Doing Digital History: An Introduction for Historians of Science, Technology, and Industry
July 12-15, 2007
The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) announces two exciting opportunities for historians of science, technology, and industry.
This summer, CHNM’s ECHO project (http://echo.gmu.edu) invites scholars of the history of science, technology, and industry to our fourth annual workshop on the theory and practice of digital history. Participants will explore the ways that digital technologies can facilitate the research, teaching, writing and presentation of history; genres of online history and tools; website infrastructure and design; scholarly collaboration; digitization and online collecting; the process of identifying and building online history audiences; and issues of copyright and preservation. The workshop will be held at CHNM’s offices on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus, conveniently located outside metropolitan Washington, DC. Thanks to support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, there will be no registration fee, and a limited number of fellowships are available to defray the costs of travel and lodging for graduate students and young scholars. As spaces are limited, please submit an application form by June 8, 2007 (available at http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/surveys/3601/) accepted participants will be notified by June 10th.
Also through the ECHO program, the Center for History and New Media (more…)
Beginning with Plato and ending on the eve of the twentieth century, CHNM Director of Research Projects, Dan Cohen’s latest book, Equations from God (Johns Hopkins University Press), tells the story of how and why so many Europeans and Americans came to see mathematics as a divine language, a way to ascend above the petty differences of mankind and commune with the mind of the Deity. Although it focuses on an ostensibly technical topic, it is written in a plainspoken way that makes the world of the mathematician accessible to a general audience, and it contextualizes that world within the religious, social, and political upheaval of the Victorian era. And it reveals surprising ideas from many unpublished works such as diaries, notebooks, sermons, and letters – ideas that remain remarkably relevant in today’s world.
Equations from God is now available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other outlets. Cohen is coauthor with Roy Rosenzweig, of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press) and manages several projects at CHNM including Echo and Zotero.
Virginia Tech’s Center for Digital Discourse and Culture (CDDC) has just announced the launch of the April 16 Archive. Employing technologies originally developed in conjunction with CHNM’s stable of “Digital Memory Bank” projects including Echo, the September 11 Digital Archive, the Mozilla Digital Memory Bank, and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, the new archive will preserve a diverse record of the events surrounding April 16, 2007 by collecting first-hand observations, photographic images, sound recordings, media reports, personal writings, official statements, individual blog postings, and any other documents that can be stored as digital files. In addition to local reactions, the archive welcomes responses from across the globe in any language. Through this archive, we aim to leave a positive legacy for the larger community and contribute to a collective process of healing, especially as those affected by this tragedy tell their stories in their own words.
The Center for History and New Media is honored to be part of this important project and proud to assist the efforts of our Virginia Tech colleagues to preserve the memory of the recent tragedy in Blacksburg.
The Center for History and New Media continues to build on the early success of its two new podcasts, the Mozilla Digital Memory Bank Podcast and Digital Campus, releasing new episodes almost weekly and attracting new subscribers by the dozens. This week Episode 6 of the Mozilla Digital Memory Bank Podcast provides highlights from an an oral history taken by CHNM alumna Olivia Ryan from XUL developer Neil Deakin last June in which Neil offers some insights into what it is like to move from a volunteer to a full-time Mozilla employee. Meanwhile, Episode 4 of Digital Campus asks the question “Can social networking sites like Facebook play a productive role in the humanities?” and reports on recent meetings on the digital humanities and digital museums, Google’s new My Maps service, and the Creative Common’s Learn initiative.
On Saturday, March 31, during the 100th Annual Meeting of the the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, CHNM Director Roy Rosenzweig was presented with the OAH Distinguished Service Award for an individual or individuals whose contributions have significantly enriched the understanding and appreciation of American history:
The executive board recognizes Roy Rosenzweig, George Mason University, for his outstanding contributions to labor and public history, and his dedication to reaching new and diverse audiences as expressed in his pioneering efforts in the uses of digital technology and new media. Over his more than thirty-year career, Rosenzweig’s work has served as a model of collaborative, public-spirited service and research.Roy Rosenzweig is the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of History and New Media; College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History; and Director of the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, where he has taught since 1981. Rosenzweig earned his Ph.D. in history at Harvard (1978). His dissertation, later published as Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1880-1920 (Cambridge University Press, 1983) insisted that explorations into popular amusements and pastimes are as central to our understanding of working class politics as (more…)
The biweekly roundtable will discuss how digital media and technology are affecting learning, teaching, and scholarship at colleges, universities, libraries, and museums. Our inaugural episode features CHNM Director of Research Projects, Dan Cohen, CHNM Associate Director, Mills Kelly, and CHNM Assistant Director, Tom Scheinfeldt discussing the controversy over whether Wikipedia is a useful or problematic resource for student, the launch of Windows Vista, the rise of Google Docs as an alternative to MS Word, and recent stories about Blackboard’s patents and their social bookmarking site, Scholar.com. And at the end of the podcast, we share links to the best free wikisoftware and sites on digital maps and books.
Lynn Neary of National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition spoke with Professor of Linguistics, Steven Weinberger, about The Speech Accent Archive, a CHNM-affliated site. The speech accent archive is established to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds. This website allows users to compare the demographic and linguistic backgrounds of the speakers in order to determine which variables are key predictors of each accent. Check it out here.
The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University is pleased to announce the launch of its first podcast. The Mozilla Digital Memory Bank Podcast will feature highlights from oral histories taken from current and former Mozilla employees. The biweekly show will cover a wide range of topics such as the open source development process, thoughts on the unique successes of Firefox, the cultural relationships between developers and volunteers, and comparisons between corporate and open source experiences.
The Mozilla Digital Memory Bank is a permanent, open, peer-produced digital archive of Mozilla history. With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, The Mozilla Digital Memory Bank collects and permanently preserves digital texts, images, audio, video, personal narratives, and oral histories related to Mozilla, its products, and its community of developers, testers, and users. Building on CHNM’s earlier work on the September 11 Digital Archive and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, the Mozilla Digital Memory Bank aims to create a lasting resource for generations of students, teachers, scholars, and members of the general public interested in the history of the Internet, open source software, and Mozilla.
Help preserve the history of Mozilla and Firefox by contributing your own (more…)
What was daily like life in the 18th century? For slaves? For slave owners? What objects did people use everyday for work, eating, or play? Probing the Past is a free website that allows users to explore these questions and many more. The site presents 325 probate inventories that were recorded between 1740 and 1810 in selected Virginia and Maryland counties. Resources include digitized copies and transcriptions of the inventories, keyword and advanced searches, browsing by decade and county, two in-depth interviews with scholars on how to analyze probate inventories, and three lesson plans.
On January 5, 2007 at the American Historical Association’s Annual General Meeting, representatives from CHNM, including Roy Rosenzweig, Kelly Schrum, Kristin Lehner, and Sharon Leon accepted the James Harvey Robinson Prize for World History Matters (Co-Director, Mills Kelly was unable to attend).
The Robinson Prize was established by the AHA Council in 1978 and is awarded biennially for the teaching aid that has made the most outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history in any field for public or educational purposes. The prize committee noted that “the impressive depth and breadth of its primary sources, the comprehensive geographical scope and transnational approach, and the user-friendly site design will enable high school and college world history teachers and students to make use of the rich site resources to investigate the complexities of global history.”