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Explore history

Discover the past for a better future

Recent events demonstrate more than ever that understanding lessons of the past can inform the present and facilitate social progress in the future.

This website aims to provide innovative ways to connect the global community with history, which belongs to the public. Because we live in an exciting age of digital innovation, we can share knowledge with the world by analyzing artifacts, archaeological evidence, manuscripts, and oral traditions. At Christopher Newport’s Public History Center, housed in the Department of History, we use virtual exhibits and other cutting-edge tools to communicate historical findings. History students create service-learning projects with our community partners, featuring artifacts and/or archival collections that either have not been seen by a large audience or have been tucked away for safekeeping.

Our students become investigators, searching for unique or special historical items that pique their interest in the hope of sparking yours as well. They research the history behind objects, letters, places, and so much more. And then we tell their stories, from diverse perspectives and worldviews, making a lasting contribution to the community in the hope for a better future. It is an honor to work with these talented individuals and our community partners every semester. CNU’s public history students have a true passion for making a difference and bringing history to life. We hope you enjoy Explore History. -Sheri Shuck-Hall, Ph.D., Professor of History, Director of the Public History Center, and creator and editor of Explore History

connecting the global community to history

Thank you to our partners

 We would like to thank all of our community partners who have provided invaluable opportunities for CNU’s public history students over the decades:

Adam Thoroughgood House Museum; American Revolution Museum at Yorktown; Archaeological & Cultural Solutions Inc.; Bennett Place Historical Site, Durham; Bluebird Gap Farm; Casemate Museum; The Chrysler Museum of Art; Colonial National Historical Park, NPS; Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Dallas Holocaust Museum; Dewitt Wallace Museum; Discovery Program Joint Base Langley-Ft. Eustis; Endview Plantation; Fairfax County Courthouse; Fauquier History Museum, St. Augustine; Fort Eustis Cultural Resources Management; Fort Monroe Authority; Fort Monroe National Monument; Francis Land House Historic Site and Gardens; Fredericksburg Area Museum; Friends of Lafayette Society; George Mason’s Gunston Hall; Gloucester Museum of History; Great Bridge Battlefield Park and Waterway; Greensboro History Museum, N.C.; Hampton History Museum; Hampton Roads Oral History Project; Hampton Roads Tours; Harvey Library at Hampton University; Hermione Project; Historic Jamestowne; Historic St. Luke’s Church, Smithfield; The Historic Village at Allaire, NJ; Ivy Creek Foundation; James Madison’s Montpelier; Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation; Jamestown Settlement; Jewish Historical Society of Hampton Roads; Lee Hall Mansion; Lightner Museum, FL; Machicomoco State Park; The Mariners’ Museum and Library; Mount Vernon; National Museum of the U.S. Marine Corps; National Park Service; Newport News Parks and Recreations and Tourism; Newport News Historic Sites and Museums; Newsome House; NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary; Poquoson Museum; Poquoson Veterans Project-Poquoson Library; Sister Cities of Yorktown; Smithsonian Museums, the National Mall; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; Town of Cape Charles; U.S. Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis; U.S. National Endowment for the Arts; Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum; Virginia Conservation Association; Virginia War Museum; The Washington Monument; Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route; Watermen’s Museum; Williamsburg Battlefield Association; Williamsburg/Yorktown American Revolution Round Table; York County Parks, Recreation & Tourism.