Digital History Showcase

Digital History ProjectHistory courses at Cal Poly Pomona are increasingly incorporating new methods of finding, analyzing and presenting historical materials now possible in the digital era. "Digital history" can encompass everything from online databases of primary source material to new techniques that harness the power of computers to reassess the past (e.g. text mining and topic modeling, network analysis or historical GIS) and to present that material in new and exciting ways (including online videos and web-based story templates). This page showcases digital projects created by CPP students in our new Digital Research Project courses (HST 4494, 4495, 4496 and 4497), as well as notable digital work from other classes. Our Digital Research Project classes, in fact, have recently (in Fall 2023) been designated as "PolyX" courses, a mark of special distinction that reflects their unique polytechnic qualities. 

In 2018-2019, the CPP History Department introduced its first Digital Research Project (DRP) courses, now a part of the core curriculum. These courses are designed around a particular topic or theme in American, European or world history (one not duplicated by the existing upper-division courses), but also explicitly emphasize digital history. The very best projects produced in those classes have received (or have been nominated for) the CPP History Department's inaugural Digital History Prize. You can explore them via the links below!



McConnell ProjectJacob McConnell, "The Wearing of the Green: The evolution of the Irish-American Identity" (2022 co-prize winner)





Santoro ProjectAmber Santoro, "Family, Faith and Perseverance: My Grandmother’s Memories of Three Generations of Mexican-American Women in Southern California” (2022 co-prize winner)





BronzevilleKatherine Hinman, Bronzeville of Los Angeles: The story of one of Los Angeles’ forgotten neighborhoods, and what it reveals about racial landscapes in urban America (2021 prize winner)





SpiritualismNayely Alcantara Vargas, Talking to the Undead: British Spiritualism in World War I (2021 honorable mention)





False powerNathan Acevedo, False Power through the Lens:  Wang Shilong and Li Zhensheng in Maoist China (2020 prize winner)






QuirarteJose Quirarte, The Japanese American Internment Experience (2019 prize winner)






VietsSummer Viets, (Re)Constructing Faces: The First World War and the Genesis of Modern Plastic Surgery (2019 prize winner)






Max Henry, Understanding the Indian Reorganization Act



Danielle Tate, Angels, Demons and Free Will

Link to paper (PDF)


Raina Coutin, S. An-Ski: WWI Pale of Settlement



Gustavo Carillo,  Australia's Official War Correspondent: C.E.W. Bean



Connor Cravens, Azuza Blowouts

Link to Podcast (M4a file)

The digital history projects below were completed by students in different courses (not specifically Digital History classes).

WWII in California’s Inland Empire

Inland Empire WWII

This student-created project documenting local history was produced by students in Dr. Eileen Wallis's courses on the history of Southern California (HST 371) in Spring 2018 and Introduction to Public History (HST 3391S) in Fall 2018.

World War II in California's Inland Empire


The Lanterman CPP Campus South History Project

The Lanterman CPP Campus South History Project.  A brief history of Pacific State Hospital/Lanterman Developmental Center / Cal Poly Pomona Campus South

This website on the history of Pomona’s Lanterman Development Center, now CPP Campus South was constructed by Dr. Eileen Wallis and the students in her History 391S (Introduction to Public History) in Fall 2016.

The Lanterman CPP Campus South History Project


This student-created podcast examines the Covid-19 pandemic in history and memory, especially in local perspective.  The six episodes were produced in Dr. Rachel Van’s HST 4496:  Projects in US Digital History course.  Click on the episode titles to listen to each podcast, and/or peruse the episode transcripts and bibliographies!





Episode 1:  Work

This episode considers the history of labor during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, the effects that COVID had on college athletes and athletics programs, and college students as a prospective workforce–especially right here at Cal Poly Pomona. 

Episode Transcript
Episode Bibliography


Episode 2:  Mask Up

Lockdowns, quarantine, masking, and mandates have a history.  What responses & resistance did we see in our community during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Episode Transcript
Episode Bibliography


Episode 3:  Blame Game

How Covid-19 brought to light the easy manifestation of blame of those already marginalized in a historical context.

Episode Transcript
Episode Bibliography


Episode 4:  Virtual Socialization

Technology affected us and our socialization during the 2020 pandemic.  How has this changed us for the future and how did it differ from past pandemics? 

Episode Transcript
Episode Bibliography


Episode 5:  The Lost Generation

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the nation to confront just how integral are schools to communities around the nation–and how much we take them for granted.  Can comparing the 1918 pandemic to 2020 illuminate the impact of future lockdowns?

Episode Transcript
Episode Bibliography


Episode 6:  $H!T Wars

In a time of crisis, one villain will take center stage as the most predominant life-saving utility of the pandemic and its name is toilet paper. This is an epic exploration of why essentials were in such short supply when the American people needed it the most -- pandemic lockdown.

Episode Transcript
Episode Bibliography