CHNM Digital Memory Banks in the News

Two of CHNM’s “digital memory bank” projects have drawn major media attention of late, marking important landmarks in both American history and their own development.

On August 29, 2007 on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (HDMB) announced a new partnership with the Historic New Orleans Collection to present and preserve the Do You Know What It Means?, an important photo-documentary collection and long-time partner of the project. HDMB was also featured in a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “Stories From the Storm.”

On September 11, 2007 on the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, CHNM’s September 11 Digital Archive announced the launch an improved website that for the first time provides public access to thousands of previously unavailable artifacts. In June of 2004, the September 11 Digital Archive ceased publishing new material, though it continued to collect stories, images, and other artifacts. The collection now stands at more than 150,000 digital objects, of which only a small portion has ever been made available. With the website’s relaunch, the full scope of the archive will be accessible to both researchers and the public, tripling the extent of shared memories. This (more…)

“Voices from the Storm” Podcast Debuts

This summer CHNM’s Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (HDMB) features a new series of podcasts, “Voices from the Storm.” Each week, from now until the end of September, Mills Kelly and Sheila Brennan read stories submitted to the online archive. Listeners hear from hurricane evacuees and survivors, as well as from volunteers who traveled to the Gulf Coast to help with the massive recovery efforts. Subscribe to the RSS feed and receive the latest podcasts and news from HDMB.

Firefox Co-Founder Blake Ross Interviewed by CHNM

This week the Mozilla Digital Memory Bank podcast features Firefox co-founder, Blake Ross. Ross first came to fame in 2002 after appearing on the cover of Wired Magazine while still a high school student. Ross agreed to meet with CHNM research assistants Ken Albers and Olivia Ryan at a California public library last June for an interview. Listen to the podcast for highlights or visit the Memory Bank for audio and a transcript of the full interview.

Organized by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, 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. The Mozilla Digital Memory Bank is part of CHNM’s Echo project, which, since 2001, has worked to develop new ways of collecting, preserving, and presenting the history of science, technology, and industry online. Building on CHNM’s earlier work on the September 11 Digital Archive and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, the (more…)

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank Earns AASLH Award

The American Association of State and Local History recently awarded The Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans an Award of Merit for Leadership in History for our work on the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank ( AASLH presents the Award of Merit to honor significant achievement in the field of local history and to honor excellence in special projects.

Launched in November 2005 to collect and preserve the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (HDMB) has collected nearly 25,000 items. HDMB is the largest and by far the most accessible non-commercial archive containing the stories and images of Katrina and Rita. This collected evidence will prove invaluable to future historians, and the process of recording experiences of those affected by the storms will contribute to healing and rebuilding in their communities.

Upcoming ECHO workshop and ECHO Grants

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 ( 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 accepted participants will be notified by June 10th.

Also through the ECHO program, the Center for History and New Media (more…)

Now on shelves: Dan Cohen’s Equations from God

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 launches April 16 Archive in collaboration with CHNM

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.

A full press release is available from CDDC at

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