Historians have generally taken a dim view of the state of knowledge on the Web, pointing to the many inaccuracies on Web pages written by amateurs. In a new article in First Monday, CHNM Director of Research Projects, Dan Cohen and CHNM Director, Roy Rosenzweig assess this conventional wisdom with the help of CHNM’s innovative H-Bot automated historical fact finder. Adopting mathematical and computational perspectives alien to historians–but not to computer scientists–Cohen and Rosenzweig show that while the Web may include many inaccuracies, when assessed as a whole through statistical means, it is actually extremely accurate. Moreover, Cohen and Rosenzweig’s mathematical methods suggest new techniques for historical research and new approaches to teaching history in an age in which an increasingly significant portion of the past has been digitized.
Take a fresh look at the History Web, this week at CHNM.
The Center for History and New Media has always been on the cutting edge of technology and scholarship, and today a new resource joins the already extensive CHNM site: the CHNM blogosphere. Visit us to read CHNM faculty and staff member perspectives on trends in digital history and traditional historical scholarship.
Nate Agrin’s web tech / random topic blog explores current events and how the world is affected by information sharing. See also Nate’s open code notebook at quirks.exposured.
Sheila Brennan looks at the online museum world and history resources, with detours into discussions about life in Texas and dissertation work.
Jeremy Boggs post thoughts houghts on how historians can use the electronic form as a tool for academic and educational expression.
Dan Cohen covers the digital humanities, the world of Google and search technologies, and programming and software for academics.
Josh Greenberg’s blog Epistemographer includes his thoughts on new web technologies, science and technology studies, and related topics.
Stephanie Hurter explores topics related to the history of print and public expression and how technology and new media affected (and continue to affect) these things.
Mills Kelly maintains a blog devoted to the teaching and learning of history online.
Sharon Leon posting cover history, religion, science (more…)
The Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences named Sharon Leon, Associate Director of Education Projects at CHNM, as the winner of the third annual Stanley Jackson award for her paper, “Hopelessly Entangled in Nordic Pre-suppositions’: Catholic Participation in the American Eugenics Society in the 1920s.” (59:1, January 2004).”
The Jackson Prize was created in the honor of Dr. Stanley W. Jackson (1920-2000). Dr. Jackson was a former editor of the journal, president of the American Association for the History of Medicine, and a distinguished professor of psychiatry and medical history at Yale Medical School. he Jackson Prize is given for a paper published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. The prize of $500 is awarded yearly by a committee appointed by the editor for the best paper that appeared in the journal in the previous 3 years.
The El Paso Times and Denton Record-Chronicle reported this week about CHNM’s Bracero History Project, a joint effort with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso. The Bracero History Project seeks to establish a new model for museum and cultural institution collaboration, creating a nationwide network to collect the oral histories and mementos of braceros, Mexican guest workers brought to the United States for agricultural labor between 1942-1964. Among the project’s intended outcomes are a comprehensive online archive of Bracero history and a traveling exhibit that will provide insight into the history of work, immigration, and race relations during this period.
This fall’s Washington DC Area Forum on Technology and the Humanities will focus on “Massive Digitization Programs and Their Long-Term Implications: Google Print, the Open Content Alliance, and Related Developments.”
Our panelists are Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information, and attorney Jonathan Band.
Clifford Lynch has been the Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) since July 1997. CNI, jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and Educause, includes about 200 member organizations concerned with the use of information technology and networked information to enhance scholarship and intellectual productivity. Prior to joining CNI, Lynch spent 18 years at the University of California Office of the President, the last 10 as Director of Library Automation. Lynch, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, is an adjunct professor at Berkeley’s School of Information Management and Systems.
Jonathan Band is a Washington-based attorney who helps shape the laws governing intellectual property and the Internet through a combination of legislative and appellate advocacy. He has represented library and technology clients with respect to the drafting of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), database protection legislation, and other statutes relating to copyrights, spam, cybersecurity, and indecency. He received his (more…)
The book provides a plainspoken and thorough introduction to the web for historians – teachers and students, archivists and museum curators, professors as well as amateur enthusiasts – who wish to produce online historical work, or to build upon and improve the projects they have already started in this important new medium. It begins with an overview of the different genres of history websites, surveying a range of digital history work that has been created since the beginning of the web. The book then takes the reader step-by-step through planning a project, understanding the technologies involved and how to choose the appropriate ones, designing a site that is both easy-to-use and scholarly, digitizing materials in a way that makes them web-friendly while preserving their historical integrity, and how to reach and respond (more…)
The Department of Education awarded CHNM another Teaching American History grant in partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools. Loudoun County is now one of the nine county school systems, including Alexandria City, Fauquier, Fairfax, Clarke, Culpeper, Frederick, Manassas City, Orange, and Winchester, that CHNM works with to strengthen teachers content knowledge in Virginia and U.S. history and skills in teaching history. The grant, serving 150 teachers and 44,000 students in Loudoun, provides instruction divided into two cohorts. The first includes workshops, summer learning institutes and lectures by prominent historians focused on Virginia history as U.S. history, including Native American life in the Chesapeake; the legacy of George Washington; and slavery and reconstruction, including the Civil War and post-Civil War life. The second cohort, open to teachers in all grades as well as English as Second Language (ESL) and special education teachers, will feature a 2-day summer workshop and five school year workshops.
This summer CHNM completed the NEH-funded World History Sources, a website focused on the learning and teaching of world history with primary sources. The site features: Finding World History, a guide to the 200 best online primary source archives in world history; Unpacking Evidence, eight guides to analyzing primary sources as part of world history; Analyzing Documents, eight multimedia models of scholars analyzing primary sources, designed to make the work of historians experienced in world history sources more visible; and Teaching Sources, case studies in which experienced classroom teachers offer a look “behind the scenes” into planning and teaching primary sources in world history. We plan to continue our work in world history, refining and broadening the site’s content and accessibility. Visit the site here: http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources.
CHNM is pleased to announce two new awards from the Institute for Museum and Library Services for Firefox Scholar and The Object of History.
The Object of History, a joint project of CHNM and the Smithsonian Institutionï¿½s National Museum of American History, will develop a new model for bringing museum objects and expertise to students in remote classrooms and for teaching them how to engage and analyze these artifacts. Through virtual representations and interpretations of iconic objects chosen from the NMAH collection, students will learn about key themes in American history. CHNM plans to develop six interactive web-based object lessons and virtual field trips that provide not only an educational resource for students and teachers nationwide but also provide a cost-effective, innovative, and replicable model for history museums seeking new ways to educate audiences and disseminate collections.
Firefox Scholar, a collaboration with the Virtual Library of Virginia, will create a set of free, open source web browser tools, which will enhance scholarsï¿½ access to and use of digital library and museum collections. Firefox Scholar operates within the browser window and allows users to recognize and capture metadata from online objects, collect documents, images, and citations from the web. Firefox Scholar will relieve libraries (more…)
The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University will host a public hearing to consider its planned proposal to the Virginia Deptartment of Transportation’s enhancement program for a new project, “Virginia History Here.” The project plans to use new mobile communications technologies to improve access to Northern Virginia’s rich stock of historical roadside markers. The meeting will be held at George Mason University on October 3rd in Student Union Building I, Room C, from 7pm-9pm.
Please contact Heather Velez with any questions at (703)993-4585.