Student Projects

Gettysburg Cyclorama Digital Projects

Students in Jill Ogline Titus’s Fall 2018 Introduction to Public History (HIST 301) class spent the semester digitally interpreting the massive Gettysburg Cyclorama painting, creating an interactive timeline of the painting’s history and visually mapping the many stories embedded in the canvas. Students used Timeline JS, an open-source tool that allows users to build visually rich, interactive timelines, to explore the convoluted history of the painting, tracing it from its initial years of sold-out crowds to neglect on a backlot to its current position as the centerpiece of the exhibit at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. In the second phase of the project, drawing on course readings and discussions about interpreting material culture, students used StoryMap JS, an open-source mapping tool, to construct visual stories that annotate and enliven each segment of the painting. The students’ StoryMaps effectively reveal the multiple layers of narratives embedded in the Cyclorama, including civilian experiences during the battle, medical practices during the war, tactical strategies used by the armies at Gettysburg, the crafting of historical memory, the artistic techniques undergirding painting in the round, and the challenges of preserving this massive piece of art. The students’ work is accessible in a public-facing Scalar site that invites viewers and visitors to interact with a wide range of stories undergirding the painting.

Killed at Gettysburg

The first round of Confederate soldier profiles is now up on our student Killed at Gettysburg project site! Be sure to read our four new profiles created by CWI Fellows Ryan Bilger ‘19, Jonathan Tracey ’18, Zachary Wesley ’20, and Isaac Shoop ’21, and check back in the Spring for more profiles from our student Fellows and first-year KAG volunteers!

Civil War Photography Exhibition

In Fall 2018, CWI Fellows Benjamin Roy ’21, Cameron Sauers ’21, and James Goodman ’20 curated a small exhibit on rare Civil War photography of the Gettysburg battlefield that will debut at the June 2019 CWI conference. Through original research and peer workshopping of their writing, the project team has created an illuminating exhibit that explores 19th-century ideas about death, war, and the cultural impacts of the battle of Gettysburg.

Read their reflections on the challenges of making photographs speak.

Wayside Project

Students at Brian farm with Chris GwinnFrom 2016-2018, small groups of CWI Fellows under the direction of CWI faculty partnered with Gettysburg National Military Park to draft text and identify images and primary sources for new interpretive waysides located at various locations throughout the park.Combining field studies, historiographical frameworks, and secondary source readings with research trips to park archives and other repositories, students crafted text, photos, and captions for new waysides to be placed on Little Round Top, Cemetery Hill, and Barlow’s Knoll, as well as near the Virginia Memorial and along West Confederate Avenue. In Spring 2018, the final semester of the project, Abby Cocco ’19 and Zach Wesley ’20 tackled a wayside interpreting General Alfred Iverson’s ill-fated Confederate assaults along Oak Ridge on July 1, 1863, while seniors Jeff Lauck and Dan Wright (pictured here with Gettysburg NMP’s Chief of Interpretation and Gettysburg College ’06 alum, Chris Gwinn) created new wayside for the Abram Brian house, the home of a free African American who lived on Cemetery Ridge during the time of the battle and a heavily-trafficked spot near the the end of the the park's auto tour route.

HIST 301 Students Curate Digital Project


Over the course of spring semester 2016, students in Jill Ogline Titus’s Introduction to Public History class collaboratively curated a digital exhibit on campus protest in the Vietnam War era. The student curators were charged with the responsibility of developing an exhibit that would provide historical and interpretive context for a collection housed in Gettysburg College’s Musselman Library and support staff’s efforts to share the rich materials located in Special Collections & College Archives with a broader public audience. The exhibit features pamphlets, buttons, newspaper clippings, and other materials from the library’s MS-036 Radical Pamphlets, 1965-1975 collection. Working collaboratively, students developed an interpretive framework for the exhibit, selected materials for inclusion and prepared them for use on the web, wrote the exhibit narrative and captions, created metadata and video to enhance the interpretation, customized the exhibit design, and installed the exhibit. The exhibit was built in WordPress and utilizes Omeka; it represents an ongoing partnership between Musselman Library, the Civil War Institute, and the Gettysburg College Educational Technology Office. Browse the exhibit.

Public History Students Create Gettysburg Walking Tour Podcasts

Over the course of the semester, students in Peter Carmichael’s Fall 2011 Introduction to Public History course completed walking tour podcasts. The goal of each group was to explore how different people can attach radically different meanings to the same historical place.

“The 1913 Gettysburg Reunion tries to explore how the battlefield was not only the sight of fighting but of a reunion of combatants, most of whom had radically different versions of the Civil War, and of unrealized African American social and political advancement in the war’s aftermath. One of the greatest challenges for our group was simply trying to create a visual image of what was happening in Gettysburg in 1913. Although most of the reunion’s activities took place on the battlefield and thus on ground that was sure to be preserved, no physical evidence of the massive reunion remains.” (Brian Johnson, ’14)

Creating these podcasts gave the students a taste of the truly collaborative nature of public history projects. “The podcast project was a true example of learning the practice of public history from the inside-out. We were, by intention and design, faced with a great challenge, especially at the undergraduate level. In addition to mastering material and information for the podcast content, we had to juggle the schedules and personalities of our group members, knowing that individual efforts would reflect on the entire group.” (Mary Roll ’12)

Check out links to the podcasts below!

VeteransDevils Den

From Behind the Lines of Retreat: Pennsylvania College During the Battle of Gettysburg

From Guns to Ginsburg: Gettysburg College in the 1960s