Open History Timeline v1.1

About this project

The Open History Timeline (OHT) is an open-source content-management system designed to support online community-based history writing.

OHT is a system that can be used to work collaboratively on defining and writing history about any subject you would like. You could for example develop a history of your footballclub, family or school and decide together which facts and figures need to be collected, or choose larger issues such as the conflict in the Balkans or the history of copyright: which questions need to be asked, and which answers are valid? The OHT is designed with the idea in mind that history is a practice - not fixed but alive, and invites users to contribute with experiences, anecdotes and personal perspectives. The system was tested with a large groups of authors, but could work equally well with only a few contributors.

The OHT was developed in the context of the Decade of Webdesign conference, and was the backend of the accompanying Webdesign timeline. Using this system, web visitors could define their take on the first ten years of webdesign by answering questions such as "What is your relation to webdesign?", and "How did you learn to make websites?". In addition, visitors were able to submit new questions. In this way, the community of participating site visitors play an editorial role, and are able to expand the scope of what webdesign means.

OHT in a nutshell

The basic building blocks of the OHT system are: years, questions, answers, and comments. You can get a site going by defining a range years and a set of starting questions (and possibly answers). Visitors to the site are invited to submit additional questions. While browsing, they can choose to answer a particular question. After typing in their response, they then select a year (and optionally month) to place his or her answer. The answer consists of text -- URLs are automatically converted into links -- and optionally an uploaded image. Visitors may also respond to another visitor's answer by posting a (text) comment. More on how to add answers and questions to the timeline, you can find in the OHT User Guide

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