Historical Ephemera

Project online at - http://historicalephemera.com

Historical ephemera include transitory materials from the past that were intended to have a one-time or temporary use. We can learn much from studying about the past using historical ephemera. Most of the ephemera that we have today were kept because they represent something significant to us. Personal ephemera, such as memorabilia, can provide an authentic entry point for students to learn about the past using evidence. Because ephemera are all around us, most children will have easy access to various types of ephemera, particularly mementos saved by family members.

Historical Soundscape

Project online at - http://www.historicalsoundscape.org/

What does it mean to compose? Most of us probably think of music, maybe classical music, when we hear the word compose. Of course, a composition is much more. Compositions involve the creative and even artistic rendering of ideas using various modes to express. We might compose in text or with paint or with sound or even with physical objects. Today, compositions are taking on a new meaning with the emergence of the new technologies. In this activity, students use a free audio software program called Audacity to compose an Historical Soundscape. A soundscape is a collection of sounds that emerge from a natural or human-made environment. For this activity, students can compose sounds to interpret an historical event, place, or people.

Read more about our work with historical soundscapes in our recently published article on Tech Trends Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century Historical Soundscapes for Creative Synthesis

Becoming Digital


This project involved the digitization of a small of collection of physical resources as a process that moves us toward understanding what it means for historical content to “become digital.” The resources digitized in this activity were mostly owned by the people doing the digitization. The primary task in this work was to make multiple digital representations of a single or small set of physical historical resources. This work builds off ideas put forward by Nicholas Negroponte in his book Being Digital, as well as Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig’s ideas in their book, Digital history: A guide to gathering, preserving, presenting the past on the web, specifically Chapter 2 titled Becoming Digital -http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/digitizing/

A complete description of this project is available in our recently published article here.

Lee, J. K., & Molebash, P. (2014). Becoming digital: Using personal digital histories to engage teachers in contemporary understandings of teaching social studies. The Journal of Social Studies Research, Available online 18 April 2014, ISSN 0885-985X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jssr.2014.02.005

The Days of Julia Johnson Fisher: A Civil War Diary

Project online at - http://dhpp.org/julia_johnson_fisher/index.htm

Julia Johnson Fisher kept her diary over an eight month period in 1864. This brief account of a tumultuous time chronicles the life of Julia and her family in Camden County along the south Georgia coast. Much of diary is foreboding and at about 9,000 words, Julia does not dwell on any subject long. But, the diary is rich in its descriptive detail of the deprivations brought on in the South by the Civil War, and in its descriptions of family and community relationships and social order.

George Washington's views on government

Project online at - http://dhpp.org/gw/index.htm

This project was completed as part of a seminar class at Georgia State on digital history taught Spring 2002. The research was conducted using an online collection of Washington’s papers from the University of Virginia. The main address for the collection is http://www.virginia.edu/gwpapers/. Within the main collection is a special collection of 39 letters written by Washington on the issue of the type of government that should emerge from the Constitutional Convention. These letters can be found at http://www.virginia.edu/gwpapers/constitution/index.html. Students in the seminar wrote a traditional linear report and then converted the report into hypertext.

The Diary of Julius Lafayette Dowda

Project online at - http://www.dhpp.org/dowda

The Civil War Diary of Julius Lafayette Dowda

Third Georgia Cavalry

Army of East Tennessee.