Leading U.S. Company and Dutch University Partner on Digital Heritage Projects

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HistoryIT to provide Utrecht University’s Media and Culture Studies Expertise Centre with hands-on digital heritage projects

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This partnership perfectly exemplifies our central goal as a company – to work with those who are thinking critically about digital culture to develop next-generation tools for accessing and sharing information about the past.

HistoryIT, a U.S.-based technology and services company, has joined forces with Utrecht University's Media and Culture Studies Expertise Centre to start a new and innovative series of hands-on digital heritage projects. In the first of these projects, students in the Master's program New Media & Digital Culture will take an active role in helping HistoryIT to create meaningful access to digitized historical information, and in doing so generate academic insights by critically reflecting on digital media platforms and practices.

HistoryIT’s projects will provide hands-on experience to enhance research-based teaching, augment career prospects for students, and invite participants to develop critical perspectives on how digital culture involves much more than making things digital. For HistoryIT, this partnership places its digital innovators in a network of forward-thinking perspectives on digital culture, big data and situated knowledge, interactive learning, and media archeology. Their leaders hope to work with students and faculty from multiple departments, as well as experts throughout the region, to develop and fine-tune their cutting-edge digital history application.

The project is supported by the Media and Culture Studies Department’s Expertise Centre, a recent initiative to forge public dialogues and durable collaborations between academia and the professional field. “Working with HistoryIT provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge present in both our organization and our students,” said Michiel de Lange, head of the Expertise Centre. “We believe that media and culture can only be understood well when it is studied with a hands-on approach, and these projects will enable us to do exactly that.”

“We are thrilled about the partnership between HistoryIT and Utrecht University,” said Dr. Kristen Gwinn-Becker, HistoryIT CEO. “It perfectly exemplifies our central goal as a company – to work with those who are thinking critically about digital culture to develop next-generation tools for accessing and sharing information about the past.” For HistoryIT, she said, “The work with Master’s students at Utrecht is part of our deep-rooted commitment to combine theory and practice, as well as a first step toward an expanded European presence.”

The collaboration between HistoryIT and the Media and Culture Studies Expertise Centre is scheduled to start in September 2016.

About the Media and Culture Studies Expertise Centre:
Based within Utrecht University’s Media and Culture Studies Department, the Expertise Centre brings together academics and practitioners in the field of media and culture, in order to stimulate dialogues, experiments and collaborations. The initiative involves scholars, students, alumni, professionals, artists, and publics in experimenting with, and reflecting on the ways in which media and culture intersect. Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University does research, and educates students to become broadly oriented thinkers and doers in the fields of film, television, games, new media and digital culture, theatre, dance and performance, gender and ethnicity, music and cultural policies.

About HistoryIT:
HistoryIT, Inc. is a privately held company based in Portland, Maine, USA, which provides clients with a brand new approach to making historical collections more accessible, meaningful and profitable. Owned and managed by professional historians, archivists, technologists, and digital innovators, they bring industry-leading expertise to preserve historical collections of all types and sizes and to make them searchable in meaningful ways. Working with cultural institutions, universities, corporations, professional associations, sports teams, and others, HistoryIT leverages cutting-edge technologies, proprietary methodologies, and the subject matter expertise and commitment of its team to create appealing, effective digital portals for historical resources.

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Kristen Gwinn-Becker
HistoryIT
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