Historical institutions, large and small, are being transformed by new interactive digital capabilities. The Digital History bundle opens students to this exciting and evolving world of digital experiences that engage the public with history: interactive maps, digital photo archives, 360º visualizations, virtual tours, immersive storytelling, and ways to communicate and reinterpret historical narratives.

This bundle prepares students interested in working in museums, archives, libraries, schools, or galleries, to think of ways to bolster an institution’s web presence and experiment with interactive history tools. The History Department is involved in a number of web-related digital humanities projects, including the Black Student Union History web project, which tells the important story of civil rights at UNI; and other projects created by digital history students using digital tools such as ArcGIS storymaps to visualize stories for the web (see Suffrage and UNI, UNI and the Aids Crisis, Underground Papers at UNI). 

IDS faculty have also developed important interactive history projects with IDS student involvement. The award-winning digital photo history project, Proud and Torn: A Visual Memoir of Hungarian History, was developed by IDS faculty members Bettina Fabos and Dana Potter in collaboration with select IDS students over several years. The ongoing Fortepan.us photo archive (the prototype, developed at UNI, is made up of Iowa family snapshots) is reinventing how the public access and interprets archival photos, challenges archival practices worldwide, and encourages discussions across the state about what it means to be “Iowan.” 

Career Possibilities

  • Digital Experience Director (museums)
  • VR producer
  • Digital Content Producer
  • Interactive Exhibit Designer
  • Digital Project Manager
  • Digital Content Specialist
  • Digital Archivist/Archival Specialist
  • Wikipedian
  • Architectural Historian/Preservation Planner
  • Interactive Digital Storytelling Director
  • Museum/Historical Society Website Content Specialist
  • Historical performance actor/director

The Digital History bundle pairs well with:

Students interested in the visualization of history through digital design, digital storytelling, and interactive museum experiences will be interested in taking the Visualization bundle.

Grant writing and other forms of professional writing are extremely helpful for someone interested in a career involving cultural heritage institutions and educational programming.

Associated Student Organizations:

History Club
The purpose of the University of Northern Iowa History Club is to encourage and promote the study of history among the student body.

Digital Collective
Geared towards student collaboration, creativity, experimentation, and job preparation, this organization helps creative and tech-savvy students meet each other across disciplines and learn about the professional expectations of digital industry jobs. The Digital Collective supports speakers, industry hops, and general networking.

History Contact

Dr. Jennifer McNabb: jennifer.mcnabb@uni.edu