity, showing simple but powerful tools for searching and reformatting data for (more…)

Digital History Research Awards for New PhD Students at Mason

George Mason University and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media are pleased to announce Digital History Research Awards for students entering the History and Art History doctoral program in fall 2012. Students receiving these awards will get five years of fully funded studies, as follows: $20,000 research stipends in years 1 and 2; research assistantships at RRCHNM in years 3, 4, and 5. Awards include fulltime tuition waivers and student health insurance. For more information, contact Professor Cynthia A. Kierner (Director of the Ph.D. Program) at or Professor Dan Cohen (Director, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media) at The deadline for applications is January 15, 2012.

CHNM Co-Organizing 2012 WebWise Conference

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a contract to CHNM, in partnership with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), to help organize the 2012 WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital Age to be held February 29-March 2 at the Renaissance Harbor Place in Baltimore, MD.

The theme for the two-day WebWise conference will be “Tradition and Innovation,” as panelists and presenters investigate the use of digital technologies especially in the field of history. Recognizing that history museums, historical societies, and other history-focused institutions are poorly represented in national discussions of digital libraries and museums, WebWise 2012 will make a concerted effort to surface the challenges historical organizations have faced in doing digital work and the under-appreciated contributions they have made in this area. Prior to the conference, CHNM and BPOC will organize a day-long unconference, similar to THATCamp.

“We are pleased to be working with these two national leaders in the field of technology integration into the services of libraries, museums, archives, and living collections,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. “George Mason University and Balboa Park have been at the forefront of some of the very issues that we hope to explore further during our (more…)


The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University is pleased to announce the launch of #OccupyArchive, an effort to collect, preserve, and share the stories and born-digital materials of Occupy Wall Street and the associated Occupy movements around the world. Visit the “Share” page to offer your reflections on the occupations, or contribute a document, an image, a video, or an audio recording.

Currently, the archive includes a growing set of collections of webpage screenshots, movement documents, and digital images. These collections were built with a combination of individual contributions and automated feed importing. Now, with the launch of the website, individuals can contribute and geolocate their stories and files from the movement. Together, these materials will provide an historical record of the 2011 Occupy protests.

The #OccupyArchive is a result of the efforts of volunteers from CHNM and the George Mason University History and Art History Department. It build upon the experiences and techniques developed in CHNM’s previous digital archive projects, such as the September 11th Digital Archive, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, the Bracero History Archive, and the Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800. #OccupyArchive is proudly powered with (more…)

Come develop with the Omeka team!

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is looking for a new contract developer to join our innovative, energetic, and hilarious team of developers. With guidance from our Lead Developer and Omeka Dev Team Manager, and in collaboration with other developers and members of CHNM, the new team member will work primarily on various aspects of our Omeka content management system. Duties may include helping to resolve issues, building new sites with Omeka, developing plugins and themes, and helping to design and implement future versions of the core Omeka codebase, as well as contributing to other ad-hoc projects within the CHNM ecosystem.

You can see the code at Some other CHNM projects are at


  • Proficiency in PHP and Javascript
  • Strong Object-Oriented programming skills
  • Familiarity with the MVC design pattern
  • Familiarity with Zend Framework
  • Excellent communication skills with others at all levels of programming skill, from “Hello World!” novice to seasoned guru
  • Ability to balance competing needs and priorities in designing code
  • Creativity in problem-solving, and openness to experimenting with unfamiliar approaches


  • Experience working on open source software projects
  • Familiarity with HTML5, CSS3, and graphic design principles
  • Experience with Amazon Web Services and other cloud services
  • Experience with PHPUnit testing framework
  • Background or experience in the Humanities

CHNM is the leading producer (more…)

New Civil War Poster from

What can a quilt, a map, photographs, a haversack, and a receipt tell you about the past? Thanks to’s new FREE poster, “How Do You Piece Together the History of the Civil War?,” these objects can teach a lot about the Civil War and about how historians piece together the past.

Explore the interactive version with links to teaching materials and websites related to the Civil War. Topics include children’s voices during the Civil War, African American perspectives, women’s roles, Civil War era music, and emancipation, as well as military history and life on the battlefield.

Civil War Poster

Learn more on the blog.

Request your copy today.

Next Steps for September 11 Digital Archive

Many of us still find it difficult to believe that ten years have passed since the September 11 attacks. Every person who lost a loved one or who lived through the aftermath of the events experienced something unique. It was in the wake of 9/11, we at CHNM together with our friends at the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center built the September 11 Digital Archive to preserve some of those responses to the traumatic events in the months and years that followed.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks, we at CHNM are directing our efforts towards preservation and are collecting once again.

We are re-opening the collecting portal and want to hear how your life has changed since September 11, 2001. By collecting reflections at this commemorative moment, we hope to further the life of the Archive as one that not only includes the most immediate reactions to the attacks, but also shows change over time as individuals reflect at different points in the post-9/11 world.

Simultaneously, a Saving America’s Treasures grant, jointly-administered by the National Park Service and National Endowment for the Humanities, will help pay for our preservation efforts as we transfer (more…)

Introducing PressForward

For some time here at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media we have been thinking about the state of scholarly publishing, and its increasing disconnect with how we have come to communicate online. Among our concerns:

• A variety of scholarly work is flourishing online, ranging from long-form writing on blogs, to “gray literature” such as conference papers, to well-curated corpora or data sets, to entirely novel formats enabled by the web

• This scholarship is decentralized, thriving on personal and institutional sites, as well as the open web, but could use some way to receive attention from scholarly communities so works can receive credit and influence others

• The existing scholarly publishing infrastructure has been slow-moving in accounting for this growing and multifaceted realm of online scholarship

• Too much academic publishing remains inert—publication-as-broadcast rather than taking advantage of the web’s peer-to-peer interactivity

• Too much scholarship remains gated when it could be open

Legacy formats like the journal of course have considerable merit, and they are rightly valued: they act as critical, if sometimes imperfect, arbiters of the good and important. At (more…)

Roy Rosenzweig Prize

The deadline for submitting digital history projects for the Roy Rosenzweig Prize is less than two weeks away. The Prize is awarded annually for an innovative and freely available new media project that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history.


The Prize will be awarded to a project that is either in its late stages of development or has been launched with in the past year but still in need of additional improvements. The prize recipient(s) will be expected to apply awarded funds toward the advancement of the project goals.

How to Apply:

The following must be submitted to by May 16, 2011.

A 1-2 page narrative that includes:

  • A method of access to the project (e.g, website address, software download)
  • The institutions and individuals involved with the project
  • The project’s goals, functionality, intended audience, and significance
  • A short budget statement on how the funds will be used

Note: Projects may only be submitted once for the Rosenzweig Prize.


All submissions must be entered by May 16, 2011. Recipients of the Prize will be announced at the 2012 AHA Annual Meeting in San Diego.


For more details please visit: