History Hub Community

Have you heard about the History Hub community? Launched by the U.S. National Archives, the History Hub community is a place to ask questions, share History Hub communityinformation, work together, and find help with U.S. National Archives research.

History Hub crowdsourcing tools include discussion boards, blogs, and community pages bringing together experts and researchers interested in American history.

Researchers, citizen historians, archival professionals, genealogists, and open government advocates gather at the History Hub community, which provides a digital place for researchers and experts to gather with research questions.

History Hub also has its own dedicated genealogy group, where you can “discuss any and all genealogy projects.”

About the History Hub Community

David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, announced the project last February:

Researching at the National Archives is usually a rewarding experience.

After all, you’ve got 12 billion-plus pages of documents dating back to the Revolutionary War, 14 million photographs, miles and miles of audio and video, a cache of electronic records growing at warp speed, and countless other kinds of records.

But sometimes a researcher gets a feeling there’s more. Yes, you got the answers to all your original questions, but you still feel that you don’t have all the answers, all the perspectives, all the interpretations needed for putting the event in proper context.

Where would you find information like that?

The answer is the History Hub community, which is “more than just a giant chat room,” according to Ferriero. “The idea is to bring all the resources, including the National Archives’ vast holdings nationwide and the archivists who oversee it, to bear on a topic someone is interested in…. The History Hub invites researchers—or anyone, really—to touch all the bases to fill out the story of our national experience. This includes students and teachers, historians and journalists, citizen archivists, subject matter experts, or even people who participated in a particular event. It all adds value to the research experience at the National Archives.”

Can History Hub Help Your Genealogy Research?

Although I think the National Archives could have been more explicit about reaching out to the genealogy community (a large and dedicated group of National Archives users after all), I am encouraged by this specific pilot project to make National Archives holdings more accessible and by the formation of the History Hub dedicated genealogy group, where you can “discuss any and all genealogy projects.”

As you can see at right from the most recent questions posed at the History Hub community, both specific and contextual genealogy questions are being asked and answered. This is a pilot project, so I’m interested to know if History Hub appeals to you and/or has helped you with family history research. I’m looking forward to the results.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine’s “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

Leave a Reply