Building Histories of the National Mall: A Guide to Creating a Digital Public History Project is a free comprehensive digital guide that details each phase of creating the award-winning website, Histories of the National Mall.  Building Histories belongs to the long tradition of knowledge sharing at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media that encourages history and humanities professionals to be active designers and builders of their own digital projects. This guide and the website,, were generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (2012-15).

For institutions eager to begin developing their own version of Histories using Omeka, the technical specifications and code are available for download now. For organizations embarking on a new digital public history project, Building Histories of the National Mall offers an open source and replicable example for history and cultural heritage professionals wanting a cost-effective solution for developing and delivering mobile content.

Co-authored by the team that developed Histories of the National Mall, this guide is divided into seven main sections, including the project’s rationale; content development and  interpretative approach; user experience and design;  outreach and publicity – including the social media strategy.  This publication shares the project team’s decision to build for the mobile web and not a single-use, platform-specific native app. The guide also offers lessons learned and challenges faced throughout the project’s development, as well as how the team measured success for this digital public history project.

Building Histories of the National Mall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.