Since 2010, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of History has been running the History Harvest, an innovative authentic digital learning initiative. The History Harvest’s goal is to create a popular movement to democratize and open American history by utilizing digital technologies to share the experiences and artifacts of everyday people and local historical institutions.
At each “harvest,” community members are invited to bring and share their letters, photographs, objects and stories, and participate in a conversation about the significance and meaning of their materials. Each artifact is digitally captured and then shared in this free web-based archive for general educational use and study. Overall, the History Harvest project aims to raise visibility and public conversation about history and its meaning, as well as provide a new foundation of publicly available material for historical study, K-12 instruction, and life-long learning.