Making “History & the Web” more concrete

Thanks to all for your excellent comments on the previous post about the possibility of a new History and the Web conference. I’m happy to report that conversations are taking place or will soon take place with a couple of professional organizations to begin the process of defining what such a event might look like. To help gather information, we’re asking people to provide between 1 and 5 short statements in each of the following areas:

  • The objectives or goals for a History & the Web conference should be . . .
  • I think we need a new conference because . . .
  • The audience for a History & the Web conference would be . . .
  • I want to see these activities at a History & the Web conference . . .
  • I would like a History & the Web conference to achieve these outcomes . . .
  • I think the most important thing for the planners to keep in mind is that the event . . . (for example, be affordable, have an online virtual component, attract international participation, attract diverse participation, have opportunities for informal collaboration, attract as many participants as possible, be small and regional, etc.)

I’d love to have your contributions on these ideas. You can either leave them here in the comments, or if your thoughts get too lengthy, you can email them to me at Please try to get them in by the end of May.

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7 thoughts on “Making “History & the Web” more concrete”

  1. Objective: Connect users of historical materials online with those who put those materials online and provide a space for those groups to share ideas, approaches, and designs.

    New conference because: There is nothing particularly focuses on connecting these groups of people

    Audience: Lets drop audience and call them participants? This is not about broadcasting it is about better connecting. LAM web folks (Librarians, archives, curators, designers, ) researchers who make use of their collections (Historians, genealogists, journalists, policy wonks, lit folks, etc)

    Activities :
    – Short canned presentations leaving lots of time for structured and unstructured conversations
    – Tech demos: People show finished and in progress projects for review
    – Demonstrations of novel use of materials
    – Lots of time for coffee and chatting

    Outcomes: Leverage a face-to-face meeting to kick off a place on the web for facilitating dialog between users of historical materials on the web and the folks that put up and maintain those materials and the tools and systems we use to access them.

    Keep in mind:
    – Be regional but be replicable (Start with a DC meeting? but make the whole thing easy for others to run with and franchise)
    – Play to the strengths of a face-to-face meeting by focusing on creating a space for conversation and discussion
    – Have a clear plan for sharing results or relevant stuff online (Publish proceedings?)
    – Not try to do everything at once and be everything to everyone right out of the gate.

  2. Oh, I should have also added: Cost as close to nothing as possible to plan and to participate in. IHMO that is part of being replicable. This would include, using free space and free wi-fi at a university or a public library, and other general scrappy approaches.

  3. P.S. Trevor has written a lot of what I would include. Under activities I’d also include hands-on workshops since we historians need help with that and don’t always have it available at our own institutions. I’m not sure how much of the joint meeting of OAH and NCPH in Milwaukee is in place, but maybe this would be a good place to inaugurate this?

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