Category Archives: CHNM

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

On April 15, 2011, the Center for History and New Media became the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. This was made possible by the incredible generosity of hundreds of donors, who gave over a million dollars to rename the center. I’m enormously grateful to those contributors, many of whom read this blog. Thank you. It was especially touching that in addition to the tremendous donations from Roy’s friends, there were scores of donations from people who had never met Roy, such as a $5 contribution from a student in rural India who learned from our websites and tools.

Here’s what I said at the beginning of the dedication ceremony:

On behalf of the entire staff of the center and also for the Department of History and Art History that the center is a part of, let me welcome you on this wonderful occasion to the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. We wouldn’t be here today without your extraordinary friendship and generosity, and so let me give the first of many thanks to everyone for making this day happen.

We have several speakers this afternoon that I have the privilege of introducing, who will each say a few words about Roy and the center. But I wanted to start off the proceedings by giving voice to something miraculous that is happening as we celebrate today.

Right now, silently in the background, literally thousands of people worldwide are connected to the center’s servers, studying and conversing and learning. I checked our server logs just before this celebration, and just today, tens of thousands of people have visited CHNM sites. And just in the last thirty days well over a million visitors took advantage of the center’s open access resources and open source tools. For this reason, I can’t imagine that any academic in history has affected more people than Roy has.

And from this day forward, all of these millions of visitors to the many sites of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media will know who Roy is. They will see the new logo that is behind this curtain on our many websites, and know whom to thank for the incredible riches and generosity that Roy envisioned when he came up with the then-radical mission statement for the center: “to use digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past.” On a personal note, it’s truly a joy to be able to carry on the work of a good friend every day.

The endowment you have helped to raise will support the work of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media for years to come. Thank you.

Help Us Create the Future

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University is celebrating fifteen years of providing high-quality, free educational resources and tools to an audience that grows exponentially each year. Last year, sixteen million people visited CHNM’s websites and over two million people used our software.

The historians and technologists at CHNM feel lucky to serve this vast audience, but although all of our tools and resources are free, they are not without cost. With your help we hope to continue our service and innovation for another fifteen years and beyond. The National Endowment for the Humanities has given CHNM a rare challenge grant, which will match donations to CHNM’s endowment for a limited time.

Whether you use CHNM’s popular Zotero software for your research, get your daily fix from the History News Network, learn from award-winning sites such as Historical Thinking Matters and Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives, or scan through unique digital archives such as the Papers of the War Department, we hope you will make a contribution today. Your tax-deductible gift will help us to reach even more students, teachers, and scholars worldwide.

To make your donation right now, please visit:

http://chnm.gmu.edu/donate/

From all of us at the Center for History and New Media, we thank you in advance for helping us, as our motto says, “Build a Better Yesterday, Bit by Bit.”

UPDATE: An anonymous donor has stepped forward who will match the NEH’s match for the month of June, up to $15,000. So now is a terrific time to contribute and stretch your donation even further!

CHNM, Then and Now

Louis Rosenfeld, co-author of the enormously helpful Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, may be right—emotionally, at least—that “web redesign must die.” Anyone who has ever been involved with a redesign of a major website knows that it is a painful and long process, full of compromises.

But a redesign is often more than just a new coat of paint. It can be a time to reassess or reassert the mission of an institution, prioritize projects and features, and look to the future.

At the Center for History and New Media we have recently officially launched the fourth major design of our site in our fourteen-year history, thanks to the hard work of our design team, led by Jeremy Boggs, the information architecture and conceptualization led by Connie Sehat (who is now the Director of Digital Scholarship at Emory), and the oversight of CHNM’s Director of Public Projects, Sharon Leon. At the beginning of 2001, when I arrived at CHNM, our home page looked like this:

Since then we’ve grown ten-fold, adding dozens of employees and many new projects and initiatives, while going through a couple of site redesigns. We used to joke about having “divisions,” back when each employee was their own “division”; now we truly have divisions, i.e., units focusing on education, public history and collections, and research, scholarship, and software, although staff often float between these areas. Our latest design reflects this more lucid view of our own organization, and tries to better project all of the things going on under our roof without seeming cluttered:

I’m not looking forward to the next redesign. But now that it’s done, I’m really glad we did this one.

Fall 2008 Openings at CHNM

As the Center for History and New Media continues to grow, we’re on another hiring spree. Here are our two most recent openings; I’ll post others as they become available. Also remember that there is an opening for a tenure-track job in digital history at CHNM/GMU.

Drupal/PHP Programmer

The Center for History and New Media is seeking an entry-level Drupal/PHP Programmer to work on digital humanities projects such as the National History Education Clearinghouse.

This is a contract-funded, two-year position that is particularly appropriate for someone with a combined interest in technology, and the humanities and social sciences.

Knowledge of Drupal and some combination of the following would be particularly helpful: JavaScript, CSS, XML, PHP, MySQL and object-oriented programming. Ability to work in a team is very important.

Apply online for position 10411z at http://jobs.gmu.edu/; then e-mail a resume, salary requirements, and a cover letter describing relevant programming projects and experience to chnm@gmu.edu with subject line “Drupal Programmer.” We will begin considering applications on September 2, 2008, and continue until the position is filled. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Multimedia Developer

The Center for History and New Media is hiring a Multimedia Developer to work on a variety of innovative, Web-based history projects.

This grant-funded position is particularly appropriate for someone with a combined interest in technology and history. The successful candidate will be an energetic, well-organized person who takes initiative; works well in a team; and learns new skills quickly. Experience with audio editing, video editing, Final Cut Pro and/or Flash preferred.

Please apply online at http://jobs.gmu.edu for position 10412z, then e-mail a cover letter, resume and links to any prior Web-based multimedia work to chnm@gmu.edu with the subject line “Multimedia Developer.” We will begin considering applications on September 2, 2008, and continue until the position is filled.

About CHNM/GMU

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, which is known for innovative work in digital history, is located in Fairfax, Virginia, 15 miles from Washington, D.C., and is accessible by public transportation. George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. Enrollment is 30,000, with students studying in over 150 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and the United Arab Emirates. GMU was recently named the #1 “Up-and-Coming” university by U.S. News & World Report.

Potential Fellowship at CHNM

The Center for History and New Media (CHNM, http://chnm.gmu.edu) at George Mason University invites expressions of interest to join the Center in applying to the National Endowment for the Humanities for one of NEH’s Fellowships at Digital Humanities Centers.

NEH Fellowships at Digital Humanities Centers (FDHC) support collaboration between digital centers and individual scholars. An award provides funding for both a stipend for the fellow while in residence at the center and a portion of the center’s costs for hosting a fellow. Awards are for periods of six to twelve months. The intellectual cooperation between the visiting scholar and the center may take many different forms and may involve humanities scholars of any level of digital expertise. Fellows may work exclusively on their own projects in consultation with center staff, collaborate on projects with other scholars affiliated with the center, function as “apprentices” on existing digital center projects, or any combination of these. The results of the collaboration may range from “proof of concept” to finished product.

The aims of the program are to 1) support innovative collaboration on outstanding digital research projects; 2) expand digital literacy and expertise; 3) promote the work of digital humanities centers; and 4) encourage broad and open access to the humanities. (For the full guidelines, see http://www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/fdhc.html)

CHNM plans to select a scholar for its application by July 31, 2008. Interested scholars should send a CV and a 2-3 pp. description of 1) their general interest in the fellowship and the Center; 2) what specifically they would like to work on during the term of the fellowship; 3) any experience they might have that is applicable to this work; and 4) how this work dovetails with any current Center projects (e.g. the National History Education Clearinghouse, Zotero, Omeka, the Bracero History Archive, etc.) Send these two documents to chnm@gmu.edu with the subject line “NEH Fellowship” as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed as they come in, through July 31. The selected scholar will be notified soon thereafter, and CHNM will work with that scholar to submit a grant application to NEH by September 15, 2008.

CHNM Swift Owls Race Team

Every year George Mason University has a 5K race/walk, and the Center for History and New Media always has a good showing. We had 21 participants this year (4 runners, 17 iPhone-and-coffee-wielding walkers), but were edged out by the athletics department for the highest participation rate (no surprise there).

We also like to design t-shirts for the event each year. Generally the designs are Photoshopped movie posters with CHNMers inserted, but this year race chair James Halabuk and designer Jeremy Boggs came up with a nice, simple M*A*S*H substitution.

Beautiful day for a 5K, and great fun to get away from the monitors for an hour.

Zotero Needs Your Help, Part I

We’re ramping up here at Zotero headquarters for the big release of the public beta (it should be out next week). But we’re already thinking ahead to great new features—including nifty ways to share and collaborate, as I mentioned in my last post on Zotero—and to building not only a large and active user community, but also a community to help disseminate, support, and further develop this free and open software. In short, we need your help! In this post I’ll let you know about the official George Mason University announcements for full-time positions at CHNM (sorry for the officialese and also for the repetitiveness; it’s necessary to post these as they are recorded with GMU Human Resources). In the next post, I’ll let you know about other opportunities to help out.

Senior Programmer: The Center for History & New Media (http://chnm.gmu.edu) at George Mason University is seeking a programmer to work primarily on Zotero (http://www.zotero.org), an open source bibliographic management and note-taking tool for the Firefox web browser. Applicants should have an advanced knowledge of JavaScript, XUL, XML, CSS, and other technologies critical for Firefox development, such as XPCOM. Applicants should also have a working knowledge of PHP, Java, and MySQL, and have solid command-line Linux skills. Ability to work in a team is very important. This is a grant-funded, two-year position at the Center for History and New Media (http://chnm.gmu.edu), which is known for innovative work in digital media. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, CHNM is 15 miles from Washington, DC, and accessible by public transportation. Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references to chnm@gmu.edu with subject line “senior programmer.” Applications without a cover letter and resume will not be considered. The cover letter should include salary requirements and a description of relevant programming projects and experience. We will begin considering applications on 10/15/2006 and continue until the position is filled.

Technology Outreach Coordinator: The Center for History & New Media at George Mason University is seeking a technology outreach coordinator for Zotero (http://www.zotero.org), an open source bibliographic management and note-taking tool for the Firefox web browser. The technology outreach coordinator will be responsible for building alliances with scholarly organizations and libraries, encouraging scholars to try Zotero, developing and maintaining user documentation, and building awareness of this next-generation research tool. We are looking for an energetic, well-organized individual with excellent written and oral communication skills. Applicants should have at least some graduate training in library science or one of the humanities or social science disciplines as well as familiarity with relevant technologies (e.g., XML, RDF, metadata standards, and Firefox extensions) and scholarly research practices. This is a grant-funded, two-year position at the Center for History and New Media (http://chnm.gmu.edu) at George Mason University, which is known for innovative work in digital media. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, CHNM is 15 miles from Washington, DC, and accessible by public transportation. Please send letter of application, CV, or resume, and three references to chnm@gmu.edu with the subject line “Technology Outreach Coordinator.” We will begin considering applications October 15, 2006, and continue until the position is filled.

Web Designer: The Center for History & New Media at George Mason University is seeking a web designer and developer. We require an energetic and well-organized individual to work on a variety of innovative, web-based history projects. This position is particularly appropriate for someone with a combined interest in technology and history. The successful applicant will be able to create mockups and wireframes for historical, cultural, and educational websites and bring those ideas to fruition using the latest and highest web development standards. Fluency with current web design technologies (including ability to hand code HTML, CSS, and Javascript) and familiarity with web accessibility and web usability standards are essential. Some familiarity with web-database technologies (MySQL, PHP), contemporary trends in web development (e.g., AJAX, DHTML and DOM Scripting, Rails) and multimedia and graphic design applications (Flash, including ActionScript, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator) is a plus, as is prior work in history or the humanities. This is a grant-funded two-year position at the Center for History and New Media (http://chnm.gmu.edu), which is known for innovative work in digital media. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, CHNM is 15 miles from Washington, DC, and accessible by public transportation.Please send a resume, three references, links to prior web/multimedia work, and a cover letter describing technology background and any interest in history to chnm@gmu.edu with subject line “Web Designer.” Salary: $32-40K plus excellent benefits. We will begin considering applications on 10/15/2006 and continue until the position is filled.

About CHNM: Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to change the ways that people—scholars, students, and the general public—learn about and use the past. We do that by bringing together the most exciting and innovative digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship. We believe that serious scholarship and cutting edge multimedia can be combined to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as a broad historical literacy that fosters deep understanding of the most complex issues about the past and present. CHNM’s work has been internationally recognized for cutting-edge work in history and new media. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, CHNM is 15 miles from Washington, DC, and is accessible by public transportation.

Please also see the second post in this series for other exciting opportunities to help out and extend Zotero.

The New Center for History and New Media

This month the Center for History and New Media moved into a wonderful new space on the campus of George Mason University. We couldn’t be more delighted; it’s a tremendous new building (provisionally named “Research I”; if you have several million dollars lying around and want a building named after you, please contact GMU). CHNM takes up about half of the top floor, where we are neighbors with the ominously named “Autonomous Robotics Laboratory.” Perhaps the most amusing part of the building is the sign in the lobby listing the other tenants. Needless to say, we’re the only historians in the building.

Research I

The other side of the building, with the observatory (our conference room is just below, in the tower)

CHNM’s main computer lab

The “West Wing” of CHNM, where my office is

The lobby sign

Job Openings at CHNM for 2006-2007

Do you have technical skills and would like to apply those talents to expand and improve online learning and scholarship? Does your inner geek thrive in an academic setting? Do you want to be on the cutting edge of digital research? The Center for History and New Media is hiring! We have three openings for jobs that begin in the summer of 2006. The Center is a fantastic, exciting place to work, as I can attest. Here are the job descriptions; please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and please forward these descriptions to others who might be interested.

Digital Historian: This is a one- to two-year position (depending on funding) at the rank of Research Assistant Professor at the Center for History and New Media (CHNM), which is closely affiliated with the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. A PhD or advanced ABD in History or a closely related field is required. We are especially interested in people with some or all of the following credentials, but they are not required for the position: 1. experience in digital history or digital libraries; 2. strong technical background in new technology and new media; 3. administrative and organizational experience; 4. background in the history of science, technology, and industry, broadly defined. Please send letter of application, CV or resume, and three letters of recommendation (or dossier) to chnm@gmu.edu or Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive MS 1E7, Fairfax, VA 22030. Electronic submissions encouraged. Please use subject line “Digital Historian.” We will begin considering applications 1 April, 2006.

Webmaster and Technical Coordinator: The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University (GMU) anticipates an opening in Summer 2006 for a Webmaster/ Technical Coordinator to maintain the CHNM server and oversee the CHNM computer lab. This is a permanent classified staff position that is particularly appropriate for someone with combined interest in technology and history. We are seeking an energetic, responsible, well-organized person who is equally able to work independently, as part of a team, and as a supervisor. Specific background and experience is less important than the ability to learn new technical skills quickly. But knowledge of some combination of the following would be particularly helpful: scripting languages (especially PHP); database-driven web applications (especially using MySQL); command-line configuration of Red Hat Linux and Apache; web design (CSS, Dreamweaver, Photoshop); and Mac and Windows operating systems. In addition to overseeing a Red Hat Linux server, the Webmaster will help develop web database applications, construct websites, purchase and maintain software and hardware for the lab, and supervise part-time staff. Salary: $35-39K plus excellent benefits. Please email resume, three references, links to prior web-based work, and cover letter about technology background and interest in history to chnm@gmu.edu. Please use subject line “Webmaster.” We will begin considering applications on 4/15/2006 and continue until the position is filled.

Web Developer: The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University anticipates an entry-level opening for a web and multimedia developer in Summer 2006. We require an energetic and well-organized person to work on a variety of innovative, web-based history projects. This is a grant-funded, one-to-two-year position that is particularly appropriate for someone with a combined interest in technology and history. Specific background and experience is less important than the ability to learn new technical skills quickly. But knowledge of some combination of the following would be particularly helpful: web-database applications (MySQL and PHP), web design (CSS, Dreamweaver, Photoshop), multimedia (Flash, including ActionScript), and Final Cut Pro. Salary: $34K plus excellent benefits. Please email resume, three references, links to any prior web-based work (or programming examples), and a cover letter about technology background and interest in history to chnm@gmu.edu. Please use subject line “web developer.” We will begin considering applications on 4/15/2006 and continue until the position is filled.