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Combining state of the art technology with traditional oral history to create a more robust and comprehensive resource has long been one of The HistoryMakers goals. Now, with the development of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, this goal has reached fruition in a unique platform. However, The HistoryMakers corpus is still largely unexplored, and is now ripe for exploration along interdisciplinary lines. As a burgeoning academic discipline, the Digital Humanities has already established itself as a collaborative space for scholars in varying areas to combine their expertise – elucidating new ideas and trends in data and the historical record that had never before been explored.

With over 9,000 hours of fully-transcribed time-aligned video content, robust search capabilities, and hundreds of thousands of fields of metadata, The HistoryMakers has amassed an impressive dataset for technologists and data scientists to experiment with, but through The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, this vast content is also accessible for those without background in analytics or quantitative fields. In order to encourage scholars from all areas to explore The HistoryMakers content more deeply, and to use it in the creation of innovative new projects, a Digital Humanities committee was formed within The HistoryMakers Higher Education Advisory Board, and a Digital Humanities Fellowship Award is now available in 2019.

Members of The HistoryMakers Digital Humanities Committee are made up of librarians, faculty, and researchers, focused solely on exploring methods to provide more context for The HistoryMakers collection, and to provide further entry points for students and researchers, using cutting edge digital techniques and data analytics. Led initially by work produced out of the Yale University Digital Humanities Lab, this committee works collaboratively across institutions to conceive and implement projects that offer new ways of understanding and engaging with The HistoryMakers content, and that will surface latent themes and characteristics of the Collection.

Examples of the Digital Humanities Committee’s work include a text-modeling experiment using transcripts from The HistoryMakers Collection ( generated by Yale University’s Digital Humanites Lab. The 25-topic model used machine algorithms to explore themes based on word frequency and co-occurrence. Further examples can be found under TEACHING & LEARNING.

Boston University  

  Vika Zafrin; Digital Scholarship Librarian

Carnegie Mellon University              

  Mike Christel; Teaching Professor; Entertainment Technology Center

Howard University

  Lopez Matthews; Digital Preservation Librarian

Michigan State University  

  Julian Carlos Chambliss; Professor; English, History

Rutgers University 

  Krista White; Digital Humanities Librarian and Head, Media Services

Stanford University               

  Hannah Frost; Manager, Digital Library Product & Service Management

  Glen Worthey; Digital Humanities Librarian Co-Lead of The Center For Interdisciplinary Digital Research

University of Iowa 

  Thomas Keegan; Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio

University of Richmond       

  Lauren Tilton; Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities

University of Virginia           

  John Unsworth; Dean of Libraries, University Librarian, Professor of English

Yale University        

  Catherine DeRose; Digital Humanities Lab Manager

  Peter Leonard; Director, Digital Humanities Lab

Internships and Fellowships

Application Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2019


The HistoryMakers – the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive – invites applications for one of two $5,000 Digital Humanities Fellowship awards created with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for the period of Summer 2019 (April–September 2019). Submission is open to individuals or groups at all stages of their careers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students. Applicant’s work must use or be inspired by content from The HistoryMakers Digital Archive.

The HistoryMakers Digital Humanities Fellowship awards will be awarded to digital humanities scholars pursuing interpretive research projects that require digital expression, analysis, and/or digital publication. Projects must advance a scholarly argument through digital means and tools, and should incorporate visual, audio, and/or other multimedia materials or flexible reading pathways to address issues in African American history, the digital humanities, or general humanities, Project proposals should articulate an active distribution plan for sharing results. Stand-alone databases and other projects that lack an interpretive argument are not eligible. Award funds are meant to provide research, travel, and project support. The fellowship awards are expected to culminate in the realization and presentation of the proposed work, as well as its presentation. Finished products generated by awardees will be featured on The HistoryMakers website, and will compete for inclusion in The HistoryMakers 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Library of Congress (November 6-7, 2020).

See an example dataset that would be provided as the basis of projects here:  or visit The HistoryMakers ScienceMakers Digital Archive. 

Institutional access to The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is not required, it will be made available for awardees. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or unconditional permanent residents. Applicants need not have special expertise in African American history.

Fellowship Duration:  April 2019 - September 2019

Award Amount: $5,000

Apply for the fellowship here.

For Inquiries, please contact: 

Application Deadline: Friday, April 5, 2019


The purpose of The James A. Lindner Digital Archive Summer Fellowship is to provide hands-on experience working with a one-of-a-kind digital video oral history archive, and a professional and focused experience in archival work, structured around processing and preservation of moving image archival collections, migration and digitization, cataloging and archival descriptive practices and standards. The James A. Lindner Digital Archive Summer Fellowship is open to any individual who is interested in working with collections of African American and/or video oral history materials and is a recent graduate of a master’s program in archival science, archival management, digital archives, special collections, library science, information management, computer science, or a related program prior to the start date of the fellowship. Further application eligibility and guidelines are outlined below.

The requirements for consideration are:

- Citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

- Recent graduate (within six months) of a master’s program in archival science, archival management, digital archives, special collections, library science, information management, computer science, or a related program.

- Demonstrated interest in oral history interviews, archive administration and management. This interest can be demonstrated through academic coursework, volunteer or work experience, or through a personal statement in application essay.

- Demonstrated interest in African American history. This interest can be demonstrated through academic coursework, volunteer or work experience, or through a personal statement in application essay.

- GPA of 3.50 or higher

Internship Duration: 10 weeks from start date

Stipend: $5,000

Lodging: Lodging arrangements are the responsibility of the intern.

CLICK HERE for more details, and to submit an application for the James A. Lindner Digital Archive Summer Fellowship

FOR INQUIRIES please contact