Making the History of 1989 Site Launches

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.).

Statement on Zotero Suit

George Mason University has just released an official statement about the Thomson Reuters lawsuit over CHNM’s Zotero, an open source competitor to Thomson Reuter’s EndNote:

The Thomson Reuters Corporation has sued the Commonwealth of Virginia over Zotero, a project based at George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM). A free and open-source software initiative, Zotero aims to create the world’s best research tool and has already been adopted by hundreds of thousands of users at countless colleges and research universities. CHNM announces that it has re-released the full functionality of Zotero 1.5 Sync Preview to its users and the open source community.

As part of its formal response to this legal action, Mason will also not renew its site license for EndNote. As academics themselves, the creators of the Zotero project strive to serve the scholarly community and to respond to its needs in an age of digital research. In line with that simple goal, they maintain that anything created by users of Zotero belongs to those users, and that it should be as easy as possible for Zotero users to move to and from the software as they wish, without friction. CHNM concurs with the journal Nature, which recently (more…)

Kress Foundation Funds CHNM Mobile Research, Omeka Plugins

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation has awarded two grants to CHNM to undertake two new projects: a study of museums’ use of mobile communications technology and a set of Omeka plugins for art historians and art museums.

The first grant will provide CHNM with funding for a thorough survey of the use of cell phones, Blackberries, iPods, and other mobile devices in art museums. Based on the survey’s findings, the project will produce a white paper of concrete recommendations on how best to use these new technologies to engage visitors with visual art objects and a set of rough prototypes or proofs of concept based on these recommendations.

The second project will produce a set of three plugins for the Omeka web publishing platform geared specifically to the needs of art historians and art museums. The first of these plugins will extend Omeka’s data model to accommodate the emerging CDWA Lite (Categories for the Description of Works of Art Lite) metadata standard, which is gaining widespread adoption among the art museum community. The second will utilize Omeka’s built-in RSS feeds to allow any visitor to an Omeka website to view a museum’s collection in “slide show” or “3D” mode using the popular (more…)

THATCamp 2009

Back by popular demand, THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) will return to CHNM on June 27-28, 2009. Timed to follow the Digital Humanities 2009 conference being hosted by our colleagues at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, the second annual THATCamp will strive to recreate the collegial atmosphere and innovative spirit of last spring’s event. At the same time, we hope to build on the strengths of THATCamp 2008 and make THATCamp 2009 even better. Responding to the tremendous outpouring of interest we received in the first THATCamp, we will expand the number of campers this time from 70 to 100. We will streamline the application process to allow pre-conference discussions to begin earlier and flow more freely. And we will open up our “unconference” format even further, encouraging even more spontaneous discussion and organic scheduling.

Stay tuned to the THATCamp blog for a more formal announcement and application guidelines.

Inaugural WordCamp Ed to be hosted at CHNM

On Saturday, November 22, 2008, CHNM will host the very first WordCamp Ed, a WordCamp conference focused entirely on educational uses of the WordPress blogging and content management software in schools and universities. Organized in partnership with the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University, the one-day event will feature a morning of pre-planned speakers and a barcamp-style afternoon of smaller discussion sessions. Registration is free at the WordCamp Ed blog.

WordCamp Ed builds on the success of last spring’s THATCamp, reinforcing CHNM’s growing importance as a gathering place for the educational and cultural technology communities.

Jon Stewart Hosts CHNM’s Rick Shenkman on the Daily Show

On June 11, 2008, the editor of CHNM’s History News Network, Rick Shenkman, appeared on Comedy Central’s the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss his recent work, Just How Stupid are We: The Truth About the American Voter.  A current bestseller on Amazon.com, Just How Stupid are We cites disturbing statistics that Shenkman believes reveal Americans simply do not know much about politics.

http://hnn.us/HowStupidAreWe/media.html

When only 2 out of 5 citizens are able to name the three branches of the federal government, only 1 in 7 can find Iraq on a world map, and the majority believe the war in Iraq was caused by Saddam Hussein’s involvement with Al-Qaeda, Shenkman questions the ability of American voters to make intelligent and informed decisions for guiding the world’s most powerful government.

Shenkman further suggests that the majority of American voters are not only unaware of current events and unable to differentiate between facts and spin, but they simply do not care to learn more if it involves reading a newspaper or book rather than absorbing their news from entertaining network news shows.

Speaking with Jon Stewart, Shenkman questioned the depth of the news presented on television, including the Daily Show, and pointed to the host’s responsibility to (more…)

Gulag History Site Launches

The Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the launch of Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives http://gulaghistory.org, a new online resource exploring the history of the Soviet Gulag.The project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities; Title VIII, The U.S. Department of State; Kennan Institute; and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University; and was produced in association with the Gulag Museum at Perm 36, Perm, Russia and the International Memorial Society, Moscow, Russia.

Many Days, Many Lives draws visitors into the Gulag’s history through bilingual exhibits (English and Russian), a rich archive, a series of podcasts, and other resources. Exhibits are presented with a thematic approach that illustrates the diversity of the Gulag experience through original mini-documentaries, images, and the words of individual prisoners. A searchable archive includes archival documents, photographs, paintings, drawings, and oral histories that give visitors the opportunity to explore the subject in much greater depth. Later this summer, Many Days, Many Lives will also feature a virtual visit to the Gulag Museum at Perm 36.

In addition, this site offers a variety of resources related to the study of the Gulag. Episodes in Gulag History is a new (more…)

CHNM Launches National History Education Clearinghouse

The National History Education Clearinghouse, an online project that brings U.S. history teachers high-quality support and resources, has been launched by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and project partner Stanford University. The clearinghouse is now available to the public at http://teachinghistory.org.

In October 2007, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $7 million contract, if fully funded over five years, to CHNM, in partnership with Stanford University, the American Historical Association, and the National History Center. The online project focuses on historical thinking and learning and is designed to help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators, thereby expanding student knowledge of U.S. history and its relevance to their daily lives and future. The clearinghouse provides links to the most informative and comprehensive history content on the Internet. It also provides teaching tools and resources such as lesson plan reviews, guides to working with primary sources and models of exemplary classroom teaching. The clearinghouse will link to a number of national history education organizations and associations. The website is interactive, allowing teachers to ask questions, comment on topical issues and share information on what and how they teach.

“The National History Education Clearinghouse will put into the hands (more…)

CHNM to host inaugural THATCamp, May 31 – June 1, 2008

CHNM is pleased to announce its latest initiative, THATCamp.

Short for “The Humanities and Technology Camp”, THATCamp is a BarCamp-style, user-generated “unconference” on digital humanities. THATCamp is organized and hosted by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Digital Campus, and THATPodcast.

What is an “unconference”?

According to Wikipedia, an unconference is “a conference where the content of the sessions is created and managed by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by one or more organizers in advance of the event.” An unconference is not a spectator event. Participants in an unconference are expected to present their work, share their knowledge, and actively collaborate with fellow participants rather than simply attend. There are many styles of unconferences. The most famous is probably BarCamp, an international network of unconference events focused largely on open source web development.

What should I present?

That’s up to you. Sessions at THATCamp will range from full-blown papers (not many of those, we hope) to software demos to training sessions to debates to discussions of research findings to half-baked rants. You should come to THATCamp with something in mind, and on the first day find a time, a place, and people to (more…)

New ECHO Gateway for the History of Science, Technology, and Industry

The Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the relaunch of the ECHO (Exploring and Collecting History Online) website. ECHO is a portal to over 5,000 websites concerning the history of science, technology, and industry. In addition to better helping researchers find the exact information they need and granting curious browsers a forum for exploration, the new site also provides access to the latest in blogging on the topics of digital history and histories of science, technology and industry.

The project is based at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. ECHO has been funded by two generous grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.