Alyssa Toby Fahringer

Alyssa Toby Fahringer

Alyssa Toby Fahringer

Librarian I

U.S. History: disaster studies, Reconstruction, race, digital history, public history

Alyssa is a PhD candidate in American history with minor fields in digital humanities and public history. Her research interests are late nineteenth and early twentieth century disasters, Reconstruction, the political, social, and cultural lives of freedpeople in the South during Reconstruction, and memory and memorialization in public spaces. Alyssa is currently working on her dissertation, which is tentatively titled "'With All Her Sad Disasters, What Do We See in this City?': Reconstruction, Race, and the Politics of Disaster in Richmond, 1870-1918." Her dissertation examines three disasters that occurred in Richmond in 1870 and uses them as a lens to understand the history of the city in the Reconstruction era as well as the public memory of the disasters. She was selected to be a Digital History Fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media for the 2014-15 academic year, and worked there as a Graduate Research Assistant from 2015 through 2019. Currently she serves as the Digital Scholarship Consultant for George Mason University Libraries' Digital Scholarship Center.  

Selected Publications

Entries in Dictionary of Virginia Biography: "Charles William Dickinson"; "Walter Carlton Elliott"; "Lora Effie Hotchkiss Ellyson"; "Elisabeth Randolph Shirley Enochs"

Grants and Fellowships

Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 2018
Summer Research Fellowship, George Mason University, 2018
McKinnon-Morton Research Fellowship, George Mason University, 2017
Graduate Assistantship and Tuition Scholarship, George Mason University, 2015-2018
CW Bright Pixel Prize for the Best History and New Media Project, 2015
Digital History Fellowship, George Mason University, 2014-2015
L Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs Outstanding Political Science Student, 2012
Scholarship recipient, VCU Global Education Office, 2010

Courses Taught

Project associate and graduate research assistant, The Networked Curator, 2017
Project associate and graduate research assistant, Doing Digital History, 2016


ABD, History, George Mason University, 2017
MA, History, George Mason University, 2016
MLIS, University of Pittsburgh, 2013
BA, History, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012
BA, Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012 

Recent Presentations

"Papers of the War Department: Updating the Digital Edition and Community Transcription Project,” Organization of American Historians, April 2019
"An Act of Charity: Teaching About Military Pensions in the Early Republic Using Online Primary Source Documents," with Christopher Hamner and Megan R. Brett, National Council on History Education, March 2019