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ERIC Number: ED562336
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
The History Harvest: An Experiment in Democratizing the Past through Experiential Learning
Thomas, William G.; Jones, Patrick D.
International Association for Development of the Information Society, Paper presented at the International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS) International Conference on e-Learning (Prague, Czech Republic, Jul 23-26, 2013)
The History Harvest project ( is an open, digital archive of historical artifacts gathered from communities across the United States. Each year, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of History partners with local institutions and community members within a highlighted area to collect, preserve, and share their rich, but often hidden, histories. Advanced undergraduates, working as a team and with the guidance of faculty members and graduate students, "harvest," digitize, and curate the artifacts and stories they collect. The History Harvest project is rooted in the belief that our collective history is more diverse and multi-faceted than most people give credit for and that most of this history is not found in archives, historical societies, museums or libraries, but rather in the stories that ordinary people have to tell from their own experience and in the things--the objects and artifacts--that they keep and collect to tell the story of their lives. The History Harvest, then, affirms the importance of local people, local communities and everyday experience in the broader narrative of American history by providing an innovative opportunity for ordinary people to share their historical artifacts, and their stories, for inclusion in a unique digital archive of what we are calling the "people's history." This new public resource is then available for educators, students and anyone else interested in engaging U.S. history from this more democratic, or grassroots, perspective. This short paper on our work-in-progress examines the experiential learning basis for The History Harvest project and its rationale for democratizing history in a digital age. [For the full proceedings, see ED562127.]
International Association for the Development of the Information Society. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska