A relatively new program, Public Engagement with Historical Records, is our effort to encourage public engagement with historical records, including the development of new tools that enable people to engage online. The NHPRC is looking for collaborations among archivists, documentary editors, historians, educators, and/or community-based individuals, as well as innovative methods to introduce primary source materials and how to use them in multiple locations.
Projects might create and develop programs to engage people in the study and use of historical records for institutional, educational or personal reasons. For example, an applicant can:
- Enlist volunteer "citizen archivists" in projects to accelerate access to historical records, especially those online. This may include, but is not limited to, efforts to identify, tag, transcribe, annotate, or otherwise enhance digitized historical records.
- Develop educational programs for K-12 students, undergraduate classes, or community members that encourage them to engage with historical records already in repositories or that are collected as part of the project.
- Collect primary source material from people through public gatherings and sponsor discussions or websites about the results.
- Use historical records in artistic endeavors. This could include K-12 students, undergraduate classes, or community members. Examples include projects that encourage researching and writing life stories for performance; using record facsimiles in painting, sculpture, or audiovisual collages; or using text as lyrics for music or as music.