CHNM Podcasts Keep On Rolling

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.

Visit and to subscribe to the podcasts or to download individual episodes to your PC, iPod, or Mp3 player.

Rosenzweig Receives OAH Distinguished Service Award

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…)

CHNM Podcast — “Digital Campus”

buttonlogo04.jpgCHNM is happy to announce the launch of a new podcast, Digital Campus, now available from iTunes and

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, And at the end of the podcast, we share links to the best free wiki software and sites on digital maps and books.

Subscribe to Digital Campus via iTunes or at

CHNM and The Speech Accent Archive on NPR

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.

CHNM launches First Podcast – Mozilla Digital Memory Bank

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…)

CHNM launches Probing the Past

The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University is pleased to announce the launch of a new website: Probing the Past: Virginia and Maryland Probate Inventories, 1740-1810.

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.

Funded by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and completed in collaboration with Gunston Hall Plantation, Probing the Past uses material culture to illuminate the rituals and social relations of 18th-century families in Virginia and Maryland, as well as the region’s economy and connection to larger markets.

World History Matters awarded the 2007 James Harvey Robinson Prize

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.”

This is the third time that CHNM was the recipient or co-recipient of the Robinson Prize. In 1994, CHNM was recognized for its work on the CD-ROM Who Built America?, which was produced by the American Social History Project at the City University of New York. In 2005, CHNM also shared the prize with ASHP for their joint work on the website, History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course (more…)

DC Area Technology & Humanities Forum returns December 5th

Scholarship 2.0: What Web 2.0 means for Digital Humanists

Tuesday December 5th from 5-7pm, Research 1 Room 462, Center for History & New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

This fall’s Washington DC Area Forum on Technology and the Humanities focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by Web 2.0 technologies for digital humanists. Speakers will include Bryan Alexander on “Web 2.0 and Digital Humanists,” Dan Cohen on “Zotero and the Next Generation of Scholarly Research,” and Eddie Maloney on “When is an ePortfolio not an ePortfolio? Georgetown University’s Digital Notebook project.”

Bryan Alexander researches and develops programs on the advanced uses of information technology in liberal arts colleges. His specialties include digital writing, weblogs, copyright and intellectual property, information literacy, wireless culture and teaching, project management, information design, and interdisciplinary collaboration. He contributes to a series of weblogs, including NITLE Tech News, MANE IT leaders, and Smartmobs, when not creating digital learning objects (like Gormenghast). He has taught English and information technology studies at the University of Michigan and Centenary College.

Dan Cohen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the Director of Research Projects at the Center for History and New Media. His (more…)

Zotero: The Next-Generation Research Tool now available

The Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce the launch of Zotero: The Next-Generation Research Tool. Generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and a major grant from the the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Zotero is poised to change dramatically the way scholarly research is performed online.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use, open source research tool that runs in the Firefox web browser and helps scholars gather, annotate, organize, and share the results of their research. It includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store full reference information in author, title, and publication fields and to export that as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software such as or iTunes, like the ability to sort, tag, and search in advanced ways. Using its unique ability to sense when the user is viewing a book, article, or other resource on the web, Zotero will—on many major research sites—find and automatically save the full reference information in the correct fields.

The 1.0 beta release of Zotero provides advanced functionality for gathering, organizing, and scanning research, as well as basic import/export capability and bibliographic formatting tools. (more…)

Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 come to CHNM

The Center for History and New Media and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University are pleased to announce the award of a grant from National Historical Publications and Records Commission to bring the innovative electronic archive Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 to Fairfax. Ultimately, the project will make more than 50,000 documents from the first decade and a half of the War Department’s history available to researchers, teachers, and students free of charge in a fully-searchable online database.

In the young nation’s early years, the War Department controlled more than 70 percent of the nation’s budget, was the largest consumer of fabric, clothing, food, medicine, and weapons in the country, and provided pensions to veterans, widows, and orphans. Nearly all the contact that early Americans had with their new federal government was through the War Department, making the records of the office a kind of “National Archives” of the young nation. Unfortunately, those documents were destroyed by fire in 1800; for years, scholars believed the entire collection to have been lost.

Mason’s involvement with Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 continues more than a decade of work reconstituting and archiving those records. That effort began at East (more…)