Serendip-o-matic connects your sources to digital materials located in libraries, museums, and archives around the world. By first examining your research interests, and then identifying related content in locations such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Europeana, and Flickr Commons, our serendipity engine helps you discover photographs, documents, maps and other primary sources.

Histories of the National Mall

Histories of the National Mall makes visible the rich past of the National Mall for its millions of on-site visitors through a website easily accessible by mobile phones that provides content and interpretation far superior to static guidebooks and existing mobile tours and applications. The National Council on Public History selected it as the Outstanding Public History Project for 2015.


Since 2011, the team from RRCHNM has organized the program for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ WebWise conference has brought together representatives of museums, libraries, archives, systems science, education, and other fields interested in the future of high-quality online content for inquiry and learning. This annual conference highlights recent research and innovations in digital technology, explores their potential impacts on library and museum services, and promotes effective museum and library practices in the digital environment. It also provides recipients of technology-based grants from the Institute an opportunity to showcase their exemplary projects. is web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions. No technical skills or special server requirements are necessary. Sign up, and start sharing.


Scripto brings the power of MediaWiki to your collections. Designed to allow members of the public to transcribe a range of different kinds of files, Scripto will increase your content’s findability while building your user community through active engagement. There are plugins or extensions for Drupal, Omeka, and WordPress.

Mobile for Museums

Museum professionals see great potential in reaching new audiences and pleasing old ones by providing content and social interaction via mobile devices. The biggest challenge is that many museums do not quite know where to begin when working with a small budget and small staff with limited technical knowledge. Funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, this site addresses those needs by proving a brief overview of what is being done in the mobile museum world and offers suggestions based on this research on how to economically provide mobile users with a positive experience with your museum.

Martha Washington: A Life

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was born into a world of elite social custom and privilege in the 1730s. Little did she know that she would marry twice, give birth to four children — losing two of them to illness in childhood — and bear witness to the Revolution and the creation of a new nation. This site allows visitors to explore the contours of Martha Washington’s life while also providing a window on women’s lives during the 18th century, including women’s access to property and education, their role in the Revolution, their thoughts on the promises of rights called for in the founding documents, and their everyday experiences of marriage, motherhood, labor, sickness, and death.

Bracero History Archive

The Bracero History Archive collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America.

In a partnership between George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, the National Museum of American History, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Brown University, Bracero History Archive will grow to include sound files and transcripts of interviews with program participants, photographs, documents, and other files of interest. Users, which will include researchers, students, and others interested in the Bracero program, will be able to conduct searches using several different fields.

Papers of the War Department 1784-1800

On the night of November 8, 1800, fire devastated the United States War Office, consuming the papers, records, and books stored there. Two weeks later, Secretary of War Samuel Dexter lamented in a letter that “All the papers in my office [have] been destroyed.” For the past two centuries, the official records of the War Department effectively began with Dexter’s letter. Papers of the War Department 1784-1800, an innovative digital editorial project, will change that by making some 55,000 long lost documents of the early War Department available online to scholars, students, and the general public. By providing free and open access to these previously unavailable documents, Papers of the War Department 1784-1800 will offer a unique window into a time when there was no law beyond the Constitution, when the federal government hardly existed outside of the Army and Navy, and when a new nation struggled to define itself at home and abroad.

Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives

CHNM’s first online exhibitions, GULAG: Many Days, Many Lives immerses visitors in the varied experiences the vast and brutal Soviet prison camp system. The Gulag existed neither as a single unified experience, nor as a single unified institution. Comprised of a variety of forms of harsh detention for a diversity of prisoners, it existed as a massive machine influencing the lives of countless people. GULAG: Many Days, Many Lives presents this diversity of experience through full prisoner biographies, audio and video clips, an extensive primary source archive, and a set of illustrated, narrative exhibits. In cooperation with the Gulag Museum of Perm, Russia, the website also offers a virtual tour of a reconstructed prison camp.