PhD student Eric Gonzaba has won the Student Project Award from the National Council on Public History for his project, Wearing Gay History: A Digital Archive of Historical LGBT T-Shirts. The NCPH awards this prize to "an outstanding public history student project initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history." In a list of the prizes awarded this year, the NCPH explains why Gonzaba's work deserved the award:
The NCPH Student Project Award goes to Eric Nolan Gonzaba, doctoral student in George Mason University's Department of History and Art History, for his project Wearing Gay History. His online digital archive of historical lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender t-shirts utilizes material culture artifacts to interpret the history of activism. Gonzaba began by digitizing the t-shirt collection of the Chris Gonzalez Library and Archives, then partnered with organizations across the country to bring to light their collections. His project makes excellent use of technology to present various interpretations that make the collections meaningful to website visitors. In this project, Gonzaba uses history to bring a deeper level of understanding to this important and often under-represented piece of modern history.
Gonzaba began his project in one of the introductory digital history courses for PhD students in the Department of History and Art History, popularly known as Clio 1. Along with graduate student Amanda Regan, he has continued to develop the site since finishing the course, visiting archives with collections of LGBT t-shirts around the country.
February 26, 2016