NEH Grant for Historical Voices
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The H-Net Community: Building Bridges

H-Net Wins NEH Materials Development Grant to Develop Mulitimedia Teaching Materials and Digitize Historical Voices

March, 1998 - H-Net/MATRIX at Michigan State University and history and politics Out Loud at Northwestern University announce the award of a Teaching with Technology Materials Development grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create an easily used web-based resource for teachers who want to use mulitmedia materials in the classroom. Both H-Net: Humanities and Social Science OnLine and Jerry Goldman's "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez" project are pioneering efforts that bring the benefits of networked computing to the humanities and social sciences. This project will be a cooperative and interdisciplinary endeavor to move beyond the pioneering stage and provide an online archive of rich audio and visual resources for teachers and scholars.

Designed to facilitate the use of multimedia materials at every level of education, the project will create a searchable database of multimedia teaching materials chosen by specialists in response to existing classroom needs, and provided with commentary by leading scholars. This will truly represent a move into the next generation of online humanities' resources.

The project will involve several components. First, it will convert the original holdings (1889-ca. 1972) of the Vincent Voice Library of Michigan State University to digital form and provide internet access to these audio recordings through an online catalogue and interactive website. Second, it will support the expansion of History and Politics Out Loud (H-POL), a web-based multimedia resource for teachers of American history and politics from elementary school to post-secondary institutions. Third, it will support the creation of programming and commentary to link the two projects and make them fully interactive educational resources. The project will also establish ongoing publicity and teacher support for the project, and incorporate early voice recordings in other collections, including National Archives.

The creation of a permanent online database of multimedia materials with an engaging and accessible interface will help fulfill the enormous promise online mulitmedia delivery hold for pedagogy and scholarship. It will attract some of the large audience for mulitmedia history presentations that cable television, PBS, the multimedia offerings of commercial publishers, the History Channel and C-SPAN have tapped. Our project will help educators take advantage of this interest by creating a user-friendly interface carefully designed to encourage teachers and students alike to visit and re-visit images and sounds that will make classroom materials "come alive" for them. The resource we put online will address the ability of the spoken word and visual to persuade, to make real, to engage the listener emotionally. By harnessing that power for the intellectual understanding of American history and politics encourage critical thinking about the role of evidence and the differential power and influence of mulitmedia. [an error occurred while processing this directive]