The History Design Lab, an initiative of the History Department at Oberlin College, offers students of any major the opportunity to engage in collaborative and creative efforts to excavate stories about the past. Students lead and participate in projects that are advised by faculty and professional staff. As a community, we explore how archival sources and new methods can help us reimagine the ways we engage with history. Many of our projects are driven by an interest in people, events, and phenomena that we have missed in our popular recounting of the past.

The History Design Lab currently oversees three projects: the publication of the student historical blog and journal, On Second Thought; the African American Women’s Intellectual History Project, where students are creating a public archive about the intellectual work of African American women who either attended or are closely affiliated with Oberlin College and Conservatory; and the new Oberlin History as American History research project, where students are working on essays and exhibits that show how Oberlin’s story helps us better understand the history of the United States.

If you’d like to learn more or become involved with the History Design Lab, please contact us at historydesignlab@gmail.com.