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…)

Digital Stories: Multimedia Narratives, Cultural Resources, and Humanities Knowledge

This spring’s Washington DC Area Forum on Technology and the Humanities, which will focus on new ways of representing humanities knowledge through short multimedia narrative. Authors of these multimedia narratives combine images, music and sound from personal and cultural archives, cultural institutions, popular culture, and their own research and interviews to produce short pieces, sometimes called digital stories.

Questions raised by this panel include:

– In what ways can humanities knowledge be expressed in short, multimedia-enabled, narrative forms?

– What are the advantages and disadvantages of this form?

– How can we represent cross-cultural and cultural understanding in these forms?

– What is the relationship between issues in multimedia literacy and the development of these new ways of making and presenting humanities knowledge?

– What is the role of cultural institutions and their archives (especially digital) in this work?

– What does it mean to have “amateurs” making this knowledge? How does this work relate to the work of “professionals” in the humanities academy, cultural institutions and public work?

Panelists Cecilia O’Leary (History, California State University-Monterey Bay), Bernie Cook (American Studies, Georgetown University), J.P. Singh (Communication, Culture & Technology, Georgetown University) and Michael Coventry (Communication, Culture & Technology & Visible Knowledge Project, Georgetown University) will show and discuss student-authored (more…)

Censer & CHNM Publish Electronic Article

Jack Censer (Chair of the CHNM Advisory Board) and Lynn Hunt (Eugen Weber professor of history at UCLA) have–in collaboration with five other scholars and CHNM–created an online scholarly article, “Imaging the French Revolution: Depictions of the French Revolutionary Crowd.” The American Historical Review has published the article, one of the very first digital articles to appear in the flagship journal of the American Historical Association.

The article includes the perspectives of six different scholars, both historians and art historians. Censer and Hunt explain that crowd actions have long been a subject of contention in the historiography of the French Revolution, but they contend that text-based sources have dominated the historiography. In contrast, the essays in this article take as their point of departure a bank of forty-two images selected to represent the variety of ways that crowds could be depicted. Censer and Hunt argue that visual evidence is particularly important in the case of the French Revolution: not only did thousands of images proliferate in a remarkable diversity of formats, but also those images often spoke to issues, such as crowd violence, that proved difficult for supporters of the Revolution to discuss frankly in speeches or newspaper articles. The electronic (more…)

Kelly Receives Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award

T. Mills Kelly, assistant professor of history and art history and associate director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM), will receive a 2005 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award (OFA), the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Kelly was the first honoree in the new category of Teaching with Technology. Gov. Mark Warner will recognize Kelly and 11 other educators in a ceremony in the Richmond State Capitol this morning.

Read more in the Mason Daily Gazette or click here to download the full article.

Echo exhibit reviewed in The Public Historian

A Thin Blue Line, CHNM’s online exhibition documenting the history of the pregnancy test kit is the subject of a website review published in the most recent issue of The Public Historian, the journal of the National Council on Public History. A Thin Blue Line is a collaboration between CHNM’s Echo project and the National Institutes of Health and features an online survey of visitor’s experiences with home pregancy tests.

Click here to read the review.

History Matters wins Robinson Prize

The American Historical Association has awarded the James Harvey Robinson Prize for “outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history” to History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web. History Matters was created by CHNM in collaboration with the American Social History Project at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

The award citation praised History Matters for being “an incredibly rich and ‘user friendly’ web site.” The prize committee found that History Matters “offers students and teachers an amazing array of online resources, ranging from expansive lists of annotated web sites, to annotated syllabi that take viewers behind the scenes to see how various classroom activities actually worked (or didn’t), to intensive guides of how to use various types of primary sources. As such, History Matters is a model of its kind presented in a highly attractive and easy-to-navigate format.”