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HomeAbout This Site

About This Site

Welcome to HIST298, a digital history site featuring materials from the Michael Mello Collection. This site is the result of a collaboration involving students and faculty associated with History 298 classes at the University of Mary Washington and librarians from UMW's Special Collections and University Archives department.

History 298 Students

History 298 Students (photo by Claudine Ferrell)

History 298 is an undergraduate history practicum course offered by UMW's History and American Studies department. The class provides students with an introduction to what history is and what historians do, with a focus on research, speaking, and writing. As part of their coursework in modern historical research practices, students are given the opportunity to perform tasks related to archival research of primary sources and digital history content creation.

This site features archival items from a collection donated to UMW by Michael Allen Mello, an alum who championed issues related to the criminal justice system and the abolishment of the death penalty. During his time at Mary Washington, Mello was active in political issues and served as the managing editor of the student newspaper, the Bullet. After graduating from UMW in 1979, he went on to study, practice, and teach law. Throughout his adult life, Michael Mello kept detailed scrapbooks and binders of newspaper clippings and other ephemera. After his untimely death in 2008, Mello's collection of scrapbooks was donated to his alma mater's University Archives.

Michael Mello speaking

Michael Mello as a Student

For this project, students in multiple sections of the History 298 course have assisted in digitizing, transcribing, and describing individual items within Mello's scrapbooks and newspaper clipping binders. Each item can be viewed and searched individually within the Items tab, and complete binders can be viewed within the Collections tab. This site will be continually updated as new sections of the class participate in this project and help to bring Michael Mello's collection to a broader audience.