History students contribute to public-facing digital history projects directed by faculty in the History & Political Science department and MCLA's Freel Library. Students and faculty collaborate with local public history institutions like the North Adams Historical Society and the North Adams Public Library to digitize local history.
The North Adams Archives is an open, online archive of historical artifacts gathered from the North Adams community. It began in 2018 when the North Adams Public Library, the North Adams Historical Society, MCLA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and people throughout North Adams teamed up to collect and digitize their local history in a local History Harvest. Students collected and digitized items donated by the North Adams community. In class, they created an online archive and exhibits to share that history. The MCLA Library has also made its digital collections available on the online archive.
Historic North Adams is a free app and website that puts North Adams’ history at your fingertips. Explore interesting people, places and events in North Adams’ history, and take historical walking tours of the city. With a growing list of interpretive stories, each point on the interactive GPS-enabled map includes historical information about the location, along with historic images from archival collections and historical publications.
A variety of courses in the History & Political Science Department offer the opportunity to build students' digital skills while studying the past. Check out our ongoing student projects from these upper-level History courses.
Students completed four blog posts on the history and legacies of enslavement in a region or country of their choosing, starting with a voyage from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database at SlaveVoyages.org. Throughout the class, students learned about colonialism, enslavement, and Black freedom movements.
Students created their own histories of the US Civil War and Reconstruction eras with interactive timelines curated in Knight Lab's TimelineJS. Through interpretation of historical sources, they analyzed the era's most important events and, in the process, learned how the Civil War means many different things to many different people.