History Harvest

3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT April 12, 2013

Two historians from the University of Nebraska discuss the development of a digital history project that engages students in building history, reflecting on historical change, and interpreting collected materials. (Times EDT)

The History Harvest project provides students a unique and transformative hands-on experience with historical work. Students, with the guidance of a faculty member, work as a team to plan, organize, and promote each harvest and then process and analyze the artifacts and oral history interviews they collect. As a digital initiative, the project takes advantage of innovative new technologies to engage students in a community of scholars—building history, reflecting on historical change, collaborating to create interpretive accounts of the materials they collect, and sharing what they find with others. This seminar will cover the development of the project, the lessons learned from teaching the History Harvest class over two semesters in 2011 and 2012, as well as opportunities for other colleges to collaborate with the project in the 2013-2014 academic year. Participants will leave with insight into best practices for authentic learning, integrating such projects into undergraduate courses, community engagement processes, and infrastructure standards.

Recommended Reading

William G. Thomas is the John and Catherine Angle Professor in the Humanities, professor of history, and chair of the department of history at the University of Nebraska. He is a co-editor of “The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War,” and project director of numerous digital history projects.

Patrick D. Jones is an associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska and the author of The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee (Harvard University Press, 2009).

Event Hashtag

Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on Twitter via this event’s hashtag: #history_harvest


Faculty, librarians, instructional technologists, and others from the NITLE Network who are interested in experiential learning, historical methods, local and public history, digital humanities, and digital collections are invited to attend. Attendance by institutional teams is strongly encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Wednesday, April 10, 2013. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics events is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Rebecca Davis at rdavis@nitle.org.

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.