History Harvest

The UIS History Harvest is a collaboration between students from Dr. Devin Hunter’s HIS 305 Monuments, Museums, and Memory and Dr. Ken Owen’s HIS 515 History and Digital Media classes. On a fall Saturday, the public shares with us their photographs, artifacts, documents, and memories related to a selected theme. Students digitize items, and contribute images and information to this online archive and exhibit space. See our FAQs about the event below.

Someone taking a picture of a folded flag

Thanks for making the 2022 History Harvest a success! Students are busy creating the online archive and exhibits. Our next Harvest is planned for October 2024. Email us with any questions: historyharvest@uis.edu.

Previous History Harvests

History Harvest is part of a national movement, developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, connecting communities and universities through the practice of local history. More background on the national movement can be found here.

Students posing during the History Harvest at the Old State Capitol.
Students from HIS 305 and HIS 515 after the 2016 History Harvest at the Old State Capitol.

UIS held its inaugural History Harvest in 2016, with a theme centered on political and elections history. Read news coverage of the event, and visit the 2016 archives and exhibits. The second UIS History Harvest, in 2018, used the theme of "Being Illinoisan," in honor of the state's bicentennial. Read about the highlights of the 2018 Harvest, and visit that edition's exhibit and archive. In 2022, students presented "The Great Road Trip" History Harvest, where the public contributing items related to travel and tourism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a limit to how many items I can bring?

Yes, but that depends on a number of factors: how many other guests are on site, the size and complexity of your scanning project, among others. If time permits, you may be given the opportunity to wait or return to have more items digitized later in the day. 

What happens to the digital scans? Can I get a copy?

Students store your scans, and build an online archive and exhibits based on these items. You will have access to the scans of your item in the next few weeks. Students will give you an information sheet about when and where to access your scans as you complete the process. You can also email historyharvest@uis.edu to inquire about the status of your digital material. 

Can I have items scanned, but not have them become public online?

No, all items you allow us to scan must be considered eligible for online publication. This is specified in the consent form required to sign before the digitization process. 

Will there be refreshments or other activities?

Food and drink are not allowed in the scanning area. You may bring a covered drink, but you will be asked to leave it in a designated area throughout the process. The State Museum will be open as per usual Saturday hours, and we highly recommend you take time to see the history-related exhibits on the second floor, particularly the new Day of the Dead installation!