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Archived ECHO Projects

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Since 2001 the Echo project (Exploring and Collecting History Online) has used the Internet to collect and present the recent history of science, technology, and industry. As a laboratory for experimentation in this new and unperfected field, we have, among other objectives, worked to foster communication and dialogue among historians, scientists, engineers, doctors, and technologists. We also host free workshops and offer free consultation services to assist other historical practitioners in launching their own websites. In addition, Echo provides a centralized guide and portal for those seeking websites on the history of science and technology. This guide helps researchers find the exact information they need while also granting curious browsers a forum for exploration.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 17 of 17
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    Remembering the Washington Metro
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2006) The Echo Project; Schrag, Zachary M.
    This document records user-submitted responses to questions asking readers to share their memories about the Washington Metro between 2001 and 2006. It was an interactive part of an online exhibit, "Building the Washington Metro," archived here: http://hdl.handle.net/1920/2049. The site tells the story of the Washington Metro, a 103-mile rapid transit system serving Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia. Planning for Metro began in the 1950s, construction began in 1969, and the first segment opened for operation in 1976. Metro is one of the largest public-works projects ever built, and it is the second-busiest rail transit system in the United States. The site was researched and written by Zachary M. Schrag, author of The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Previously hosted by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/metro.
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    The Video Store Project
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2006) Greenberg, Joshua
    This website is part of a larger dissertation project on the history of video retail and shifting attitudes toward motion pictures in America in the 1970s and 1980s. The site was created by Joshua Greenberg, who was a PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University hosted the site and supported work on the project through workshop and grant opportunities. The research was also funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/videostoreproject.
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    Women in Science and Engineering
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2004) RRCHNM, /
    As part of the Echo project, this website collects and preserves the career experiences of women in science and engineering. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/wise.
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    Open Source Archive
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2005)
    The Open Source Historical Archive (OSHA) was intended to collect, preserve, and analyze the history of open source as a cultural movement, spanning both free/libre and open source software and broader examples of commons-based peer production. The project's interests embraced well-known "open source" projects such as Linux and Wikipedia as well as much smaller and sometimes less-successful efforts. It was particularly interested in gathering the memories and commentaries of participants in these projects, as these in-the-trenches "oral histories" are often overlooked by historians, as well as other historical materials--email correspondence, manifestos, newsgroup postings, and even material culture--not collected elsewhere. Its first project focused on the massive open-source encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The goal was to gather and preserve the accounts and perspectives of some of the tens of thousands of people who participated in this remarkably successful project. It conducted interviews using variousmedia as well as solicited memories via an online survey. The Open Source Historical Archive grew out the work of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and especially its Echo (Exploring and Collecting History Online--Science, Technology, Industry) project, which sponsored a number of online collecting efforts in the history of science and technology as well as the massive September 11 Digital Archive. OSHA received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It was hosted at http://opensourcearchive.org.
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    ECHO
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2008) RRCHNM, /
    From 2001 to 2008 the Echo project collected and presented the history of science, technology, and industry online. The project hosted free workshops and offered free consultation services to assist other historical practitioners in launching their own websites. In addition, Echo provided a centralized guide and portal for those seeking websites on the history of science and technology. Hosted at http://echo.gmu.edu.
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    NASA Statement on Columbia
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2003) NASA
    This is a republication of the NASA News statement on the loss of communications with the Columbia Space Shuttle, published as part of the ECHO project. Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/columbia.
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    Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2006) Cohen, Dan; Rosenzweig, Roy
    This website is a free online version of the book Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web by Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig, published by University of Pennsylvania Press. This book provides a plainspoken and thorough introduction to the web for historians—teachers and students, archivists and museum curators, professors as well as amateur enthusiasts—who wish to produce online historical work, or to build upon and improve the projects they have already started in this important new medium. It begins with an overview of the different genres of history websites, surveying a range of digital history work that has been created since the beginning of the web. The book then takes the reader step-by-step through planning a project, understanding the technologies involved and how to choose the appropriate ones, designing a site that is both easy-to-use and scholarly, digitizing materials in a way that makes them web-friendly while preserving their historical integrity, and how to reach and respond to an intended audience effectively. It also explores the repercussions of copyright law and fair use for scholars in a digital age, and examines more cutting-edge web techniques involving interactivity, such as sites that use the medium to solicit and collect historical artifacts. Finally, the book provides basic guidance on insuring that the digital history the reader creates will not disappear in a few years. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory.
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    Women's Careers in Science and Engineering
    (2007-02-26T20:46:28Z)
    Echo's Women in Science and Engineering project at George Mason University documented the career experiences of women in science and engineering in recent memory. Our online survey allowed women to tell about their career's in their own words, recording the experiences of women scientists and engineers permanently. The ascent of women in science and engineering has been dramatic during the past decades. More women than ever enter undergraduate and graduate programs and pursue careers in science and engineering. Women's career experiences are still distinct, however, characterized by obstacles and various ways of discrimination. Our aim was to create a rich public database, serving as an educational resource for scientists, scholars, corporate managers and historians alike.
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    Video Store Project
    (2007-02-26T20:46:21Z) The Echo Project; Greenberg, Joshua
    This site was part of a larger dissertation project on the history of video retail and shifting attitudes toward motion pictures in America in the 1970s and 1980s. The person responsible for both the design and maintenance of the site (as well as the dissertation) is Joshua Greenberg, a PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. The site is hosted by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, who also supported work on this project through workshop and grant opportunities. This research was also funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. This project was conducted under the supervision of the Cornell University Committee on Human Subjects.
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    The History of USENET
    (2007-02-26T20:45:18Z) The Echo Project
    Usenet, an Internet discussion board pioneer, marks its 25th anniversary in 2004. Users from around the world have gathered at Usenet’s virtual roundtables to discuss topics ranging from aeronautics to zoology, in the process creating vibrant global communities surrounding thousands of subjects and fields. To honor Usenet’s place in the Internet revolution, Echo created this site to gather important recollections of Usenet history. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/usenet.
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    The Accident at Three Mile Island
    (2007-02-26T20:45:15Z) CHNM; The Echo Project
    On March 28, 1979, one of the reactors at Three Mile Island, a nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, overheated. A combination of human error and a string of technical failures triggered a partial meltdown of the plant’s radioactive core and the consequent leakage of radiation into the environment. In the dramatic days following the accident, engineers, scientists and mechanics worked to minimize further release of radiation and to prevent a total meltdown of the core. Meanwhile, state and federal government officials hurriedly tried to come up with emergency response measures. Two days after the accident, Governor Richard Thornburgh advised preschool children and pregnant women within five miles of the plant to evacuate the area. Residents within a ten-mile radius were asked to stay at home, turn off their air-conditioners, and close their windows. Confused and frightened by conflicting information and sensationalist media reports, more than 100,000 people fled the area. Twelve days after the accident, the Governor declared the situation under control. According to officials, “no significant amount” of radioactive iodine and cesium had leaked into the environment; a considerable amount of radioactive noble gases, however, had been released into the air.(1) An extensive clean up of the highly contaminated plant took more than a decade. The radioactive debris and the melted core were shipped to Washington State and Idaho. Three independent government commissions investigated the accident, and several public health studies were conducted. Most studies found no increase in cancer mortality rates of the population living within a five-mile zone of the plant, though an epidemiological study published in 1997 concluded that cancer rates among the population downwind of the plant have increased since 1979. The debate over the medical effects of the TMI accident continues.(2) The TMI partial meltdown, which was the worst accident at an American commercial nuclear power plant, both altered nuclear regulation policies in the United States and shook the public's confidence in nuclear technology. Echo developed an online survey, which invited people to share their thoughts about the TMI crisis. We aimed to collect entries from a broad spectrum of people, ranging from residents who lived near the plant to people who lived in a different part of the country (or in another country) and followed the events through the media. Our aim was to build a free and public archive that serves as a resource for activists and scholars alike. As part of the Echo Project, this website was intended to collect and preserve the public memory of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/tmi.
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    Claude Shannon: the Man and His Impact
    (2007-02-26T20:45:02Z) RRCHNM
    The Claude Shannon project seeks to preserve the memory of the man whose mathematical theories laid the groundwork for the digital communication technology underlying the Internet. Shannon’s ideas, initially applied to telephone switching systems and early computing, proved tremendously useful in other scientific fields including genetics, encryption, and quantum physics. Shannon, dubbed the father of modern information theory, also applied his theoretical work to one of his favorite hobbies, juggling. His famous juggling machines illustrated his creativity, inveterate tinkering and great powers of invention.Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/shannon.
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    Remembering the Moonwalk
    (2007-02-26T20:45:00Z)
    On July 20, 1969, at 10:56 pm (EDT), Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. Around the world, people stayed up late, woke up early, and stopped their work to watch their televisions or listen to their radios to witness this riveting milestone in the history of science and technology. Now, emblazoned in the popular consciousness, are Armstrong’s words: “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” As part of the Echo Project, this website was intended to collect and preserve the public memory of the 1969 moon walk. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/moonwalk.
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    Building the Washington Metro
    (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2007-02-26T20:44:56Z) The Echo Project; Schrag, Zachary M.
    This site tells the story of the Washington Metro, a 103-mile rapid transit system serving Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia. Planning for Metro began in the 1950s, construction began in 1969, and the first segment opened for operation in 1976. Metro is one of the largest public-works projects ever built, and it is the second-busiest rail transit system in the United States. This site was researched and written by Zachary M. Schrag, author of The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/metro.
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    Remembering Columbia STS-107
    (2007-02-26T20:44:11Z) The Echo Project
    The Columbia STS-107 mission lifted off on January 16, 2003, for a 17-day science mission featuring numerous microgravity experiments. Upon reentering the atmosphere on February 1, 2003, the Columbia orbiter suffered a catastrophic failure due to a breach that occurred during launch when falling foam from the External Tank struck the Reinforced Carbon Carbon panels on the underside of the left wing. The orbiter and its seven crewmembers (Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, David Brown, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, and Kalpana Chawla) were lost approximately 15 minutes before Columbia was scheduled to touch down at Kennedy Space Center. This site presents information about the STS-107 flight, as well as information related to the accident and subsequent investigation by the formal Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
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    Day Trading
    (2007-02-19T18:35:36Z) The Echo Project
    Over the past forty years the world of finance has changed dramatically, and one way to trace this evolution is through the technology that mediates the interaction between man and his money. The advent of Instinet, the creation of Nasdaq, and the popularity of SOES, E*Trade, and Real Tick mark distinct and important periods in the history of stock market culture. The present-day evolutionary descendent of these technological developments is day trading — a phenomenon that has brought instant fortune and instant ruin to many by allowing individuals to control their own finances online in real time. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/daytrading.
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    Project Bionics
    (2007-02-19T18:17:36Z) The Echo Project
    An important and timely undertaking, this medical history project aims to preserve and present the people, ideas and devices instrumental in the innovation and realization of artificial organs. Project Bionics' mission is: To recognize individual and corporate contributions to artificial organ history; To identify the pioneers and their contributions to improved quality and length of life; To document the experiences of scientists, engineers, clinicians and patients developing and using artificial organs; To link these past accomplishments to present and future developments; To encourage education, scholarship, and research on artificial organ history. Hosted at chnm.gmu.edu/mars/bionics.
These projects are copyright to the Center for History and New Media.