Fall 2013, Robinson B208, Thursdays @ 4:30

History Websites for Critique

Colonial Williamsburg

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution

Virginia 400

Virtual Jamestown

Television News of the Civil Rights Era

Valley of the Shadow

Preserving American Freedom

Project Examples

The example projects we reviewed in class:

Historical Markers project: http://fredmarkers.umwblogs.org/

William Jennings Bryan/Railroad: http://segonku.unl.edu/~nsanderson/WJB_Frontpage.html

Newsboys: http://segonku.unl.edu/student_projects/hist970/s11/blocke/index.html

Women’s clothing: http://segonku.unl.edu/~mhuelman/

Visualization Tools

Google Drive charts
Excel charts
Tableau (req download)
Many Eyes

Map a List (Req Google docs)
Google Earth

Text Mining
Time Magazine Corpus – 1923-2006
Mining Google Books Corpus 1500s-2000s



Chicago Race Riots, 1919

Riots Database

More information


Alcohol-Related Deaths During Prohibition, 1920s

Prohibition Database

More information


Mob Violence, 1920s

Mob Database

More information

Text Mining

All, don’t forget text mining is a viable option for your final projects.

Time Magazine Corpus – 1923-2006
Mining Google Books Corpus 1500s-2000s

Minor in History

Do you like history but do not plan on majoring in it?  If so, why not minor in it?

If you are taking this class, you are already at least one-third of the way to a history minor.  (That is, if you have already taken HIST 100 or 125.  You have to take one of these two courses at some point in order to fulfill your gen ed requirement in Western Civilization or World History.)  All you need for a History minor is 12 more credits, or 4 more classes.  Some of you may have taken an additional history course along the way, which means that you may already be halfway towards the History minor. You should check with the History Undergraduate Office to make sure you’re choosing the right courses, but the basic message is this:  you’re probably much closer to getting the History minor than you might think.

Getting a minor is a good thing.  It is good for your resume, mainly to show prospective employers that you have a breadth of interests and that you took your college education seriously enough to do the academic planning necessary to complete a minor.  Plus, a minor gives purpose and direction to your elective courses, so that when you are taking elective credits as a junior and senior you are not just randomly selecting courses that happen to fit your schedule.  If you like history at all, filling up some of those elective credits with history courses should be more rewarding and fun than simply choosing courses at random.  And we offer around 30 different upper-level history classes every semester, on almost every conceivable topic, and at every time slot.  Almost none of these classes have prerequisites, so you can take nearly any one you like, at any time.  And our instructors are outstanding:  the student evaluation scores for history classes at Mason are significantly higher than either the college or university average.

If you have questions about the minor, please contact the department’s Undergraduate Coordinator, Carrie Grabo (cgrabo1@gmu.edu), or our Undergraduate Director, Dr. Joan Bristol (jbristol@gmu.edu). Signing up for a minor is easy.  All you need to do is go to the History Undergraduate Office, in Robinson B361, and talk to Ms. Grabo or Dr. Bristol.  And signing up doesn’t obligate you to complete the minor, either:  if you sign up for the minor but do not complete it, you can delete it at any time and the minor simply won’t appear on your diploma.

Midterm Study Guide

All, materials to help you study for the midterm are here.

Relevant class slides (slides only, you’ll need to supplement details from  your notes)
Concepts and Terms to know
How to read like a historian

Resources: Reading Like a Historian

From tonight’s class, the full reading chart. Week2_Historical_ThinkingGrid_TAH (pdf)

Reading Primary Sources: Pearl Harbor and WWII

In class, we’ll workshop Roosevelt’s War Declaration, Dec. 8, 1941 to joint session of Congress (video) Full text with margin notes  as a group and then break off into teams to analyze the following primary source materials:

  1. McCollum Memo, October 7, 1940.
  2. New York Times, Dec. 8, 1941.
  3.  Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, United States Army in World War II, The War Department: Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942 chapter on the conflict with Japan and Pearl Harbor.


Welcome to History 390-003, The Digital Past

Welcome to the Digital Past (section 003).

At its core, this course will prepare you to use and understand a wide variety of current and emerging digital technologies in the service of doing history (and beyond). We’ll explore issues of ethics, copyright & security. We’ll discuss how historians find and use digital information for their own research. We’ll also experiment with a wide variety of online tools and technologies, including maps, data visualizations, HTML, CSS & advanced searching, among others. Over the course of the semester, you will use these technologies to help you answer questions about a historical topic of your choosing for a final project, which you’ll publish on either WordPress, or–if you’re feeling ambitious–on a site you design yourself.

This site will house the core information for a successful semester, including course requirements, and up-to-date schedule (please rely on the information here and not on the paper syllabus for due dates, et cetera), and the policies governing the class. Please read it thoroughly and bookmark it.

Prior to our first meeting on Thursday, August 29th, please make sure to complete the course work listed in the schedule and answer the very brief student survey.

See you then!