Typical historical repositories–archives, memoirs, and museums–do not hold all of our history. A History Harvest course is a public history and community engagement model that asks local partners to bring in artifacts of community or family significance that we would not otherwise see. Students in the course carefully digitize the artifacts and place them in an online archive that helps preserve the history of the community partner. The artifacts return home with the contributors. At its core, this community-based approach to history prioritizes the depth of local memory and material culture.

The History Harvest is transformative for the students involved and deepens their appreciation for local community engagement as well as the process of history. The History Harvest model was developed by William G. Thomas and Patrick D. Jones at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Read their explanation about how the History Harvest encourages stronger conncections between academic insitutions and the local community and revolutionizes the classroom.

This community-based approach relies on numerous partnerships. Visit our Acknowledgements to learn more about our partners.