September 11 Digital Archive Awarded Saving America’s Treasures Grant

We are pleased to announce that The September 11 Digital Archive has received a Saving America’s Treasures grant to assist in the preservation of the collection at

Cutting edge at its launch nearly ten years ago, the Archive now is showing its age. This award will pay to transfer this groundbreaking digital collection to a stable, standardized, up-to-date archival system. This data transfer is an essential first step in guaranteeing that the world’s largest public collection of digital materials related to the events of September 11, 2001 will be available to scholars, students, policy-makers, and the general public in the coming decades.

Launched in 2001 as an effort to capture the personal experiences, responses, and images produced in the wake of 9/11, staff at CHNM and the American Social History Project (ASHP) at the City University of New York Graduate Center used electronic media to collect, preserve and present the history of those events and the public responses to them. CHNM and ASHP built a simple portal to accept electronic submissions of first-hand accounts, emails and other electronic communications, digital photographs, artwork, and a range of other born-digital materials. Through partnerships with local community groups and national cultural institutions, the archive (more…)

CHNM and Scholars’ Lab Partner on “Omeka + Neatline”

The Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library and the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, are pleased to announce a collaborative “Omeka + Neatline” initiative, supported by $665,248 in funding from the Library of Congress.

The Omeka + Neatline project’s goal is to enable scholars, students, and library and museum professionals to create geospatial and temporal visualizations of archival collections using a Neatline toolset within CHNM’s popular, open source Omeka exhibition platform. Neatline, a “contribution to interpretive humanities scholarship in the visual vernacular,” is a project of the UVa Library Scholars’ Lab, originally bolstered by a Start-Up Grant from the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Omeka is an award-winning web-publishing platform for the display of cultural heritage and scholarly collections and exhibits, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

This two-year initiative will allow CHNM and the Scholars’ Lab to expand and regularize a partnership that developed informally between the two centers over the course of the past year. Collaboration has already resulted in improvements to the core functionality of Omeka by CHNM and (more…)

CHNM welcomes Patrick Murray-John to the staff

CHNM is pleased to announce that later this week Patrick Murray-John (@patrick_mj) will be joining our staff as web developer and research assistant professor. Murray-John is an accomplished digital humanist with a PhD in Anglo-Saxon Literature from the University of Wisconsin, significant classroom experience, and many years of work as an Instructional Technology Specialist at the University of Mary Washington.

At CHNM, Patrick will be leading the development on the Teaching History Commons. An outgrowth of, the THCommons will serve as professional network for k-12 history teachers and the many faculty and administrators that support their work. Additionally, Murray-John will contribute to the work of CHNM’s Public Projects division, working with the Omeka development community and on a variety of new digital humanities projects.

Welcome, Patrick!

Children & Youth in History website recognized by American Library Association division

Children in Youth & History, the first website focused exclusively on children and youth in history, has received honorable mention in the 2011 RUSA ABC-CLIO Online History Awards competition, which recognizes achievements in free, open-access online history tools and reference resources.

In its announcement, the awards committee said it “was impressed with the design, execution, purpose, and content of Children in History.  . . The fact that Children in History remains a free, open-access resource, available to all and not just affiliates of elite research institutions, is a testament to your commitment to history education.”

Several CHNM staff were among the project team, including co-directors Kelly Schrum and Miriam Forman-Brunell (Affiliated Faculty), Jeremy Boggs, Chris Raymond, Susan Douglass, and Ken Albers.

The ABC-CLIO Online History Award recognizes the accomplishments of a person or a group of people producing a freely available online historical collection, an online tool for finding historical materials, or an online teaching aid stimulating creative historical scholarship.

RUSA, the Reference and User Services Association, supports excellence in the delivery of general library services and materials to adults, and the provision of reference and information services, collection development, and resource sharing for all ages.

NEH ODH Start-Up Grant Lightening Talks, and a Correction

Recently the National Endowment for the Humanities posted the lightening talks from the Fall 2010 project directors meeting. Take a look at the videos to get a quick glimpse of the great range of cutting-edge work going on in the digital humanities.

There were two CHNM projects amongst the over 40 grant projects highlighted at the meeting. Unfortunately, the brief introduction to Scripto included some factual errors that we wish to correct.

The Papers of George Washington were founded in 1968 (not 1969) and have published 62 volumes (not 52). The Papers of James Madison have 14 remaining volumes and have published 32 volumes to date (not the 15 published volumes cited). In our 17 years of work in history and new media at CHNM, we have prized our collaborations with a full range of history professionals and organizations, and we regret if these errors suggested a lack of respect for our colleagues working on the Founding Fathers papers projects.

Special Campaign to name CHNM after Roy Rosenzweig

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

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

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.