The Project

Creating Local Linkages provides professional development opportunities to train public librarians in facilitating digital local history projects in their community. Through this online program, RRCHNM invites librarians to explore their collections with the eyes of an historian and to expand their digital skills.

Genealogy draws patrons to public libraries with local history collections. Their presence is an opportunity to connect them to a broader history than their family tree and introduce the processes of historical thinking and developing contexts for interpreting historical sources. Doing local history work increasingly involves harnessing an expanding universe of digital sources and digital publication platforms, providing public librarians with an opportunity to develop the digital literacy of their patrons.

Creating Local Linkages offers:

  • an asynchronous web-based curriculum consisting of 5 modules designed to teach and practice digital local history methods using primary and secondary sources found in public libraries and in open digital collections, and to create an online narrative exhibition using Omeka.net.
  • a Local History Activity Guide, based on the learning modules of our online course, and includes models for public programs in libraries,  These program models and resources are intended to introduce library patrons (such as genealogical researchers, local neighborhood groups, or students of all ages) to the complexities of local history, and to items held in local public library collections which document this history.

While this curriculum is designed for public librarians, it is also an open educational resource released under Creative Commons licensing (CC-BY 4.0). These materials are available for use, reuse, and remix by any interested person, at any time, who will have the freedom to complete any or all of the modules that might fill their individual learning needs.

Contact us

The Project Team

  • Sheila Brennan, Principal Investigator (2017-2018)
  • Megan Brett, Online Teaching Assistant
  • Jessica Dauterive, Outreach Lead
  • Mills Kelly, Curriculum Development
  • Jannelle Legg, Project Manager (2017-2018)
  • Kim Nguyen, Web Designer
  • Stephen Robertson, Principal Investigator (2018-2020)
  • LaQuanda Walters Cooper, Project Manager (2018-2020)
  • Corinne Wilkinson, Graduate Research Assistant

Advisory Board

  • Mark Greek (DC Public Library)
  • Amita Lonial (San Diego County Library)
  • Kristine Navarro-McElhaney (Arizona State University)
  • Mary Rizzo (Rutgers University, Newark)


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant RE-85-17-0029-17. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services