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.”
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…)
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 del.icio.us 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…)
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…)
The Center for History and New Media and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University are excited to announce that we have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a website on the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
The project–Making the History of 1989–will have three main features: a database of 300 primary sources (text, images, audio, video) on the events of 1989; multimedia interviews with four historians make visible the strategies scholars use when working with primary sources and interpreting the past; six teaching modules and ten teaching case studies provide historical context, tools, and strategies for teaching the history of 1989 with primary sources.
When it is completed in early 2009, the project will debut at a meeting at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. In addition to the Wilson Center, the growing list of partners in the project includes the National Security Archive and the Cold War International History Project (Washington, D.C.), the Wende Museum (Los Angeles), and the Research Network 1989 (Berlin).
The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History and other partners, organized this project.
Generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank contributes to the ongoing effort by historians and archivists to preserve the record of these storms by collecting first-hand accounts, on-scene images, blog postings, and podcasts. We hope to foster some positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories in their own words, which as part of the historical record will remain accessible to a wide audience for generations to come.
This project builds on prior work by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, and other partners such as the Library of Congress and the Red (more…)
To preserve the Jewish experience of Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish Women’s Archive has announced the launch of Katrina’s Jewish Voices, an online collecting project and digital archive. Employing technologies and techniques developed at CHNM and in collaboration with CHNM’s Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, Katrina’s Jewish Voices allows members of the Jewish community in New Orleans and across the country to contribute their stories and photographs. The collection currently stands at nearly 200 images, emails, documents, and other digital objects related to the Jewish experience of Hurricane Katrina and is growing daily.
Since 1995, the Jewish Women’s Archive has worked to uncover, chronicle, and transmit the rich history of American Jewish women.
CHNM is pleased to announce completion of the Women in World History website, an online curriculum resource center designed to help high school and college world history teachers and their students locate, analyze, and learn from primary sources dealing with women and gender in world history. Resources include more than 200 primary sources; 15 curriculum modules complete with primary sources, introductions, teaching strategies, and lesson plans; 30 scholarly website reviews; 8 guides to analyzing specific kinds of primary sources, such as oral history and religious texts; 9 teaching case studies; and 4 archived discussion forums on teaching about women in world history.
Funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities and private donations, Women in World History integrates three approaches central to current scholarship in world history and the history of women: an emphasis on comparative issues rather than civilizations in isolation; a focus on contacts among different societies; and an attentiveness to “global” forces, such as technology diffusion, migration, or trade routes, that transcend individual societies. Project materials also utilize recent advances in our understanding of how historical learning takes place, including complex interaction with sources, recursive reading, and skills used by historians.
CHNM is pleased to announce the opening of a virtual and physical exhibit on the Russian Gulag. CHNM has teamed with the U.S. National Park Service and the Gulag Museum in Perm, Russia, to provide a companion website for the traveling exhibit Gulag: Soviet Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom, now open at Ellis Island. Located at http://www.gulaghistory.org/exhibits/nps, the website provides a virtual tour of the traveling exhibit, information on related activities in the exhibit’s host cities, curricular materials for secondary school teachers on the history of the Gulag and a place for visitors to respond to the exhibit and share their own stories.
In addition, with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for History and New Media, the George Mason University Department of History & Art History, and Professor Steven A. Barnes are constructing a new web-only exhibit, Gulag: Many Day, Many Lives. Opening in Fall 2007, this exhibit will immerse viewers in the varied experiences of an array of Gulag prisoners. Through audio, video and visual imagery, Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives will engagingly present, in vignettes and full biographies, a range of prisoners’ lives. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Gulag Museum of (more…)