Publish Date

The Harvest was a great success! See the results, at the online archive and exhibit.

On October 22, 2016, students from Dr. Devin Hunter’s undergraduate Public History class and Dr. Ken Owen’s graduate History and Digital Media class invited members of the public to place themselves in the historical record– to bring and share any and all political memorabilia from the past: letters, photographs, diaries, buttons, bumper stickers, along with their stories. After digitally “harvesting” these materials,  students created an online, free-to-access archive that presents and preserves the artifacts. The goal of this History Harvest was to democratize and widen our understanding of the electoral process. Though elections are celebrated as giving voice to the people, all too often our historical understanding of elections is dominated by campaign managers and political elites.  By collecting information on the historical memories of the local electorate, the UIS History Harvest provided a unique insight into how ordinary citizens in central Illinois have participated in and remembered the democratic process.

The 2016 History Harvest received considerable media attention:
WICS Channel 20: “UIS History Harvest Takes Place