Bios: Project Directors

With the Sustaining Digital History meeting fast approaching (October 1, 2010 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln), the next three blog entries will introduce the primary participants and staff of this initiative by providing professional biographical information. Up first are the folks from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL).

Douglas Seefeldt, the Director of Sustaining Digital History, is an Assistant Professor of History and Faculty Fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at UNL. He teaches 20th-century U.S. history and specializes in the North American West, Environmental History and Digital History. He took his Ph.D. From Arizona State University in 2001 and spent three years at the University of Virginia as a Woodrow Wilson Academic Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Virginia Center for Digital History and Media Studies Program and the last two of those as the Director of UVa’s Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Project. His published work, both print and digital, focuses on the intersections of landscape and memory in the American West. He is co-editor, with Jeffrey L. Hantman, and Peter S. Onuf, of the book of collected essays, Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark and the Making of America (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005; paper, 2006). Doug has created the thematic digital archive project, Biddle Edition Archive (, and most recently the digital history project, Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark ( Seefeldt has recently returned his attention to the mid-nineteenth-century Mormon frontier and resumed work on a thematic digital archive project titled “Horrible Massacre of Emigrants!!”: The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse (, and is currently working on a book manuscript titled “’Let the Book of the Past Be Closed’: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and Public Memory.”

William G. Thomas, III, the Co-Director of Sustaining Digital History, is the John and Catherine Angle Chair in the Humanities and Professor of History at UNL. He teaches 19th-century U.S. history and specializes in Civil War, the U.S. South, and in Digital History. He earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of Virginia. From 1998 to 2005 he served as the founding Director of the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia. He was the Project Manager of The Valley of the Shadow project at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at U.Va. from 1996 to 1998. Thomas is a Lincoln Prize Laureate in 2001 from the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College for the Valley of the Shadow project ( with Edward L. Ayers and Anne S. Rubin, and with them was awarded the James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association in recognition of the project as an outstanding contribution to the teaching of history. Thomas has recently been awarded a Digital Innovation Fellowship in 2008 from the American Council of Learned Societies. He was awarded a fellowship from the British Association of American Studies for 2008-09 and was the Visiting Professor of North American Studies at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. He is currently working on a book titled “The Civil War and the Making of Modern America” (Yale University Press) and a digital project on “Railroads and the Making of Modern America,” a web-delivered set of sources on railroads, technologies, culture, and social change (

Brent M. Rogers, the Graduate Assistant on Sustaining Digital History, is a Ph.D. Candidate in 19th Century U.S. History specializing in the American West at UNL. Rogers holds a B.A. in History from San Diego State University and an M.A. in History from California State University, Sacramento. He is currently working on a dissertation titled, “Crossroads of the Antebellum West:  Popular Sovereignty, Federal Power, American Imperial Ideology, and Utah Territory in the 1850s.” Rogers has been awarded research grants from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and the Center for Great Plains Studies to support his dissertation work. Recently, Rogers served as a digital editor on the Papers of William F. Cody project and in this capacity produced a work of digital scholarship titled Buffalo Bill, Rough Riders, and the Manly Image.  He also served as a research associate on Nebraska Newspapers: Digitizing Nebraska’s History and has worked on Digital History.

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