Vermilionville History Harvest

Students in Dr. Petrou’s public history course, “Heritage and Memory in History Museums” volunteered at Vermilionville’s Veteran’s Day History Harvest last month. Students were trained in marketing and outreach; photographing and scanning historical artifacts, inventorying historical artifacts, and interviewing the local communities members who generously brought their historical artifacts to share with the museums.

What is a History Harvest?

The concept of History Harvests started as an undergraduate history project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about 10 years ago.  The students and professors at UNL wanted to create a program that was “…a collaborative effort aimed at uncovering, collecting, preserving, archiving, and sharing some of the many “hidden” historical treasures located right here in our own communities.”[1] Since its creation the UNL History Department has held a number of harvests with various communities across the state of Nebraska and many other history departments and museums across the country have adopted UNL’s methods.   


A History Harvest is designed to connect museum professionals and historians with their communities local history by inviting the public to share their personal artifacts that may have until this point been “hidden” in their homes/attics but still hold historical significance. These artifacts may include letters, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, documents, art, textiles, three-dimensional objects, etc. according to the topic of the History Harvest. The goal is to document, collect information on, and digitize each of these artifacts to create an online collection that can later be used for further historical interpretation and public access. In the case of this History Harvest, the scans/photographs and information collected about each object will be added to the Louisiana Digital Library.

[1] Jones, Patrick. “History Harvest” (syllabus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 2012), Accessed on April 6, 2018,