Completed World History Sources Project

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:

IMLS awards funding for “Firefox Scholar” and “The Object of History”

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 Institution�s 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 scholars� 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…)

Public hearing for new CHNM project: “Virginia History Here”

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.

NEH awards funding for “Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives”

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 premier bi-lingual Russian-English interactive web-based exhibit entitled, “Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives.”

Drawing on the research of historian Steven Barnes at GMU, this web exhibit will provide an innovative, multifaceted consideration of the human struggle for survival in the Gulag, the brutal and often lethal Soviet system of forced labor concentration camps and internal exile. The Gulag was an inhuman system that consumed millions of lives, and the web exhibit will reveal that stark brutality while engaging the public to think about the diversity of the Gulag experience, the ethical quandaries of survival in extreme situations, and the difficulties entailed in overcoming the legacy of past injustice.

“Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives” will provide visitors with a clear, accessible, and engaging history – accompanied by rich visual, audio, and film resources and grounded in the most recent scholarship.

Echo site chosen as Voice of America’s “Website of the Week”

August 20, 2005 : The Center for History and New Media is happy to announce that Our World, Voice of America’s weekly science and technology magazine, selected Echo as their “Website of the Week.” Art Chimes, the host of Our World, discussed the dynamic and diverse nature of Echo with Dan Cohen, CHNM’s Director of Research Projects, and pointed out Echo’s unique features which provide users with the means to research, collect, and build history online.

To listen to the broadcast, visit here. For a transcript, visit here.

Speech Accent Archive relaunched

The Center for History and New Media, Technology Across the Curriculum Program, and the Linguistics Program in the Department of English are pleased to announce the release of a newly designed and expanded website: the speech accent archive. Originally started by Professor Steven Weinberger in 1998, the speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers. The archive currently houses over 400 speech samples and continues to accept submissions.

Rosenzweig on Digital Archives in Chronicle of Higher Education

CHNM Director, Roy Rosenzweig appears in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education with a column entitled Digital Archives Are a Gift of Wisdom to Be Used Wisely. In the article, Rosenzweig argues that it is not enough to digitize sources and build archives. Rather, the librarians, archivists, and scholars who create digital resources must also take measures to insure they remain accessible to all and to help students make sense of what they find there. As examples of this approach, Rosenzweig points to several CHNM projects, including History Matters, World History Matters, and CHNM’s forthcoming project, Historical Thinking Matters, which will scaffold primary sources in a way that encourages students to check sources, corroborate evidence, and contextualize it.

Alexandria schools recognize CHNM and GMU

The Center for History and New Media and the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University have received an award from Alexandria City Public Schools for “commitment and dedication to the students of Alexandria City Public Schools” for their work with ACPS teachers through the Creating a More Perfect Community project.

Creating a More Perfect Community is a Teaching American History grant awarded to Alexandria City Public Schools and funded by the United States Department of Education. A partnership with George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and the Office of Historic Alexandria, this grant is an exceptional professional development opportunity for teachers to improve their content knowledge through a year-long study.

In a city where students come from 75 different countries this project seeks to create a stronger sense of community through a deeper understanding of history. The project includes six workshops and a summer seminar featuring university historians, four book discussions, visits to historic sites, and the opportunity for teachers to participate in a professional community to enhance their instructional skills to work successfully with students.

Completion of Lost Museum Announced

Together with longtime collaborators at the CUNY Graduate Center’s American Social History Project, CHNM is happy to announce the completion of The Lost Museum: Exploring Antebellum American Life and Culture. This innovative, interactive website re-creates P. T. Barnum�s American Museum, mid-nineteenth century America’s pre-eminent popular cultural institution, on the night before its fiery demise in July, 1865. A unique learning resource that combines immersive experience with historical narrative and documentation, The Lost Museum’s cornucopia of diverse attractions highlight the major compromises and conflicts of the antebellum and Civil War eras in U.S. history.

Produced primarily at the American Social History Project (ASHP), The Lost Museum offers a 3-D spatial exploration of four re-created museum rooms containing over 160 interactive artifacts and attractions; a searchable archive of more than 300 primary documents; and 22 teaching resources geared to diverse classroom settings. These features allow contemporary virtual visitors to experience the fascinating intricacy of nineteenth-century exhibitions and to embark on a search for clues to solve the fictional mystery of who (among social and political groups in the period) may have burned down the building in July 1865. Teachers can choose among classroom activities and other resources suitable for high school and college U.S. (more…)

CHNM Website Rated Tops by ISTE

101 Best Web Sites The Center for History and New Media is happy to announce that its website has been chosen as one of the best for secondary school teachers by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Written by James Lerman and published by ISTE 101 Best Web Sites for Secondary Teachers lists CHNM alongside such projects as the National Geographic Education Guide, the Newsweek Education Program, and the United Nations Cyberschoolbus as one of only fourteen Social Studies websites to be included in the new guide. ISTE is a nonprofit professional organization with a worldwide membership of ISTE is a an educational technology professionals.