Publication Date

January 22, 2013

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities


Public History

Responding to the high level of interest in the article on History Harvests in Perspectives on History, we are opening it to all readers ahead of schedule.

William G. Thomas, Patrick D. Jones (both of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln), and Andrew Witmer (James Madison University) describe the History Harvest as “exciting and rewarding work at the intersection of digital history and experiential learning.” History Harvests are “community events in which students scan or photograph items of historical interest, brought in by local institutions and residents, for online display.”

“Every family and community has a history,” the authors explain, “a connection to the larger story of the American experience, and in the History Harvest we explore those connections, talk about them, and document their meaning in partnership with the participants. Our aim is to make invisible archives and stories more visible, bringing them into the public realm to be shared, heard, and seen.”

The article provides practical advice on how to run a History Harvest, and features photographs of students at work in the community along with samples of artifacts that they helped digitize.

Readers can learn more about History Harvests and view even more images at UNL’s History Harvest site and JMU’s 2012 History Harvest gallery. The Chronicle of Higher Educationcovered History Harvests in late December.

The rest of the January 2013 issue of Perspectives on History is available with a member login now, and will be open to all on February 1.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.