Digital and Public History

The Classroom and the Future of the Historical Record

Dr. Nathan Tye is a member of the “The Classroom and the Future of the Historical Record” (CFHR) project. Supported by a three-year grant from the Humanities Without Walls consortium, CFHR is a digital collective composed of SourceLab, Michigan State University’s LEADR and University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s History Harvest program. CFHR strives to explore the changing nature of the production of historical records in the digital age and build stools to further their use in the classroom.

History Harvest

In October 2019 the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted its inaugural History Harvest program focused on post-war urban redevelopment in Champaign-Urbana. Dr. Tye served as the graduate Research Assistant for the event. He facilitated community outreach, coordinated with our community and campus partners, and collaborated in the development of the project’s digital components and online presence.


Dr. Tye served as Associate Editor of SourceLab, the University of Illinois’ digital publication collective. He supervised the solicitation, production, peer-review, and publication of edited digital primary sources for classroom and museum use. SourceLab’s undergraduate student teams produce digital editions of historical texts, film, and images in consultation with curators, archivists, and scholars. SourceLab has received support from the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and Humanities Without Walls initiative.

Sopris, Colorado Community History Project

The Sopris Colorado Community History Project is an on-going effort by Nathan Tye and Simon Tye, (PhD student in biology at the University of Arkansas) to document the history and stories of a forgotten Southern Colorado coal mining community. Now covered by the Trinidad Lake State Park, Sopris was once home to hundreds of Hispano, Italian, Greek, and Welsh families employed by the Colorado Fuel and Iron company at nearby coal mines and coking facilities during the early twentieth century.

Originally created by Alfred Vigil and Bill Brunelli to tell the history of their hometown, the website was rebuilt by Alfred’s grandsons to document Sorpis’ ethnic and labor history, involvement in the Colorado Coalfield War, as well as provide a portal for the town’s former residents and their descendants to document their past.

Crecencio VigilCrecencio Vigil (Tye’s great-great-great-grandfather) and Melitón Barela, CF&I marshals at Cokedale, Colorado circa 1913. (Author’s Possession)