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.
Roy Rosenzweig Prize in History and New Media Established in Professor’s Memory
The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and the American Historical Association (AHA) have agreed to institute a joint “Roy Rosenzweig Prize in History and New Media.” The Rosenzweig Prize will be 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.
Roy Rosenzweig died from cancer on 11 October 2007. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and lectured as a Fulbright professor. As the AHA’s Vice President for Research, he urged the Association to open all book prizes to publications in new media form. The Rosenzweig Prize will be the first to specifically recognize contributions developed in digital form to the profession at large.
In 2005, Rosenzweig’s Web-based project, History Matters earned him and CHNM the James Harvey Robinson Prize of the American Historical Association. In 2003, he was awarded the second Richard W. Lyman Award for his work with CHNM, particularly History Matters and the September 11 Digital Archive.
The AHA and the CHNM together will select members of the prize selection committee and develop prize guidelines. The award winners will be announced (more…)
CHNM’s Zotero project and CHNM’s Director, Dan Cohen both appeared on Page A1 in Sunday’s Washington Post over the weekend. Entitled “Internet Access Is Only Prerequisite For More and More College Classes,” the front page article examined new trends in online education at institutions of higher learning across the country. Commenting on Zotero in particular and new campus technology initiatives in general, Cohen was quoted as saying “It’s part of this movement in higher education to open up … to share the products of our research, to be here for the public good.”
Although libraries have dedicated much of their time to scanning and cataloguing their materials for online access, both the expense and time of such projects have prevented many documents from being readily available.
Yet, in many cases, these documents have been scanned, copied or photographed by someone, somewhere. Virtually every professor, graduate student and author maintains major private caches of these materials from their own research. Biographers have scores of letters, pictures and ephemera. Architects and architectural historians have photographs of buildings from around the world. Scholars of literature have scanned diaries and manuscripts for insights into the writing process of those they study.
“This ‘hidden archive’ likely rivals existing online collections,” says Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM). “We asked: What if there was a way to expose and share this tremendous hidden archive with scholars from around the globe?”
And now there is. CHNM has joined forces with the Internet Archive on a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to provide what could potentially be the world’s largest structured archival and access environment for scholarly material.
Omeka, CHNM’s new free and open source platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online, hit a major milestone with the launch of Release Candidate 4 (RC4). Designed for cultural institutions, enthusiasts, and educators, Omeka is easy to install and modify and facilitates community-building around collections and exhibits. It is designed with non-IT specialists in mind, allowing users to focus on content rather than programming.
Dublin Core metadata structure and standards-based design that is fully accessible and interoperable
Professional-looking exhibit templates that showcase collections without hiring outside designers
Theme-switching for changing the look and feel of an exhibit in a few clicks
Plug-ins for user contributions, batch upload, and a host of other possibilities
Web 2.0 Technologies, including tagging and syndication through RSS feeds.
Omeka is currently in private beta. If you are interested in getting on the invitation list to download and test Omeka, please email the Omeka team, which will notify you when there are additional spaces for this testing period. Omeka will be available for general public download in early-2008.
CHNM Creative Lead, Jeremy Boggs and CHNM Web Developer, Dave Lester have announced the launch of ScholarPress, a hub for educational WordPress plugins. ScholarPress currently features two plugins, Courseware and WPBook.
Courseware enables users to manage a class with a WordPress blog, including a schedule, bibliography, assignments, and other course information. Initially developed during the summer of 2006 with help from Josh Greenberg, former Associate Director of Research Projects, now the Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at the New York Public Library, Courseware has since been tested and used by several professors at George Mason University.
WPBook works with the Facebook Development platform to enable Facebook users to embed a WordPress Blog onto their Facebook page. WPBook works with Courseware to create a custom application allowing students to view syllabus information directly from Facebook.
A third plugin, Gradebook, will allow users to manage and display class grades securely to students. Gradebook is currently under development.
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 (more…)
Several memorial events are being planned to celebrate the life and work of CHNM’s beloved late director, Roy Rosenzweig, who passed away earlier this month after a valiant struggle with cancer. Details will be posted at thanksroy.org/memorialevents, where friends, colleagues, and admirers may also post memories, stories, tributes, photos and other materials in celebration of Roy.
Bob Stein on “The Evolution of Reading and Writing in the Networked Era”
For the past several hundred years intellectual discourse has been shaped by the rhythms and hierarchies inherent in the nature of print. As discourse shifts from page to screen, and more significantly to a networked environment, the old definitions and relations are undergoing substantial changes. The shift in our world view from individual to network holds the promise of a radical reconfiguraton in culture. Notions of authority are being challenged. The roles of author and reader are morphing and blurring. Publishing, methods of distribution, peer review and copyright – every crucial aspect of the way we move ideas around – is up for grabs. The new digital technologies afford vastly different outcomes ranging from oppressive to liberating. How we make this shift has critical long term implications for human society.
Our speaker will be Robert Stein, director of the Institute for the Future of the Book. The institute has two principal activities. one is building high-end tools for making rich media electronic documents (part of the Mellon Foundation’s higher-ed digital infrastructure initiative) and the (more…)