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.

History Matters Recognized by New York Public Library

The New York Public Library selected History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web to be included in its Best of Reference 2005. The Best of Reference, created each year by a committee of librarians from The New York Library, is a list of 25 reference books and websites acknowledging useful resources for local branch reference work. In 2004 the American Libary Association named History Matters one of the “Best Free Reference Web Sites.”

The September 11 Digital Archive was included in the Best of Reference 2004.

CHNM-affiliated project profiled in Chronicle

The Business Plan Archive, a project directed by David Kirsch at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and hosted at CHNM, is featured this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Business Plan Archive is a cousin to CHNM’s own Echo: Exploring and Collecting History Online project, and CHNM has collaborated with Kirsch on several projects to collect, preserve, and present digital materials in the history of science, technology, and industry. Both Echo and the Business Plan Archive are funded by major grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Click here to download the article.

Cohen, Syllabus Finder featured in Inside Higher Ed

Reviewed this week in Inside Higher Ed is an article by CHNM Director of Research Projects, Dan Cohen. The subject of the article, which appears in the most recent issue of the Journal of American History is CHNM’s innovative software tool, Syllabus Finder and the sophisticated analysis of the place of textbooks in U.S. survey courses that Cohen performed using this tool.

Syllabus Finder was created by Cohen as an experiment in the fledgling world of web services, where computers talk directly to each other to try to solve complicated problems or complete tasks that would be difficult to do otherwise. In this case, the computers that talk to each other are the Center for History and New Media’s web server and Google’s web server. The Syllabus Finder sends an optimized, specially packaged version of your query to Google, which sends back information and possible matches. The Syllabus Finder then processes this information and combines it with simultaneous searches on in-house databases (e.g., a database of educational institutions, so it can tell you which university or college a syllabus comes from). It also has algorithms that try to extract additional information from matching syllabi, such as assigned books. When this complex process (more…)